Here’s the beginning of the pancetta. I had to buy commercial pork, which is kind of a bummer, but our local organic pork people won’t have another pork belly until the next time they butcher (in about a month) and I wanted to get going. So, here it is, the five pound section of my whole commercial pork belly that seemed to have the most even thickness. It’s pretty thick — I think rolling it might be more of a challenge than I’d anticipated, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.
So far this was really easy. I mixed up the dry rub in a dish, then smooshed it all over the pork. I’ve been flipping it once a day (we’re on day 4 now) and it seems to be firming up nicely.
And it smells great — my fridge smells faintly of bay leaves (nice true bay leaves from my stepmother’s tree in Seattle), juniper berries, nutmeg, garlic, pepper, salt and brown sugar and pork. I added a little of this nice mild Aleppo pepper I bought at World Spice the last time I was in Seattle — I’m never very good at following recipes exactly and this all smelled like a tiny bit of chile would just be perfect.
So now we wait, and flip the pork, and wait a little more. Photos of the rolling to come. And I need to figure out where I’m going to hang it — my canning closet in the basement might be cool enough — I have to get new batteries for the remote thermometer and check (the one unit with batteries is doing important duty underneath the plastic covering the tomatoes — the min/max is invaluable this time of year when I’m trying to foil the frost.)
My mother was teasing me on the phone the other day about still liking to play with my food — guilty as charged. Between the game, pancetta and my adventures in real milk — there’s a lot of playing with food going on around here.