Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

diner

Making Guanciale at Home

Recommended Posts

James - I used the Mario Batali recipe and it is really worth doing. One word of caution - I used too fine a salt and the end product was a little too salty. This can be fixed, I think, by quickly immersing the Guanciale in boiling water but I think the best thing is not to let it get too salty in the first place. I'd recommend using a larger flake salt.

You'll really enjoy the guanciale!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have scored some hog jowl and want to try my hand at Guanciale; I plan to using the Babbo recipe. I do have one question: do I remove the skin first before salting? I had good luck with my first Pancetta and I removed the skin from it.

Any help, please.

Don

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have scored some hog jowl and want to try my hand at Guanciale; I plan to using the Babbo recipe.  I do have one question: do I remove the skin first before salting?  I had good luck with my first Pancetta and I removed the skin from it.

Any help, please.

Don

Try this recipe, I think it is better...Len polis

Bud

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bud:

Thanks for the recipe; it is more complete in the instructions than the Babbo recipe. it also doesn't address whether or not top remove the skin from the jowl. Both recipes address removing the glands. this recipe refers to them as "tiny bubbles". Is it a problem seeing them all and really important to remove them all?

Don

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Bud:

Thanks for the recipe; it is more complete in the instructions than the Babbo recipe.  it also doesn't address whether or not top remove the skin from the jowl.  Both recipes address removing the glands.  this recipe refers to them as "tiny bubbles".  Is it a problem seeing them all and really important to remove them all?

Don

I left it on. The Glands on the ones I did had a "greyish" tinge to them, and were easy to spot. I doubt if they would affect the taste after all the curing ,spices etc.

Bud

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don - I make my Guanciale with the skin on and it works great. I remove it as and when I use the Guanciale (i.e. piece by piece). However looking at the Len Poli recipe more closely you can see that his doesn't have the skin on in the photos. I don't think it will hurt either way.

I would definitely try to remove all glands - they are much easier to spot than you might think as they do look different from the main meat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gwan - cha - lay.

It just means cheek in Italian.

I haven't tried Len's recipe yet but it looks good and he certainly knows his stuff. I normally use Mario's - it is very simple indeed and produces great results. The only thing I noticed was that it was pretty salty.

In Len's instructions he suggests soaking the cheeks for 20 minutes after curing and before drying. I intend doing that with the two jowls I've made to Mario's recipe that are currently sitting in the fridge.

Here is a picture of them in their vacuum bag -

gallery_14741_5054_1486605.jpg

Can't wait!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gwan - cha - lay.

Thanks! I will pick up my pork belly and jowl today. I will make my second batch of Pancetta with the belly (I have become addicted to the stuff) and my first Guanciale with the jowl. Yours looks great and I'm sure it will turn out great.

D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used Mario's recipe, then went into the shop here where Mario's Dad makes fabulous guanciale and asked him why his was better than mine. Without even taking a breath he said "juniper." I haven't tried it yet, but evidently the wild and exciting flavor comes from some ground juniper berries in the rub.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Abra - Thanks for the tip on the juniper. I envy you being so close to the source. I am wondering if I can open my bag and add some. Think I'll try it.

Did you find the Mario recipe a bit salty?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don - I am using the one from the Babbo cookbook and it looks the same as what you posted. I guess Father and son use a different recipe! I think that the juniper would probably be a nice addition so I am going to try it.

As for what I do about the hot summer - that's really not a problem here in London, tragically! But I do the same as you and cure and dry everthing in the fridge at the moment. I get good results so that doesn't seem to be a problem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's it, father and son differ. And truth to tell, Dad's guanciale is awe inspiring. I wouldn't hestitate to add it a bit later.

Even though it's seldom hot here in the summer, I only do charcuterie in the cooler months, and then I hang it in a little chamber in my garage. You can see it here.


Edited by Abra (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

guanciale and pancetta can be dried in a regular fridge without ill effects. I did a head to head of a pancetta cured in my chamber at 55/65% rh and my fridge, and they were basically the same.

The fridge one comes out a little mummified, but wrap it in a damp paper towel and put in a ziplock bag for a few days, and it'll be great.

I imagine this is b/c they are relatively thin pieces of meat, and overdrying isn't a problem given the fat content.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm working up a recipe for a 21 day guanciale cure. It is equal parts salt and sugar-3 pounds of each 6 ounces of pink salt. To all you pink salt experts out there, does that seem like too much pink salt?

