Ventrèche is made from the part of the pork belly where the muscles are separated by strips of fat.
Ventrèche has both fat and meat, like streaky bacon or American bacon. The meat is rolled up and cured. The pieces can be of varying sizes.
Ventrèche is used in South-Western French regional cooking.
There are two types of Ventrèche, that are cured in two different ways.
Salted VentrècheThis is the most common. It is salted for 10 days, then washed. Then it is seasoned with crushed pepper, and let dry 1 to 4 weeks. It is very close to being a French version of the Italian "pancetta." It can be used as pancetta, to cook into a dish, or to bard with.
Smoked VentrècheThis is not salted. It is made from pork belly after the pork belly has been smoked. If smoked is intended in a recipe, the recipe will call for "ventrèche fumée."
Ventrèche should be considered raw and in need of cooking.
For Salted Ventrèche, unsmoked bacon, salt pork or pancetta. For Smoked Ventrèche, a smoky, streaky bacon.
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