UK BBQ Mag Winter 2016/2017 - Page 36


with the rest of the black pepper (this will deter flies from approaching the meat). Now roll the pancetta - start from the long side, and roll tightly so that there are no pockets of air. Tie it very tightly with butchers string.

You will need to hang the pancetta in a cool dry place for 2 weeks. Hang it longer if you want a more pungent flavour to the meat. Use the string to ensure its suspended in the air. Conditions are crucial - you are aiming for between 8 to 15 degrees C, or 50 to 60 degrees F, with humidity around 60%.

If you have no access to a dry curing chamber, then a cool, humid basement would be fine, but make sure it's out of the sun. An old fridge will work, so long as the temperature is controlled and that you have regular air flow. Or even a kitchen, close to a stove. Anywhere cool and dry.

Once cured, the pancetta should be firm but not pliable. If it starts to go hard, its drying out. If this happens wrap it up and put into the fridge.

Now that the pancetta has cured, get ready for the cold smoking process. If you prefer the pancetta not to be smoked, skip this stage.

Don't choose a hot day to cold smoke. At high temperatures, especially if you are smoking for an extended period of time, bacteria will start to form on the food. That's why winter is perfect for cold smoking. Light up the cold smoke generator, and simply smoke the pancetta for around 12 hours, longer if you are looking for a heavier flavour. Its important to let the meat rest once cold smoked, for around 24 hours (at least overnight), as the smoky flavour will need to mellow.

Vac packing the meat is the best way to store it. If not, keep in an air tight container. It'll refrigerate for up to three weeks.

Visit BBQ Barons awesome BBQ Blog

Instagram: @bbq_barons

Twitter: @BBQ_Barons