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Browned Lamb Pancetta

By nature, I am a person who diversifies to lessen my risk, so when I had a lamb belly to make lamb bacon, I did not want to place all of my eggs in one basket. Especially since the lamb bacon basket had no recipe and only a few online mentions. I thought of simply braising and crisping the lamb belly for dinner, but then I figured that since making pancetta was my second charcuterie project after bacon, that lamb pancetta should follow lamb bacon.

Lamb Pancetta

Based on recipe for Pancetta in Charcuterie

Cure

  • 70 grams kosher salt
  • 70 grams sugar
  • 1 tsp. pink salt
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp. tellicherry peppercorns
  • 2 tbsp. dried rosemary
  • 2 tbsp. fennel seeds
  • 2 tbsp. coriander
  • Hanging Spices

  • 2 tbsp. tellicherry peppercorns
  • 2 tbsp. dried rosemary
  • 2 tbsp. fennel seeds
  • 2 tbsp. coriander
  • Lamb Belly in Pancetta Cure

    For 2 1/2 pounds of lamb belly, I used the same cure as the lamb bacon, which was two parts salt to one part sugar (volume), but added a tsp. of pink salt. After I dredged the belly in the cure, I shook off the excess and put the belly in the bag.

    Like regular pork pancetta, my lamb pancetta also features garlic and black pepper. Then, in place of the juniper and thyme that would go into pancetta, I added 2 tsp. each of dried rosemary, coriander, and fennel. For the cure, I ground these finely and added them to the bag.

    Spice Mixture (Coriander, Fennel, Dried Rosemary, and Black Pepper)

    After four days, I rinsed the belly and dried it thoroughly. I then added, across the meat side of the belly, the same amount of the spice mixture, but this time, I used a mortar and pestle instead of a spice grinder.

    Cured Belly with More Spices

    Next, I rolled the belly in the same way as I did with Pancetta. Since the lamb belly is much thinner than pork belly, the roll was also much smaller.

    Rolled Lamb Belly ready for hanging

    After ten days the belly reached 70% of its original weight and was done drying. I did not know what to expect since I had never seen an example nor heard of anyone doing this. When I sliced through the roll, I was pleasantly surprised. It looked like I had hoped and even while the roll was uncooked, I smelled a ton of coriander, fennel, and rosemary.

    Lamb Pancetta: Lots of beautiful fat swirls

    Finally, after cooking up the lamb pancetta, I was really pleased. Like the lamb bacon, the lamb and salt are still very prominent, but the spice mixture makes a great and very interested finish.

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