Thanks


You shouldn't eat grouse and woodcock, venison, a quail and dove pate, abalone and oysters, caviar, calf sweetbreads, kidneys, liver, and ducks all during the same week with several cases of wine. That's a health tip.

Jim Harrison from "Off to the Side"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm working up a recipe for a 21 day guanciale cure.  It is equal parts salt and sugar-3 pounds of each 6 ounces of pink salt.  To all you pink salt experts out there, does that seem like too much pink salt?

Thanks

The standard dose is 1tsp (6grams) per 5 pounds (2250g) of meat...And for the rest of the cure. I would not use more salt than 4 to 5% of the weight of the meat..The sugar would be at 50% of the salt.

Bud

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
even 4-5% salt sounds high to me. I normally use about 3.5-4%.

Yea, you're right...I just ate some bacon that I just finished , and it was at 4%.and was a bit high. I was using 3% and it was not enough, so I changed to 4%, and it was to much...guess 3 1/2% is for next time...

I guess the adage" the more we know , the less we know", applies to me...LOL!

Think I will cut the lardo we talked about the other day with a bit of water.It was gonna be 9%

Bud

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm working up a recipe for a 21 day guanciale cure.  It is equal parts salt and sugar-3 pounds of each 6 ounces of pink salt.  To all you pink salt experts out there, does that seem like too much pink salt?

Thanks

The standard dose is 1tsp (6grams) per 5 pounds (2250g) of meat...And for the rest of the cure. I would not use more salt than 4 to 5% of the weight of the meat..The sugar would be at 50% of the salt.

Bud

Thanks for the reply. So if you do it that way, is your total cure weight based on the total weight of the meat to be cured? If so, and if you don't mind saying, what is the ratio that you use?


You shouldn't eat grouse and woodcock, venison, a quail and dove pate, abalone and oysters, caviar, calf sweetbreads, kidneys, liver, and ducks all during the same week with several cases of wine. That's a health tip.

Jim Harrison from "Off to the Side"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm working up a recipe for a 21 day guanciale cure.  It is equal parts salt and sugar-3 pounds of each 6 ounces of pink salt.  To all you pink salt experts out there, does that seem like too much pink salt?

Thanks

The standard dose is 1tsp (6grams) per 5 pounds (2250g) of meat...And for the rest of the cure. I would not use more salt than 4 to 5% of the weight of the meat..The sugar would be at 50% of the salt.

Bud

Thanks for the reply. So if you do it that way, is your total cure weight based on the total weight of the meat to be cured? If so, and if you don't mind saying, what is the ratio that you use?

Yes the %;s are the amount of residual salt in the meat (salt % is of the total weight of the meat) Scale the pink salt the same way. I try and cure in bags and add the % of cure that I want (as per upthread comment3.5% looks good) and let it sit in fridge till all of it is absorbed.

If you are brining that is a different process to calculate.

Good luck!

Bud

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just throwing my two cents out there.

I prefer to cure guanciale without the skin for two reasons. It's going to come off anyway, and jowls usually come off of the kill line, i.e. slightly messy. Don't get me wrong, the pig is killed, scalded, scraped, then the head pops off, but it hasn't been as cleaned as the rest of the body. It's also easier to not have it so an unexperienced garde manger cook doesn't leave it on by accident as a guest tries to chew through the shoe leather skin.

The guanciale recipe from Babbo is one recipe I haven't converted fully to metric. I have switched out the sugar for dark muscovado sugar. In the original version, the heirloom jowls (tamm) are full of an unctuous sweetness. In the dark muscovado version, the sweetness is paried with a little bitter bite. I also cure the jowls much longer than the Babbo recipe suggests. I think it calls for 21 days, but depending on the size, I will let it go for two to three months. In such a case, I er on the side of adding sel rose at the 6 gram to every 2200 g of meat ratio.

I think the juniper would be a great touch. I haven't tried Len's recipe, but it looked good. Not as simple for a seasoning meat for sauces, but it sounds great for a charcuterie plate. I like to add szechuan peppercorns to my pancetta instead of black peppercorns...figured I would throw that one out there, too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can someone point me to the basic guanciale recipe? I thought it was in CHARCUTERIE but it's not, perhaps it's in a Batali book?

I tried our search engine but couldn't get specific enough.

