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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
is called "guanciale"; say gwahn-chay-lay. It's cured hog jowls.

County fair time here in Southwest Wyoming and a hog's head can be found dumpster diving at any locker plant in Uinta County....uh....actually this hog, named Hattie, belonged to a friend's young daughter and was entered in the fair.

The head was skinned; a communication mix-up. I prefer to have the skin on or to leave all the cheek fat on if it is skinned.


Trim the cheeks, the jowls, from the head, saving the scraps and the remainder of the head for head cheese.


There's a bajillion cure mixes for face bacon. I used salt, fresh thyme and minced garlic loosely following a recipe from the outstanding book Salumi by Ruhlman and Polcyn. Rub the spice mix into the meat and then wrap the cheeks with food wrap.


Store the salted meat in the fridge for a couple days. Remove the jowls and drain off the liquid. Lightly rinse with cold water, pat dry, and then add a little more rub. Wrap in food wrap and then weigh them down to flatten them. Refrigerate for another two or three days.


Remove the brined cheeks and rinse in cold water and pat dry. Rub with white wine and then run a string loop thru each piece.


Hang in a cool dark place for 2 to 4 weeks.




more later

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uh....actually this hog, named Hattie, belonged to a friend's young daughter and was entered in the fair.
Ugh, too much information. I suppose there wasn't a writing spider in the corner of the pigpen.

Nonetheless, the guanciale looks interesting. I'd definitely try it. I hope however, that Longbow is out salmon fishing today and doesn't see this for his sake. ;-)
 

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Years ago we could buy jowls cheap,and would use them in our deer and elk salami.Once in a while I would pump with bacon brine and throw them in the smoker.There was nothing better than Hot jowls right out of the smoker!Man it was like eating candy.Your recipe looks great,would love to taste it!!:EAT:
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Years ago we could buy jowls cheap,and would use them in our deer and elk salami.Once in a while I would pump with bacon brine and throw them in the smoker.There was nothing better than Hot jowls right out of the smoker!Man it was like eating candy.Your recipe looks great,would love to taste it!!:EAT:
Pig face fat has a special flavor.

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
The guanciale is around 100 days old now




Sliced up some face bacon and made Spaghetti Carbonara. Took some pictures but lost them. I'll make the dish again and put some photos up. Here's the recipe:


Spaghetti Carbonara


Ingredients
12 to 16 oz - spaghetti
1 cup - guanciale, cubed 1/4" x 3/4" long
1 tbsp - olive oil
1 cup - Parmesan cheese, grated
2 - eggs
2 cloves - garlic minced
Black pepper to taste
2 tbsp - fresh parsley, chopped

Instructions
· Cook spaghetti in a large pot of salted water until al dente. Reserve about 1/3 cup of the pasta water.
· Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the guanciale and the garlic and sauté until the guanciale just starts to crisp; about 7 minutes.
· Add the cooked spaghetti and the reserved pasta water to the skillet. Toss with the guanciale and cook for 2 minutes.
· Meanwhile, beat the eggs with 3/4 cup of the grated cheese.
· Remove the spaghetti from the heat and pour the eggs over it. Quickly blend the spaghetti and egg mixture until the sauce "cooks", becomes creamy.
· Season with black pepper to taste, and sprinkle with the parsley and the remaining 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese.

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Man that looks incredibly awesome good.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Spaghetti Carbonara

Spaghetti Carbonara, face bacon extraordinaire:

Ingredients
12 to 16 oz - spaghetti
1 cup - guanciale, cubed 1/4" x 3/4"
1 tbsp - olive oil
1 cup - Parmesan cheese, grated
2 - eggs
2 cloves - garlic minced
Black pepper to taste
2 tbsp - fresh parsley, chopped

Instructions
· Cook spaghetti in a large pot of salted water until al dente. Reserve about 1/3 cup of the pasta water.
· Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the guanciale and the garlic and sauté until the guanciale just starts to crisp; about 7 minutes.
· Add the cooked spaghetti and the reserved pasta water to the skillet. Toss with the guanciale and cook for 2 minutes.
· Meanwhile, beat the eggs with 3/4 cup of the grated cheese.
· Remove the spaghetti from the heat and pour the eggs over it. Quickly blend the spaghetti and egg mixture until the sauce "cooks" just a little, until it becomes creamy.
· Season with black pepper to taste, and sprinkle with the parsley and the remaining 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese.

Cut the face bacon in pieces 1/4" thick by 3/4" long:


Sauté until it just starts to brown:


Cook some spaghetti and blend in the guanciale with a little pasta water. Cook for a couple of minutes:


Blend the egg/Parmesan cheese mixture in while the pasta is still hot. Stir until the sauce is creamy. Don't over cook the egg sauce.

Top off with a little grated Parmesan and some fresh parsley:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Spaghetti Amatriciana

Spaghetti Amatriciana a traditional Italian pasta sauce based on guanciale, Romano cheese, and tomatoes, with a little red pepper kick:

Ingredients
6 oz - Guanciale, cut into 1/4″ batons
1 - red chili pepper, smashed
1 - medium shallot finely minced
1/4 cup - red wine
13 oz - tomatoes, whole stewed
1 tbsp - tomato paste
1/2 tsp - salt
1 oz - Pecorino Romano, finely grated
8 oz - spaghetti

Instructions
· Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
· Over medium heat sauté the Guanciale until it is brown on one side and some fat has rendered out.
· Add the chili pepper and shallots and stir-fry until the shallots are cooked and fragrant. Be careful not to overcook the guanciale or all the fat will render out making it tough.
· Add the wine and cook until most of the alcohol has burned off.
· Add the pasta to the boiling water. Boil the pasta for 1 minute less than what the directions say.
· