Sunday, November 15, 2009
Makin' Bacon (Pancetta, actually): Part 2: In My Belly
Last night I dreamed of bacon. Seriously, it was like I was in the Candyland of pork. And for the record, I always dream in color, and never understood dreaming in black and white.
After spending roughly a week, give or take a day or so, in the fridge with the cure, and getting a flip and massage when I remembered, I took the pancetta to be out, rinsed her off, massaged her with some more cracked pepper, and dispatched her to the basement bathroom.
It was a little thick for rolling into the traditional roll, which I wasn't planning on doing anyway, and I wasn't crazy about attempting to hang it, so I put it on the above drying rack over a half sheet pan and flipped it over every day or so.
This is the little chunk I fried for breakfast. Pretty, huh?
It's always been a frequent refrain of guests, that my house is cold enough to hang meat. My husband liked to keep the place nearly artic, yet still wore shorts in the dead of winter. He actually bought this thermometer/humidity gauge, which was handy for this process. When I took it out of the basement, the reading was 60 degrees and 60% humidity; perfect bacon making weather.
I bought a couple of these bags of Teeny, Tiny, Potatoes from Trader Joe's. Aren't they adorable? So for breakfast, I chopped the pancetta, fried in a little olive oil, tossed in the potatoes, and made a modified version of this fun Fine Cooking recipe for crispy smashed potatoes.. I just smashed them with the tip of the tongs when they got soft.
I couldn't fry a decent egg to save my life this morning, but managed to get a half decent one on a bagel with some of the pancetta. It was damn ugly, but absolutely delicious.
I was a little skeptical about curing meat in the basement, despite what Ruhlman claims, but I'll be darned, it works great.