Today is the day my pork belly emerges from its sea-salt and paprika cure as almost fully-fledged Spanish Panceta. Or, in this case Panceta Wirraliana!
It smells OK – smells like raw bacon, in fact, and looks and feels like it, too. The meat has firmed up considerably, even though the amount of water extracted from it was lower than I expected.
This is what it looks like:-
Click pics to see full size, Back to return.
Apart from cropping, images are untouched – what you see is what you get. I’ve just removed the bacon from the cure and rinsed it clean under the cold tap – the shine is just water.
So far, so pleased. Now, after I dry it off, it goes into the (cold), bedroom to hang for a few days to dry out properly then, after being rubbed all over with sweet paprika, it can be sliced, packaged, and frozen for later use.
The provisional recipe I posted online will be re-written and re-posted, incorporating any changes I made as I went along (fewer than I anticipated).
If it turns out as well I expect, the next project is making ordinary bacon which, as you can see, this meat would be fine for, being meaty with thin layers of fat.