Pancetta Piacentina (Following the D.O.P. recipe this time)

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indaswamp

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Doing my original plan of Pancetta Piacentina....

Picked up another belly this morning from my butcher. Kill date for this pig was 08/30/22 so super fresh! It came from Home Place Pastures...Berkshire Pork.
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This was a fairly large pig. The belly is almost 3" thick in one corner. I had wanted a belly monday, but the butcher told me they were out of primals at the moment so he could not custom cut one for me. But said they would be getting pigs tomorrow afternoon and breaking them down weds. morning. It is always interesting talking to butchers use to cutting a pig American style. Trying to get a true Italian cut belly is always a challenge because it does mess up the ribs and must be cut just below the loin..so basically it is the entire side and the belly. I was very specific that I wanted a belly 16" wide, and with how thick this one is, I probably needed it 18-20 inches wide. The smallest width is 13-14" wide...definitely cutting it close. I will more than likely need to cover with a casing along the seam because I won't have enough skin for good coverage.

The belly..
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The seasoning:
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I took half the turbinado sugar and the cloves, put that in the spice grinder and pulverized that into a powder. The clove disintegrated and darkened the sugar slightly...WOW the aroma!!! I did the same with the Black Peppercorns and the remaining turbinado sugar.

I trimmed about 1/4# of soft fat and cavity lining off the belly, then applied the cure and spice mix.
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Salt already starting to pull water out...
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I have the belly sitting in my old cure fridge 37-41*F; 75~80%RH on a slight incline to allow the moisture to run off-just like the D.O.P. recipe calls for. The salt will remove 4-5% of the water from the belly. But you will lose roughly 0.3-0.5% of the salt doing it this way so you need to compensate for that when making the cure. The lower water activity is important if you will heat treat the belly after equalizing for proper enzymatic activity-which is flavor production. I put a sheet pan and an inverted bread pan on the rack first:
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Then the belly on a tub lid...
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Let it cure for 15-20 days....see you guys then when I roll it...
 

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indaswamp

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Pancetta Piacentina Arrotolata D.O.P.

Per 1kg. belly

25g sea salt
2.5g cure #2
0.4g Black peppercorns fine grind (0.4g./kg. MAX)
0.2g Clove spice fine grind (0.4g./kg. MAX)
10g Turbinado sugar (15g./kg. MAX)
 
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indaswamp

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* that chamber is not "dirty" per say....what you see on both the floor and the walls is beneficial mold growing from my initial spraying of the chamber.....And I want to KEEP THAT FLORA GOING!
 
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indaswamp

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Today is the day for rolling and trussing the pancetta piacentina! I followed this video:


And tried to trim off as little as possible with the exception of some soft fat on a corner under some flank meat. I thought it was still a little too narrow @13.5" but after trimming it was 2.375" thick.....might make it. I did fillet the skin back and it almost stretched enough. So I filleted the the skin back about another inch to give a tad more stretch. Bingo! That did it.
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I'm guessing the meat to fat ratio is close to 25/75. That fat is 2" thick in some spots. Might not make it to 20% weight loss, but it will be shelf stable regardless after 4 months drying in the chamber.

I used Hog bladder cut in half for the ends, and paper folded in half over the sewn seam. The skin is sewn tight with no air gaps...I saw a Norcini use paper over the seam so I went with it. Thought I had a piece of collagen sheet left over from wrapping the Pistachio and Lemon salami pH test piece, but I could not find it...don't remember where I put the damn thing! LOL! So I improvised. If this works-it's cheaper than collagen sheet!
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Sucker is HUGE" Almost 6" across.
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One end was severely tapered which made securing the hog bladder a challenge. In hindsight, I should have grabbed some trim pieces and fattened up that end by placing them on that end before I rolled it. My vertical wraps kept getting out of whack too.
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One thing I forgot to do was roll the wide spiral pass with twine before doing the tight roll. This helps prevent a huge bulge at the end...

But over all, It looks good, it is very tight, and with the new technique of rolling I feel really good about having no air gaps in the middle or having the voids.
 
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indaswamp

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Allowing the fluid to drain off during curing and allowing air to circulate; the pancetta has lost around 8% of initial weight. Since I used 1% sugar following the DOP recipe, I put the pancetta piacentina back in my old drying chamber @ 46-52*F for about another 3 weeks. The low temperature will prevent lactic acid bacteria from fermenting the sugars while the piece dries more. Once another 4-5% is lost, the water activity will be low enough and I will be able to hang at room temperature for 6 days for flavor development, then on to the new maturing chamber.
 

indaswamp

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Guess I'll follow along with this one as well lol
Thanks Jake! Be about 4 months drying for this one too.
enjoying another fine detailed operation by you, indaswamp!! thanks for sharing this!
Thanks tbern. That is the reason I post, so many request to see it....
 
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indaswamp

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Good read...
https://www.wetheitalians.com/web-magazine//italian-flavors-coppa-salame-and-pancetta-piacentina

Learned something...after trussing, and a rest in the fridge 0-5*C for a couple hours, the pancetta is put through an intensive drying step. Though the temperature range is 15-25*C, the temperature and humidity oscillates and only at 25*C;40%RH for a couple hours. This is to dry the surface from the moisture being forced out of the pancetta by the pressure from the tight binding. I will follow this procedure.
 
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indaswamp

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After seeing this picture of Pancetta hanging in a Salumeria Cellar in Colorona, Italy....
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I'll go a little easier on myself about the one messed up end on the piece I just tied!
There are a few hanging that look the same way as mine.
 

indaswamp

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I measured the diameter of this pancetta...5.5 inches. The circumference is 17.28" and the belly skin was only 13.5-13.75" wide, so I stretched the skin over 3.5 inches. Good to know I have that much wiggle room. I don't think I could have stretched it any more. I filleted the skin back about 4 inches to make it work though.
 
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Bearcarver

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I measured the diameter of this pancetta...5.5 inches. The circumference is 17.28" and the belly skin was only 13.5-13.75" wide, so I stretched the skin over 3.5 inches. Good to know I have that much wiggle room. I don't think I could have stretched it any more. I filleted the skin back about 4 inches to make it work though.
3.14159265359------:emoji_ok_hand:About dead on!

Bear
 
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