Sunday, February 13, 2011

Bacon and Pancetta

Who knew that making Bacon and Pancetta at home could be so easy ? Not me that's for sure.

Last week I purchased an eight pound pork belly from Northeast Family Farms a division of the Dole & Bailey Company. The goal of Northeast Family farms is to provide a supply chain between local farms and the professional culinary community. All of their products are locally raised on small to medium sized family run farms. The Pork Belly that I purchased was raised by the Lucki 7 Livestock company in Rodman New York.

I cut the pork belly in half making bacon with one half and Pancetta with the other. Both recipes can be found in the book Charuterie by Michael Ruhlman. The Bacon Recipe can by found on Michael Ruhlman's Blog.

The Bacon was the easier of the two. You simply rub the bacon with a basic cure and put it in a ziplock back in the fridge for seven days. Every other day you turn the bacon over and make sure the cure (which by the second day becomes a brine) is well distributed.

After the bacon was done curing we smoked it in our pellet smoker for 2 hours at 200 Degrees.

And that's it presto chango it's Bacon !

While I say Bacon was the easier of the two that doesn't mean the pancetta was difficult to make. It just involved a few more ingredients and the added steps of rolling and tying the belly after it was cured and finally hanging the pancetta to dry for several days.

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