A couple of weeks ago I was at the asian market and they had fresh pork belly in the meat counter. They weren't whole belly's but I have been meaning to try to make pancetta so I figured why ruin a whole belly when I could ruin a pound at a time. I followed the recipe from Micheal Ruhlman's book Charcuterie and found that it really is almost fool proof. The pieces of belly weren't cut symetrically so I was only able to roll one the traditional style but according to the book the belly's can be wrapped in cheese cloth and hung to dry for only one week instead of two. Both turned out incredible and I can't wait to use it to make carbonara. I fried up a bit the other day and used the fat to roasted some chicken thighs with some thyme and rosemary and they were fantastic.
I found that rolling was the most difficult part the instructions say to roll it as tight as possible so that no air pockets exist in the center. Pork Belly being so fatty made this kind of tricky. It was like trying to catch a greased pig.
Labels: pork belly