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Curing at Home: Pancetta and Bacon Update

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Aug 31, 2009 6:20PM

A week has passed since we threw 8 pounds of pork belly into freezer bags full of salt, sugar, cracked black pepper, fresh oregano and thyme and some pink salt, for some. Yesterday it was time to hang that pork belly and let it dry age.

According to Ruhlman's Charcuterie (where we adapted the recipe), you should only let this hang for about a week. As you can see from the photos the cure is already giving the pork belly some very good color. We weren't able to discern this until after we rinsed the curing solution off the belly.

This time, we decided to do the hanging in our pantry instead of under the kitchen sink. The mild weather this wee should be perfect for dry aging. The pantry was rich with the smell of pepper and thyme not even ten minutes after hanging. If all things go well, the pancetta will be ready to eat in after its hang. We're going to take what bell we portioned off for bacon and smoke it for a couple of hours over some applewood chunks. Just in time for Labor Day.