The Daring Cooks - Salumi
I have had a pork belly sitting in my freezer for a few months waiting for the right opportunity. This challenge was enough for me to bring it out and work on something new to me. This challenge has been so exciting to try.
The added buzz on this challenge is that we have a chance to win a wonderful cookbook. Check out this
The wonderful people at WW Norton publishing company are sponsoring a contest for this challenge! The top 3 most delicious sausages and/or salumi will win a copy of Michael Ruhlman’s and Brian Polcyn’s book, Salumi: The Craft of Italian Dry Curing!
Pancetta was a natural for this cut. A pork belly is essentially a slab bacon that has not been cured or smoked. I am curing it to make the pancetta and then drying it. I just hope the drying time will be adequate before the reveal date. My cold room will be the perfect temperature and humidity. I can hardly wait.
Pancetta is mostly used in recipes as compared to prosciutto that I love to eat out of hand or on a crusty piece of good bread or with a perfectly poached egg in an Eggs Benedict.
For the January-February 2013 Daring Cooks’ Challenge, Carol, one of our talented non-blogging members and Jenni, one of our talented bloggers who writes The Gingered Whisk, have challenged us to make homemade sausage and/or cured, dried meats in celebration of the release of the book Salumi: The Craft of Italian Dry Curing by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn! We were given two months for this challenge and the opportunity to make delicious Salumi in our own kitchens!
5 lb pork belly
1/4 c kosher salt
1 tsp pink salt (curing salt)
1 tbsp whole black peppercorns
1/4 c juniper berries
1 tbsp dried rosemary
3 bay leaves
1 tsp thyme
1/2 c brown sugar
2 cloves garlic
Grind the salt and aromatic in a mortar and pestle or coffee grinder. Add to the brown sugar. Place pork belly in a baking dish and cover with the curing mixture evenly. Cover with saran and refrigerate. Refrigerate for about 7 days and each day rotate the slab and cover with the curing mixture. The slab should lose about 30% of its original weight.
Rinse the pork belly and pat dry. Cover with cracked black peppercorns. Roll tightly and tie with string. Wrap with cheesecloth and hang for up to a month. It should be hung at 65F and 60% humidity.
Slice and use.