I'm making pancetta following the recipe in Rulhman / Polcyn's "Charcuterie". I have done the curing (for 9 days, not 7) and am now hanging the pancetta in my cool damp cellar. I checked it last night after six days (it says to hang it for two weeks) and I am seeing what I imagine to be the white mold that I associate with air-dried salami. It looks and smells wonderful.
I assume this is perfectly normal for hanging moist meat in a humid environment. I'm just wondering if I should continue to hang it for the full two weeks. And then, when I finish - I imagine I would just trim away the moldy bits? "Scrub" them off? I am testing my mettle on this - if it were to be completely covered with mold in two weeks, I am not sure I would be all that happy.
Does anybody have any thoughts / pointers on this? Thanks.
Please let us know how this turns out. The Spouse has been aching to make that recipe and I'm hesitant because we live in a humid environment and don't have a basement. I'd prefer not to give food poisoning to the whole family.
My only thought is of envy. I'd love to have a cool damp cellar and to be making pancetta right now. Moving from TX back to WA soon and hoping to score a home with cool damp cellar for wine and the making of cured meats. I've been eye-ing that book. Let us know how it turns out!
I dropped Michael Ruhlman a copy of my question, to which he graciously replied advising that you oughtn't let it go mouldy. He suggested wiping it down either with brine or vinegar, then moving it to the kitchen for the rest of the hang. I did this, and washed it down again this morning before ending the hanging period - it had gone a bit mouldy again. So in the end it had about 9 days on the cure, 9 days hanging. It is delicious.
Incidentally, if I had Googled the question before I asked it, I would have found a decent source of information right here:
Photos of my efforts attached. About 1.6kg of finished product.