My neighbor just slaughtered two pigs and I have two cheeks waiting for a cure.

thanks, Rob


My problem lies in reconciling my gross habits with my net income.

- Errol Flynn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Similar Content

    • By haresfur
      I found this article about arancino/arancina really interesting
       

    • By Glen
      Looking to learn and ask questions about home curing meats.  I have an 11 lb batch of genoa salami going and it is my first batch.  Worried about the PH level not dropping as needed.  Need some advice.   I followed the Marianski recipe exactly.  I have a pH meter and the starting point was 6.15pH which I thought was unusually high.  2.5 months in, I am about 73% of starting weight yet my pH is only 5.88pH.  My curing chamber is consistently at 57deg. F. /80% humidity.  My pH tester seems calibrated properly using the calibration solutions.  I am using the meat probe adapter and just sticking it in the salami until the tip is submerged etc...Thanks in advance for any suggestions or reassurances. 
       
      Glen

    • By jennyandthejets
      I'll be in Naples for a few days next month and I wanted to try something traditional, and my friend recommended trying parmigiana. She said she loved it, but the problem is that she ate it at her Italian friend's house, and I won't be able to have that exact parmigiana. So, I did some research online and found a few restaurants that have good ratings and are serving allegedly great eggplant casserole. This place is 4 stars rated, but people seem not to agree whether the parmigiana is good or not.... On the other hand, this place has a great rating, appears when searching for the parmigiana, but nobody seems to write about it in their reviews. Finally, this one is said to have the best parmigiana in Naples (or in the world, for that matter), and I wanted to know if anyone had the so-called world's best?
      I would really appreciate if you could help me make the decision. Looking forward to your advice!

    • By liuzhou
      It is possibly not well-known that China has some wonderful hams, up there with the best that Spain can offer. This lack of wide -knowledge, at least in the USA, is mainly down to regulations forbidding their importation. However, for travellers to China and those in  places with less restrictive policies, here are some of the best.
       
      This article from the WSJ is a good introduction to one of the best - Xuanwei Ham 宣威火腿  (xuān wēi huǒ tuǐ) from Yunnan province.
      This Ingredient Makes Everything Better
      I can usually obtain Xuanwei ham here around the Chinese New Year/Spring Festival, but I also have a good friend who lives in Yunnan who sends me regular supplies. The article compares it very favourably with jamon iberico, a sentiment with which I heartily agree.



      Xuanwei Ham
       

      Xuanwei Ham
       
      more coming soon.
       
       
    • By Daily Gullet Staff
      by Chris Amirault

      Anyone who wants to write about food would do well to stay away from similes and metaphors, because if you're not careful, expressions like 'light as a feather' make their way into your sentences and then where are you?

      - Nora Ephron

      I attended a training last fall at which we were asked to share an object representing something important about mentoring, our focus for the week. I suspect that few in the workshop had difficulty coming up with their tape measures, baby photos, and flower pots, but I usually find this sort of assignment challenging, preferring simple denotations to forced connotations.

      On the drive home, I rolled down the windows, sensing that the air was turning slightly crisp and cool. I savored that harbinger of autumn in New England, when my thoughts turn to braises, stews and charcuterie. After a summer of keeping the oven off in my non-air-conditioned kitchen, I dreamed of daubes, considered new curries, and generally jonesed for the promise of meat to come.

      And then I realized that I had a perfect metaphor for mentoring: my 5 lb. vertical sausage stuffer from Grizzly Industrial, Inc. The next day, I lugged the apparatus to the training, hiding it behind a door for fear of ridicule. When my turn arrived, I hauled it out and clunked it down dramatically on the center table. "Good mentoring is like a sausage stuffer," I said, "for at least ten reasons:

      + + +

      That's the article as I started writing it. But over time, Nora's words came to haunt me. The whole shtick began to smell a bit fishy, and I began to fear that, like many tropes, this metaphor turned attention away from a trickier, worrisome truth hiding in plain view.

      But unlike many tropes, the worrisome truth I was hiding is in the object, and not the subject, of the metaphor. That is, the metaphor wasn't really about my relationship to mentoring. It was really about my relationship to sausage.

      Imagine the scene: I whip out my sausage maker and give ten reasons why my metaphor is bigger and better than everyone else's. (I did mention that I was the only man among three dozen women in that training, didn't I?) Laugh if you want, but one's sausage is important to many a man. A quick perusal of this topic reveals that I'm not alone. (You did notice the gender breakdown in that topic, didn't you?)

