My Pancetta is quite tasteless

Air dried cured meat and salami recipes

My Pancetta is quite tasteless

Postby BillyBanker » Wed Jan 29, 2014 10:05 am

Hello cured meat experts!

I just made my first pancetta based on this recipe;
http://www.willkay.com/wordpress/?p=1033

I do have a cold which wont be helping but my pancetta is nowhere near as flavoured as I expected it to be. It is not much more than that cubed rubbish you get in supermarkets.

I cut it down during the drying after 12 days as I could now spot three types of mould. I cut off most of the edges of the pancetta to remove the mould. I guess it was this area which carries most of the flavour so I have inadvertently wasted all the best bits?

What do you think? Thanks in advance, Will
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Re: My Pancetta is quite tasteless

Postby NCPaul » Wed Jan 29, 2014 11:28 am

What was the weight loss? Twelve days seems a short drying time to develop flavor. What was the source of the belly?
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Re: My Pancetta is quite tasteless

Postby BillyBanker » Wed Jan 29, 2014 12:42 pm

Thanks for the reply. I didn't weight it before and after but it looks darker and dryer and was stiffish. The pork belly was form Pipers Farm in Exeter which has always been excellent.
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Re: My Pancetta is quite tasteless

Postby ped » Wed Jan 29, 2014 3:17 pm

How long did you cure your piece for before then starting the drying process?. You need to see at least 30% weight loss from the drying I would suggest.
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Re: My Pancetta is quite tasteless

Postby quietwatersfarm » Wed Jan 29, 2014 3:33 pm

You really need to weigh before so that you know how the drying is going - weight loss being the easiest method of measuring lowering water content and therefore likely ph drop.

Surely you weighed it at this stage in order to quantify cure application etc?

Recipe used looks low on salt/cure (I would be looking at 25-27g p/kg) and cure is perhaps a little on the short side, drying certainly seems short (back to weight loss as the key rather than time).

Make sure you cook that stuff before eating if I were you :)
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Re: My Pancetta is quite tasteless

Postby ericrice » Wed Jan 29, 2014 7:40 pm

Something still seems off - when I don't feel like waiting i regularly do pancetta just like bacon, no smoke and just the overhaul in the fridge with the pancetta seasoning mix. Even without aging that has a ton of flavor
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Re: My Pancetta is quite tasteless

Postby BillyBanker » Wed Jan 29, 2014 10:36 pm

Awesome feedback thanks. Perhaps my cold is much worse than I expect. It smelt awesome while hanging which is why I wondered if cutting the edges off lost some of that flavour.

Ped, I cured for a week straight in a vac pack bag...

As for the cure quietwatersfarm, the instructions from sausagemaking was for 15g of all purpose cure per kg. However, I think maybe food processing all the cure ingredients together first made all the curing salt etc wet so it didn't contact with the meat as well. I think next time I will rub the garlic on first to wet the meat a bit, then sprinkle on the cure so that I know its all come into contact, and then add the rest of the flavourings on top of the cure - then massage.

I will definitely weigh it next time.

Last thing... I read somewhere about using beneficial microorganisms as a niche excluder for some of the nasty fungi/bacteria - do you guys use one? Or shall I just rub it all off at the end with a vinegar cloth?
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Re: My Pancetta is quite tasteless

Postby NCPaul » Thu Jan 30, 2014 11:29 am

Beneficial micro organisms are usually used with commuted (ground) meat products like salami. They are not necessary for whole muscle products. There is a bacteria product available to commercial processors, probably to speed production.
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Re: My Pancetta is quite tasteless

Postby ComradeQ » Thu Jan 30, 2014 2:48 pm

BillyBanker wrote:Last thing... I read somewhere about using beneficial microorganisms as a niche excluder for some of the nasty fungi/bacteria - do you guys use one? Or shall I just rub it all off at the end with a vinegar cloth?


Don't wait until the end to rub with a vinegar solution ... inspect it daily and first sign of any bad mold you should rub right away. I use 1:1 water:red wine vinegar for mine and I rub down all mold as I personally don't like any mold on my pancetta. Also I find the red wine vinegar adds another element to the taste.
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Re: My Pancetta is quite tasteless

Postby BillyBanker » Fri Jan 31, 2014 10:01 am

Brilliant. Want to start again already!

My butcher just told me, traditionally pig cheek was used for pancetta, it is much cheaper (2 cheeks in a head costing £5). Has anyone tried this?
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Re: My Pancetta is quite tasteless

Postby quietwatersfarm » Fri Jan 31, 2014 10:16 am

Pancetta is belly. Pig Cheek is Guanciale. Longer job, but lovely.
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Re: My Pancetta is quite tasteless

Postby quietwatersfarm » Fri Jan 31, 2014 10:19 am

If you start again I would suggest 26g AP Curing salt per kg, up your aromats (mainly rosemary & thyme), cure for a fortnight and hang until 30% loss acheived.
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Re: My Pancetta is quite tasteless

Postby larry » Wed Feb 05, 2014 8:47 pm

I've done pancetta and guanciale. I like both. The guanciale seems just a little sweeter to my taste. I've done a batch of two pancettas, and used one after two weeks curing, and it was o.k., but nothing great. I left the other one for two more weeks and the difference was remarkable. I now leave it for at least a month and am happy with the flavor and texture.
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Re: My Pancetta is quite tasteless

Postby quietwatersfarm » Wed Feb 05, 2014 8:49 pm

Hi larry, is that a month in the cure stage? thanks
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Re: My Pancetta is quite tasteless

Postby larry » Thu Feb 06, 2014 2:00 pm

I hang it in my chamber for a month. The initial rub is on for eight days or until the texture is uniformly firm.
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