Long process with tasty reward

This next recipe had been an ongoing process for about a month.  Reason it took so long is because it involved curing meat!  Something completely new to me but given my love for cured meats I was extremely excited when I opened up the next cookbook and saw what I was going to be doing!

The cookbook is In the Chartuterie.

The recipe tagged it self wasn’t for the cured meat BUT one of the ingredients for the recipe was pancetta.  The recipe said you could use store bought (BORING!) or cure your own using their recipe.  I decided to cure my own!

For the Pancetta Arrotolata I needed a whole pork belly, which I was able to buy at Market Square at Walker Road and Ottawa.

whole pork belly!
whole pork belly!

I pricked little holes all along the pork belly.

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Then I put together a curing mix using some ingredients I had to source online.  The cure mix consisted of peppercorns, chile flakes, bay leaf, all spice berries, fine sea salt, dextrose, curing salt no. 2 (also know as Prague powder) and nutmeg.

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The mix was rubbed all over the belly and it was placed covered in the fridge.

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The next day I flipped it then recovered and placed back into the fridge.

I had to skin the pork belly myself, which was harder than I thought it would be, so that's why there are all kinds of knicks in the fat, it should be uniform fat...hopefully that doesn't screw up the end product!!
I had to skin the pork belly myself, which was harder than I thought it would be, so that’s why there are all kinds of knicks in the fat, it should be uniform fat…hopefully that doesn’t screw up the end product!!

And again the following night I flipped the belly again, recovered and refrigerated.

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And that’s how the pork belly set in the refrigerator for 12 days undisturbed.  It then looked like this:

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And I hung it in what use to be our garage beer fridge for 2 days to dry out.

no more room for beer :(
no more room for beer 🙁

I then removed it from the former beer fridge and let it sit out at room temperature for 3 hours…

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And then hit it “without mercy” (term from the recipe) for 5 minutes with meat tenderizer.

action shot
action shot

The pork belly was then rolled tightly and tied with butcher twine.

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The rolled pork belly went back in the former beer fridge for 2 weeks!  When it came out it looked like this:

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And when I cut it open it looked like this:

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I MADE CURED MEAT!!!!

So what did I do with this cured meat.  Well a bunch of things, including giving big chunk to several friends….because really what was I going to do with all this pancetta??  But the first thing I did with it was make the recipe I tagged in the cookbook – Pancetta-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin.

To start with I laid a piece of plastic wrap on the counter.  I laid thin slices of the pancetta on the wrap overlapping each slice by half an inch.  I seasoned the pork tenderloin with salt and pepper and then brushed it with a mixture of Dijon mustard and white wine.

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I sprinkled with chopped fresh rosemary (the herb not the human).

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Then I wrapped the bottom of the plastic wrap around the pork and then the top.  I placed it in a roasting pan on a roasting rack and removed the plastic wrap.  The pork tenderloin went into the oven.  And when it emerged it looked like this:

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I chopped it up and served after letting it rest for 10 minutes.

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The Verdict:  It was YUM!  Besides the whole making pancetta part it was pretty easy to do.  For anyone who would like to try this one you can grab the recipe below.

Pancetta & Dijon Pork Tenderloin
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Ingredients
  1. 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  2. 2 TB white wine
  3. 10-12 thin slices of pancetta
  4. 2 pork tenderloins
  5. fine sea salt & pepper
  6. 2 TB fresh rosemary, chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425F.
  2. In a small bowl mix mustard and wine. Lay one sheet of plastic wrap on a work surface. Lay half of the pancetta in a line down the center of the plastic wrap, overlapping each piece by half an inch. Place one of the tenderloins on the plastic wrap and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper on all sides. Then using a pastry brush, brush the Dijon/wine mixture on the tenderloin, covering the entire surface. Sprinkle half of the rosemary on the tenderloin and place on the pancetta. Fold the bottom and top of the plastic wrap around the tenderloin and then fold the sides. Flip over and place on a roasting rack of a roasting pan. Carefully peel of the plastic wrap, the tenderloin should be pancetta side up on the rack. Repeat with the second tenderloin.
  3. Place the roasting pan in the oven for 25 minutes or until the inner temperature of the tenderloin reaches 140F.
  4. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing into 1 inch slices.
Notes
  1. This recipe can be easily doubled.
Adapted from In the Charcuterie
Adapted from In the Charcuterie
Cooking with Rosemary http://www.cookingwithrosemary.com/

 

 

 

 

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