Sunday, February 08, 2009

My pork belly, the "cure" for my cravings/ Part 1

So, I scored this awesome 11 pound pork belly from Grateful Growers Farms in Denver, NC yesterday morning at the local farmers market. I've wanted to make my own bacon for years but could never find a good source in this area. At least anything that was worthy of turning into bacon!

So, with this one, I decided to try two types of curing methods for bacon and a slab of pancetta. I also kept a couple chunks to turn into my dinner, yum.

First of all, let's start with the two curing methods for the bacon. I decided to go with a honey mustard dry cure and a brown sugar and cider vinegar brine wet cure and see what I like better.

Secondly, I wanted to make my own pancetta. There were a few ways that I found on the internet but decided to go with the flat version (called Pancetta Stresa). Most are rolled and use 5 pounds of belly, mine will only use about 2.5 pounds. Either way calls for hanging at room temp for about 2 weeks so that should be interesting.

Big-un, eh? :)

Look at that marbling!

Wet cure rubbed with cracked peppercorns then held in a brine. I got the idea for this one here: and then replaced the molasses with brown sugar.

I had to weigh it down with a plastic container to keep it submerged. This will brine for 3 days.

Dry rub cure using this recipe:

For this, I used an artisan's honey from Italy to kick it up a little bit! Also will cure for 3 days.

For the pancetta, you'll need DQ curing salt and this recipe. Their tutorial is key.

The curing mix. See recipe for ingredients list.



Weighted. Will cure for 7 days and then hung at room temp for 2 weeks!

Man, my lower fridge is full of soon-to-be-cured meats! :) If my doctor could only see me now, lol.

After these bad boys do their things, Ill be smoking the bacon and hanging the pancetta stresa. Stay tuned!

My buddy over at "Blog of a Chef" just discovered the best home made bread in the land. I think Ill do a house-made mayo demo for you all and then we can make a BLT!!! Now, if I could only find some local tomatoes this time of year :)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dude! I want to try the finished product!