Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Pancetta: First Tasting
Tried my pancetta for the first time today. It's been drying in the fridge for about two and a half weeks. The outside constantly over-dried, so I ended up trying a bunch of methods to make it dry evenly. Covering the piece with parchment and rotating it frequently seemed like the best solution. It's now wrapped in plastic, so hopefully the moisture content will even out.
Predictably, I couldn't resist the urge to try the meat uncooked, but frankly it made for a pretty unpleasant experience. The meat was fine, though it had a too-strong nitrate flavor. The fat, on the other hand, was so chewy that I ended up spitting it out. No matter, just like with the duck bacon at work, rendering and crisping the pancetta brought out its porkiness and sweetness. I found myself looking a wider breadth of flavors, so next time I may dry-rub with spices, garlic, and herbs during the drying phase.
I'm interested to see what happens to the moisture level of the piece when wrapped, and with smoked bacon, Chinese bacon, and Lop Chong already sitting around, I'm also wondering what to do with so much cured pork...