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Steven Lamb's Pancetta

Steven Lamb's Pancetta

A delicious pancetta recipe generously written by Steven Lamb from River Cottage.

Ingredients

2KG pork belly

For the cure:
50g Smoky Brae smoked sugar
10g crushed juniper berries
4g coarsely grated nutmeg
60g good quality fine salt
40g coarsely ground black pepper
4 sprigs fresh thyme
4 bay leaves, shredded
Crushed garlic (optional)

Method

1.   Place all the cure ingredients together in a bowl and have a vac pack bag or zip lock bag to hand. Place the pork belly in the bag and apply half the cure on one side and half on the other rubbing it in and making sure the sides are also covered.
2.   Seal the bag so that any liquid which is drawn from the meat is kept from leaking out of the bag. This liquid acts as a brine and should be kept in contact with the meat. Place the sealed bag containing the meat and cure in the bottom of the fridge.
3.   The meat should remain in the cure 3 days for every 500g of meat – so in this case it should remain in the cure for 12 days.
4.   After the allotted time remove the meat from the bag and wash under a cold running tap and dry it with a clean tea towel. If the piece of belly contains any rib bones they can be removed at this point in one sheet – they will be good for a stock.

You can slice rashers with a sharp knife and cook straightaway – or if you wanted to wait to eat your pancetta raw you can leave it in the fridge until it has lost 30% of its original weight which is the point when cured meat becomes dry enough not to need cooking.
 
Steven Lamb

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