      Last weekend, while in the unfinished basement of a chef buddy, talk turned to our sausages, and before long we four charcuterie nuts were looking at our feet and commiserating about our failures. We shared a bond: our sausages had the better of us, and we knew it. Pathetic though it is, are you surprised that I felt a deep sense of relief, even of control, when I walked through my ten reasons? My metaphor afforded me a rare opportunity to feel superior to the process of sausage-making, and believe me, that doesn't happen often.

      My name is Chris A., and I have sausage anxiety.

      Read that list up there about my sausage maker, the instrument that I describe with distanced assurance. It's a ruse, I tell you. No matter how often I try to buck up, no matter how definitive a recipe, no matter how wonderful a pork butt or a lamb shoulder, when it comes to making sausages, I go limp with worry.

      Can you blame me? Look at all the places you can screw up, where your sausage can fail you utterly and leave you in tears.

      You grab some wonderful meat, hold it in your hands, appreciate its glory. Chill. You grind it, add some fat, and sprinkle some seasoning, whatever the flesh requires. Chill again. Slow down, contemplate the moon or something. You paddle that meat to bind it, melding flavor and texture seamlessly. Chill some more. What's your hurry? Toss a bit into a skillet, ask: are we ready? and adjust as needed. Stuff away. Then relax. If you can.

      I can't. You need to keep things cool to take care of your sausage, and it's challenging to stay cool when I'm all a-flutter about the prospect of a culminating, perfect, harmonious bind. If you read the books and you watch the shows, everyone acts just about as cool as a cucumber. But that's not real life with my sausage.

      It's a frenzy, I tell you. I know I should chill and relax, but I get all hot and bothered, start hurrying things along, unable to let the meat chill sufficiently, to take things slowly. Hell, I'm sweating now just thinking about it.

      I have to admit that I don't have this sausage problem when I'm alone in the house, have a couple of hours to kill, and know I won't be disturbed. I just settle in, take it nice and slow, not a care in the world, and everything comes out fine. But with someone else around, forget about it.

      Despite this mishegas, my wife is as supportive as she can be. She humors me patiently about these things, gently chiding, "Slow down! The house isn't on fire. It's just your sausage." Though I know she loves me despite my foibles, that sort of talk just adds fuel to that fire -- I mean, she can speak so glibly because it's not her sausage we're worrying about.

      Even if I am I able to relax, the prospect of sudden, precipitous sausage humiliation comes crashing down upon me. Think of it. All seems to be going so well -- a little too well. I'm keeping things cool, making sure that I'm taking it easy, following the plan step-by-step, trusting my instincts. I smile. I get cocky.

      And then, the frying pan hits the fire, and within moments I'm hanging my head: instead of forming a perfect bind, my sausage breaks and I break down. I want a firm, solid mass, and I'm watching a crumbly, limp link ooze liquid with embarrassing rapidity.

      Given my gender, in the past I've tried to subdue sausage anxiety with predictable contrivances: machines, science, and technique. If there's a tool or a book useful for perfecting my sausage, I've bought or coveted it. I calculate ratios of meat, salt, cure, sugar, and seasonings past the decimal; I measure out ingredients to the gram on digital scales; I poke instant-read thermometers into piles of seasoned meat; I take the grinder blade to my local knife sharpener to get the perfect edge. (We've already covered the stuffer above, of course.) I've got a full supply of dextrose, Bactoferm, and DQ curing salts numbers 1 and 2. The broken binding of my copy of Michael Ruhlman's Charcuterie has xeroxes and print-outs from eight other sources, and the pages are filled with crossed-out and recalculated recipes.

      It's the sort of thing that I used to do when I was younger: arm myself with all things known to mankind and blast ahead. It hasn't helped. I've learned the hard way that my hysterical masculine attempt to master all knowledge and technology has led, simply, to more panic and collapse.

      There is, I think, hope. I'm older, and my approach to my sausage has matured. I'm in less of a hurry, I roll with the challenges, and when the house is on fire, I just find a hydrant for my hose.

      If things collapse, well, I try to take the long view, recall the successes of my youth, and keep my head up. I mean, it's just my sausage.

      * * *

      Chris Amirault (aka, well, chrisamirault) is Director of Operations, eG Forums. He also runs a preschool and teaches in Providence, RI.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...