Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Pancetta and Kimchee

Howdy everyone:

I just realized it's been almost 3 months since my last post, and while I havent' been blogging, rest assured I most definitely have been making charcuterie.

Today's entry is Pancetta... or "Italian Bacon"  if you're my mom.   It's bacon like, and comes from the belly, but at least according to the way I make regular bacon, worlds apart.

I started with 2 8lb bellies from Tails and Trotters and half of it ended up being not from the rib end where the good meat is, and was a bit too fatty for bacon, so when you're handed fatty pork belly, you make pancetta.

Here you go.. nice looking bellies, will cure nicely.   I used the standard cure ( mix of kosher salt, brown sugar, and Cure #2, along with some cayenne, smoked hot paprika, and red pepper flakes.

Into the cure they go, see you in three weeks.

Three weeks later, I give them a good rinse for about 15 minutes to leach out some salt... then coat them in a mixture of fresh rosemary, oregano, thyme ( from my garden ) along with cayenne, smoked spanish paprika, and a bit of kosher salt

Now it's into the curing chamber for 3 or 4 months while I figure out what to use this stuff for.. most likely I'll slice it super thin and put on pizzas I'll be making in my new wood fired pizza oven.. or maybe lots of pasta carbonara this winter :)

on the non meat front, I want you all to check out my first ever attempt at Kimchee ( Korean pickled cabbage ).

It turned out awesome.. fermented for 4 days with spices.. nice ginger/lemongrass flavor with strong but not overpowering spiciness.   My Korean Godfather would be proud.

Our garden is overflowing with Spinach, Arugula, lettuces, sugar and snap peas, and lots of herbs that I'm drying.  Tomatoes are very slowly catching up to where they should be.. a couple of weeks of solid heat that's supposed to be on the way should help.

I have a coppa that's about ready to come out of the cure tomorrow.. I may blog about that.. just trying to decide whether to case it, or try it without this time.

All the best you guys.