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Mar 30, 2007 03:41 PM

pancetta problem

I think I have gotten myself into a bit of a pickle.

I have cured a pork belly for pancetta - it looks wonderful and I am ready to roll it.

But try as I might, I just can't seem to roll it very tightly! Even with quite a bit of effort, I am still able to get my pinkie between the layers, which does not seem good (the recipe says **no air pockets**!)

So is there a special technique for doing this? The belly is pretty stiff on the thick end, and that is obviously part of the problem. Can I make up for some of the looseness by tying it tighter? I really am not sure how to proceed.


If worse comes to worst and I dry it flat instead of rolled, I figure I should reduce the drying time, but I am worried about losing the flavor longer drying/aging should impart. Any comments in this direction?

I really want to roll it...

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  1. I wouldn't worry about rolling it. My favorite butcher in Italy always dries it flat, and the pancetta is delicious. Without seeing the piece you have, I would say you could probably cut off the thicker end all together if you really want to roll it, and leave the end that you cut to dry as it is. or shave the thicker end of some fat to resemble the rest of the piece.
    There is a picture of one tied at

    2 Replies
    1. re: fayehess

      a compromise such as you suggested worked much better - and I like having samples of both flat and rolled bacon to try as well.

      thanks so much for the tip!

      Now there is nothing to do but wait, eh? (tap tap tap...)

      1. re: lisa13

        you might consider making some slits into the meat to make it more pliable..