The Slowcook at Spydog Farm The Slowcook at Spydog Farm

What’s for Breakfast: Homemade Pancetta

April 2nd, 2011 · 2 Comments · Posted in breakfast, Recipes

Pancetta: it looks an awful lot like bacon

I finally removed the roll of pancetta that was drying in a back stairway, hanging from a light fixture, and cooked some for breakfast. My guinnea pig was friend John, who is homebound. Most days during the week, I make breakfast for the two of us after dropping daughter off at school. As you can see in the photo, the pancetta, sliced fairly thin, could easily be mistaken for traditional bacon once it’s been fried in a skillet. Here it accompanies a blue cheese omelet.

If you’ve been following along, pancetta was one of the earlier meat curing projects I undertook as part of the Charcutepalooza blog circus. The pancetta process is similar to making bacon: a slab of pork belly is rubbed with a mix of salt, sugar and spices and left to cure in the refrigerator for a week. It is then tightly rolled into a log, tied and placed to hang in a cool, humid spot to dry for two weeks. Unlike bacon, it is not smoked, so the flavor is milder, but with strong hints of black pepper and the other curing agents.

I don’t suppose pancetta is typically served like bacon. More often you see it served as a condiment, cut into small pieces and fried for carbonara sauce on pasta, or perhaps in a salad. But why not serve it like bacon? My friend John gave it a big thumbs up. And now we have so much of it, there’s not much else to do but start eating it.

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