Dried whole muscle

Semi dried Pancetta Tesa

By Marcus Schnell on 21 November 2021
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This simple,  and wonderful pancetta tesa recipe was a recipe that i found online in volumetric form, and converted to a weight based recipe.  I did not change the original recipe at all, and cannot take any credit for it. I made this product for the first time, without the proper environment for drying it, and it still came out spectacular.  I was unsure if it should be listed as a dried meat product,  or a bacon, as technically it is both. 

Cure 1 is all i have ever used with this recipe.  With an average drying time of 3-5 weeks depending on belly thickness and drying conditions,  it is borderline on which curing salt to use. But since curing salts are not required on while muscle cures that do not have artificial anaerobic pockets,  i have always used cure 1 since the product is cooked. 

Semi dried Pancetta Tesa

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Meat typePork


  • Pork belly
  • Salt at 2.75%
  • Dark brown sugar at 1.75%
  • Cure 1 at 0.25%
  • Black pepper at 1.8%
  • Red pepper flake at 0.5%
  • Finely crushed juniper berries at 0.5%
  • Granulated garlic or garlic powder at 0.25%
  • Dried thyme at 0.25%
  • Crushed dry bay leaf at 0.15%
  • Fresh grated nutmeg at 0.15%


  1. Apply cure ingredients in a vacuum bag. Loosely seal, so that the spices can be worked around during occasional overhauling. Cure 6-8 weeks
  2. Cure for approximately 6 weeks
  3. Remove meat from cure. Do not rinse. At this point, meat is ready to dry. My first attempt with this recipe was before I ever built a chamber or had used umai drying bags. I dried this product on a food safe silicone sheet, similar to a drawer liner that was placed on a ceramic coated broiler pan full of water in our conventional fridge. Meat was rotated and flipped every 2-3 days for approximately 4 weeks. At this point i achieved 17% weight loss but had case hardening. I vacuum equalized for 6 weeks and the product was amazing
  4. Since this time, i have dried the product to 20-25% loss, in my chamber with no casing and no equalizing. Delicious sliced as a fried bacon or used in cooked dishes