Monday, November 8, 2010

Sausage Debauchery's Pancetta

Photo Copyright Scott of the Sausage Debauchery


Scott at the Sausage Debauchery made and compared his pancetta made from Mangalitsa bellies produce by Mosefund Farm (a live-pig customer of mine).

If you read this blog, particularly if you make your own Bauchspeck, pancetta, bacon, etc. you may enjoy his post on the pancetta.

Looking at his photo, there's one flaw I see. See if you can spot it before reading forward. Look down for more info.
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That top belly shouldn't have that crease in it on the skin side. That's the fault of the processor (Swiss Meat & Sausage Company, of Swiss Missouri).The reason is that after getting turned into speck, the skin gets cut away. When there are creases in the skin, there's small but still irritating decrease in yield. It is one of the issues we're working on fixing.

3 comments:

dave said...

Do you know what causes the crease? I picked up a skin-off belly last week from Whole Foods (lamentably, the best option in my area) and there was a large slit (1" wide and deep at its largest point) running down the length of the belly.

Heath said...

Dave: I don't know. They might have done it when they skinned the pig.

It is an economic tradeoff: their pork is so cheap, it doesn't pay to spend more on labor to get a higher yield. Whatever it would cost to do things correctly, they can't get it back from the customer, so they don't bother.

Our situation is different - we have to give our customers high-quality cuts with yields as high as possible, so we spend a lot more effort to cut the pigs properly. Hence I'm bothered about a crease. If there was a slash, I'd be talking to the shift manager, because that's intolerable.

Finally, one reason to leave the skin on is that after you make the bacon, it is easier to get the skin off than when it is green. The right time to take the skin off is after the bacon is made, not before.

dave said...

Yeah, I figured it was done when skinning. I'm curious if it's just a hack job or if the processors were trimming out some irregularity. The meat guys at the WF near me don't actually do any processing of bellies themselves. They come in already skinned in cryovac. I'd much prefer skin-on, both because I can take the time to do a good job skinning it and I have other things I like to use the skin for. It sure would be nice if Mangalitsa was available in the Santa Barbara area...