the appetizer:

The Art of Charcuterie by John Kowalski and The Culinary Institute of America includes recipes like Pastrami (Brined, Spiced, Smoked Beef); Dry-Cured Pancetta; Mousseline-Style Forcemeat; plus articles like Concerns Over the Use of Nitrate and Nitrites.

Cookbook Profile

Dry-Cured Pancetta


Dry-Cured Pancetta

Makes 9 lb 4 oz/4.19 kg


Dry Cure

1. Trim the pork belly and square off the sides. Trim off the skin.

2. Place the pork belly in a nonreactive container. In a mixing bowl, combine the salt, sugar, Insta Cure, juniper berries, bay leaves, nutmeg, thyme, garlic, and pepper to make the dry cure. Rub the cure mix over the belly, making sure to cover all areas evenly. Cover the pork with plastic wrap and cover its container with a lid or top.

3. Refrigerate the pork for 7 to 8 days to cure. Overhaul it every other day.

4. After 7 days, check the belly for firmness. If it is firm at the thickest point, it is cured. If it is a little soft, refrigerate the pork for 1 or 2 more days.

Dry-Cured Pancetta

5. Remove the belly from the container and rinse it in warm water to wash off the cure mix. Place the belly on a rack in a sheet pan. Refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours to air-dry and form a pellicle.

6. Starting with the long side, roll the pork belly into a tight cylinder, making sure that there are no air pockets inside the roll. Tie it securely with string.

7. Place the pancetta in a tight net or wrap it in cheesecloth. Hang the pancetta for 7 days in a cool area (50 degrees to 60 degrees F/10 degrees to 16 degrees C), with 60 to 65 percent humidity.

8. After 7 days, the pancetta should be firm, but slightly pliable. It is ready to use or may be wrapped well and refrigerated for up to 3 weeks.


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This page created February 2011