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Making Guanciale at Home

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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!

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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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!!!

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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

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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)

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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.

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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"

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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

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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

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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"

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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

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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.

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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

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