http://www.culinary-studio.com/2010/03/spaghetti-allamatriciana.htmlI have always considered dabbling in charcuterie for this blog, but thought that it was maybe slightly impractical; after all, I do live in a studio. As with most things in the kitchen, practicality failed to keep me down for long. This week, I took my first stab at cured meats, making a "fresh" pancetta. Yes, fresh charcuterie-- not quite the real deal, but for me, it was a big first step towards the land of salt-preserved pig parts. Fresh pancetta is simple to make, and it is a perfect substitute for the real deal in recipes. Step by step instructions for making fresh pancetta follow.
First, take a large piece of pork belly. If you can find it, use a skin-on pork belly; I used skinless.
Then, cover the pork belly in a light coating of salt:
Next, place the pork on a large plate or rimmed baking wrap and cover the it with plastic wrap. Refrigerate it for 3 days. The salt should dissolve into the meat after a day or so:
Preheat the oven to 325F. After 3 days in the refrigerator, pat the pork dry with paper towels. Place it on a rimmed baking sheet (if you refrigerated the pork on a baking sheet, dry it off). Cook the pork until it is soft and nearly fork tender; depending on the size of the pork belly this will take from an hour to an hour and a half:
Let the pancetta cool, then wrap it in plastic wrap. If you used a skin-on pork belly, peal the skin off with your fingers. Refrigerate the pancetta for up to two weeks or portion it into smaller servings and freeze them for up to 6 months. Enjoying it in dishes such as spaghetti all'Amatrician: