Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Charcutepalooza Project #2 - Continued

Super Sunday-

Not a typical Super Sunday here. Last night water started coming into the basement. Typically, we don't get water coming in under the living room floor. I'm not even sure how the water could get there. It is clearly leaking in from some sort of ice dam on the roof, but the path the water took to the basement is very confusing. Luckily, there is no visible damage inside the house. After a lot of roof shoveling (some by a contractor and a lot by us), the influx of water seems to have stopped.

Usually what I like to do is take the kids to a nicer than average restaurant for dinner. Gives them a good restaurant experience, but the restaurant is close to empty because everyone else is watching the Super Bowl. I had my eye on The Epicurian this year. Maybe a little too fancy but I checked out the website and they don't have Sunday hours. So then I was thinking Wine N Diner, but this year the Steelers are in the Super Bowl. Personally, means nothing to me. I don't get football and not getting it has really freed up a lot of Sundays over the years. My brother-in-law is a huge Steelers fan so the family went to a party he arranged. It was a very nice time and I ate way too much including a very unique and addicting kind of warm dip. It had shredded chicken, melted cheese and Frank's Red Hot. It was like cheesy buffalo wing on a chip. Strangely addicting. We left pretty early to get the kids home and to bed.

Between the shoveling and the party, there was no real time to make bacon. It looks like it is back to my nocturnal chicanery.

After spending a large part of the day shoveling snow off a roof, it was time to shovel something a little more fun. I thought I'd be able to get the smoker out, but that wasn't going to happen without breaking it.

One slab of bacon, rinsed and air dried in the fridge for a day.

 Got a chimney of charcoal going.

And this is what it looks like without a flash.

Dumped the charcoal into the smoker, put on two handfuls of apple chips, got the slab in there and wen inside. WE ignored the Super Bowl and watched something we had recorded. When the show was over, Here's what I had:

Part of me wants to slice it thick and freeze it, but part of me wants to slice it a little thinner and use it all this weekend. There's something I've always wanted to make with a boatload of bacon. I'm leaning toward boatload of bacon.

The pancetta is hanging in the makeshift chamber. The humidity is holding in the low 60s. I can't seem to increase it. I think I might have to move the chamber. There is a strange shaped closet under the stairs in the basement. I might end up refurbishing that in the near future. The space definitely has potential.

Here is the pancetta before a rinse. I gave it a dusting of black pepper before hanging it up to dry. It smells really good. I didn't roll the pancetta. I did once and it came out OK. I thought it was more work than necessary. Rolling the slab makes for a beautiful presentation, but I typically dice the pancetta so the presentation value is lost.

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