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kosher substitute for Pancetta?

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  • deejw Jan 9, 2008 03:53 PM
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Many great recipes call for the use of pancetta - which is a kind of bacon. It gives the food a smokey/salty flavor plus fat. I can't think of an ingredient to subsitute. Any thoughts?

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  1. For milchig meals, try morningstar farms bac'n strips. You can also try a liquid smoke.

    1. It's not the same as Pancetta but if you want a really good regular bacon substitute try Aaron's Beef Fry.

      5 Replies
      1. re: chuck

        I've used stuff like this too. Usually get mine cured by the butcher in Brooklyn. I've never had bacon (or pancetta) so don't know how great a sub it actually is, but it seems fine to me.

        1. re: doc_k55

          In Chicago Romanian cures their own Beef Fry as well - it is excellent! Aarons beef Fry also works in a pinch

          1. re: weinstein5

            Bresaola ("duck prosciuto") could theoretically be made kosher, though no one does that I know of. I've been tempted to try to cure my own. If I do, I'll post to this thread.

            1. re: aivri

              Bresaola is not duck prosciutto. It is air-cured beef.

              There is an Italian Jewish tradition of making goose prosciutto and I'm sure I've seen a recipe for it somewhere (Machlin or Goldstein's books, maybe?) but it's a pretty massive undertaking. Duck prosciutto is somewhat routinely made in France and is available in the States from D'Artagnan but I have no idea if there is a kosher version.

              1. re: rockycat

                You might try the smoked Aaron's dark meat turkey products (leg and thigh are available sometimes).

      2. thanks, all for your suggestions. It sounds like the Aaron's beef fry would be closest (for fleishig dishes)as fat is an important component.

        1. Kosher Duck slab bacon cut into small cubes. Should come close. Not sure where to get it but I believe it exists. Talk to your butcher.

          1. keep in mind that as long as you are using the "pancetta" in a recipe, the fat content can be easily substituted by any fat of your choice. As can the salt factor. I think you need to concentrate on the overall flavor profile. My choice "raw" would be rubashkin's turkey pastrami, sliced paper thin. Have it sliced thicker for cooking applications, and if you can throw it on a grill first, that will intensify the smokiness.

            1. If you are looking for a pancetta substitute, few of the above suggestions will work. Pancetta is bacon that is rolled and is NOT smoked! The closest thing would be a salt cured, rolled plate (i.e., NY style pastrami cut), which you would probably need to make yourself. Bresaola would be a closer type of cure, but (whether made from beef or duck), it lacks the fat inherent in pancetta.

              1. your best bet for a kosher pancetta is beef fry. pancetta is salt cured then dried but beef fry is often lightly smoked. the real problem is in the texture of the meat itself and the consisency of the fat. bresaola would be a closer comparison to prosciutto and easier to make than the duck or goose version. duck and goose are prefered because of the fine texture and high fat content mimicking that of pork, as well duck and goose can more safely tolerate a raw or rawer consumption as they do not have the same pathogen concerns as chicken and to a lesser dergee turkey. prosciutto may at times be lightly smoked but bresaola is only dried, but again flavours vary depending on whether or not red wine is used in the cure and variations on some of the spices and herbs. I make kosher bresaola for my own use and for a few locals that have the money to pay for me to make it for them. it takes 1 1/2 to 2 months to turn a 5# +/- kosher beef trimmed and tied shoulder roast into a 3.5# prepared bresaola. it has an exquisite taste, colour and texture and fairly simple to duplicate at home if you are careful to follow the directions closely. a curing salt like morton's tenderquick is a must and patience a virtue in the preparation of any charcuterie recipe attempted or produced at home. give it a shot, it's very satisfying!

                1 Reply
                1. re: realkosherchef

                  Thanks. This was helpfully and informative.