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Unread 03-14-2013, 05:40 PM   #14
is one Smokin' Farker

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Join Date: 12-14-12
Location: Sydney NSW
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Originally Posted by Big slick View Post

Please do a tutorial on this!!! That sounds awesome!

I was requested to prepare a tutorial on cooking mussels using homemade pancetta by one of the Brethren, Big slick so here it is.
Firstly, I dry cure my pancetta in a fridge for 8-10 days. I then hang it for 3 to 4 weeks in my wine cellar that has a constant temperature of around 14C (57F), humidity usually over 65% and has a 24 hour fan running. I make flat pancetta. Once ready I vacuum pack small quantities, around 110g (1/4lb), keep some in the fridge and freeze the balance.
In Sydney we can buy a range of black mussels (mytilus galloprovincialis). The most convenient are packed in 1kg (2.2lb) packs that are cleaned and debearded and packed live and have a shelf life of about 10 days. They are ready for the pot. Makes for one of the simplest meals.

Ingredients (for light meal for four persons)
2kg (4.4lb) cleaned and debearded live mussels
2 Tablespoons olive oil
110g (1/4lb) pancetta, cut into small lardons
2 small onions, chopped finely
2 or more chillies to taste, chopped finely
2 or more cloves of garlic to taste, crushed
1 Tablespoon Italian herb mix (equal quantities of dried oregano, basil, rosemary, thyme & sage)
375mls (1/2 bottle) white wine
450ml (1lb) tin of crushed tomatoes

1. Lightly brown pancetta in olive oil. Notice the release of fat that helps flavour the whole dish

2. Add onions, chillies and crushed garlic, cook until well softened

3. Add Italian herb mix and cook for a further minute or so
4. Deglaze the pot with the wine and add crushed tomatoes. Simmer for around 5 minutes to integrate all the flavours

5. Rinse mussels in fresh water (our are very salty & need the rinse). Drain.

(in the sink)

(in colander draining)

6. Bring pot to rapid boil and add drained mussels. Stir so base is well mixed with the mussels and put on lid
7. After 2 minutes remove lid and stir and replace lid.
8. After another 2 minutes the mussels are probably opening. When a majority are open give final stir and bring to table

9. Serve in big bowl with a good sourdough bread stick (any bread of choice) and a glass of wine (or two)

(My dinner)
I told you it was dead easy. Hard to fail. Also great as a starter at a dinner party. Complete steps 1 to 4 above before guests arrive. When you want to serve it only take 5 or 6 minutes maximum!
When you stop horsing around it is time to fire up the BBQ & Smoker
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