Pancetta Rigatino Goes Into the Chamber

The Pancetta Piana Rigatino came out of the fridge today and got ready to go into the chamber.  I learned last week, after I posted, that another name for a "flat" pancetta is Rigatino.  John Stewart, from Zazu, was kind enough to point that out and it's always great to learn how varied the names for the same product are, and being that I dream of living in Tuscany, I decided to use their descriptor for this instance of pancetta.  You should also check out what John and his wife Duskie did for Cochon 555 out in Napa, pretty riddiculous, and you can read about it more here. Back to the pig...

After taking the slab of belly out of the fridge after 7 days of curing, it looked pretty good.  I've not been a big fan of Whole Food's pork product since we've moved to Colorado, as the meat is pretty bland, both in color and taste.  This looks promising though, and we adapted the recipe from Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn's book Charcuterie, which is the preeminent bible of sorts for anyone who thinks about curing and/or preserving at home.

A couple of things we did differently, is we used a Mayan Sea Salt instead of Kosher, we used California bay leaves instead of Turkish and light brown sugar instead of dark.

Recipe is as follows:

  • Pork Belly (Skin Off) - 1.29 kg
  • Garlic Cloves - 2 or 3 (Depends on Size)
  • InstaCure 2 - 6g
  • Mayan Sea Salt - 25g
  • Light Brown Sugar - 13g
  • Coarse Ground Black Pepper - 20g
  • Juniper Berries (Crushed) - 5g
  • California Bay Leaves - 2 (4 or 5 for decoration if desired)
  • Fresh Nutmeg - 2g
  • Fresh Thyme - 2 sprigs

I tried to wear my creative hat with this one, and before wrapping it in cheese cloth, "studded" it, or "pressed" in some of the California bay leaves on the fat side for looks.  I wrapped it in cheese cloth and have it hanging now.  Ruhlman recommends to hang a flat one for about 7 days, but my experience with the flat, is that it takes a bit longer, but then again, that was in a cheese room in the humid east coast.  Lets see in a few weeks...