Super easy to make at home, Pancetta is really rewarding to make, and incredibly versatile as an ingredient.
Pancetta is essentially an Italian recipe for cured pork belly. It’s very similar to Bacon but is not smoked and is cured and dried for longer. Some recipes call for the addition of curing salts but this version doesn’t.
As there are two processes to this recipe, i’ve separated out the ingredient lists below.
Ingredients - meat
450 g pork belly
Ingredients - salt cure
15 g salt
1 tsp Juniper berries
1/2 tsp coriander seeds, roasted and crushed
1/2 tsp pink peppercorns
Ingredients - spice cure
2 tbsp black peppercorns, crushed
1 tbsp juniper berries
3 dried bay leaves, ground up
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
Mix all the salt cure ingredients and put in a zip lock freezer bag
Add the pork belly to the bag and make sure it is covered in the cure all over
Leave this in the fridge for 7 days, turning it over every day (this is important)
After 7 days take the belly out of the bag and rinse it and pat dry
Mix all the spice cure ingredients together
Coat the pork belly thoroughly with the spice cure
Weigh the pork belly and note this down
Hang the pork belly in the fridge for 3 weeks or until it drops about 25% of its weight
Note: Pancetta is best dried in around 10-20c and at 60-70% RH, however, if you haven’t the means to create these conditions, you can use a fridge. Fridges will likely be a lot less humid and you may find the drying time comes down.