Makin' Bacon

Following the directions in the book Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing, we've been making pancetta in our basement for the past month.


When I say it that way it sounds a bit illicit, doesn't it?  "Basement bacon" seems like it should be akin to bathtub gin or growing marijuana amidst your tomatoes.   It has that wicked connotation, yes? 


Following the directions in the book we (legally) obtained a pork belly.  After removing the skin, we rubbed it down in curing salt and spices.  It hung out that way in a plastic bag in the fridge for a few days, then we rinsed it, patted it with more spices, rolled it up tight, and hung it in the basement for most of a month.

The outer skin grew a tiny bit of mold, but (per the internets) we wiped it off with vinegar.  Our "pancetta log" is now sliced into thick slabs and living in our freezer.


We tried the first bit for breakfast on Sunday morning.  It's been over 48 hours, and neither of us has been food poisoned.  Yay!  

The resulting bacon was a bit fatty for breakfast-style bacon, but as the start of a bolognese sauce...or a bowl of creamy risotto....mmmmm.

Next attempt, prosciutto....