Pancetta di Larbo

This is a rolled pancetta – pancetta arrotolata – from a recipe by my mate Larbo who now lives in the US.

It’s unusual as it’s flavoured with orange zest and fennel – not the traditional flavours you expect in pancetta.

The meat was dry-cured for 12 days, rolled and tied, and has been hanging in my air-drying fridge for 27 days.

Allowing for the removal of the skin when it was rolled, it’s lost 22% of its original weight – in supermarket terms it’s been made with 127gms of meat per 100gms pancetta.

Here’s Laurence’s recipe:

Rub a 3-pound piece of pork belly with

6 grams pink salt
25 grams kosher salt
12 grams turbinado sugar
10 grams coarsely ground black pepper
5 grams fennel, crushed
2 grams ground cloves
grated zest of two oranges

Put it in a plastic bag (like a Ziploc) and refrigerate it for 7 days. Every couple days, rub the belly to redistribute the seasoning (you can do this right through the bag). When the belly feels firm to the touch, it’s cured. Then rinse off the cure ingredients, towel dry, and rub the inside of the belly with a second dose of pepper, fennel, clove, and oranges. Roll it up tightly (fat side outside) and tie it up. Soak for a few minutes in balsamic vinegar (I use the inexpensive, commercial brand Antica Italia), then hang to dry where the temperature is between 50 and 60, and the humidity is about 60%. Every week, take it down and soak it in the balsamic vinegar again for a few minutes. (I keep the vinegar in a bag for this.) When the pancetta is firm but still pliable, after 2-3 weeks, it’s ready to enjoy.

It’ll be great as antipasti.

To make the calculations easy, you can use this online calculator:

Orange Pancetta di Larbo
Weight of Meat in grams gm
You will need to round these amounts according to the accuracy of your scales.
Sea Salt gm
Muscovado Sugar gm
Cure #2 gm
Spices
Ground Black Pepper gm
Crushed Cloves gm
Crushed Fennel Seeds gm
Grated orange rind of oranges

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