There it is — five pounds of cured, rolled, raw pork belly hanging in my basement — it’s a tiny bit freaky, but three days into it, I’m sort of used to my little meat project. The basement smells lovely — all that nutmeg in Ruhlman’s cure plus a nice porky smell. My big worry is that the recipe says the pancetta should cure in a cool place with humidity of about 60% — I don’t think my house in the high desert of Montana has *every* had a humidity reading that high. So I’m keeping an eye on it — it might be a week rather than two hanging in the basement — we’ll see.
I found this great video online that was really helpful during the rolling process — I was a little worried about getting it rolled tight enough. Luckily, they taught us to make bedrolls at summer camp when I was a kid — I used the same lacing they taught us at my beloved Camp Osoha, and pulled it really tight. And now I’m trying not to dwell on thoughts of pathogens in air pockets … although, despite my worries, it really does smell good. And generally, things that smell good won’t poison one ….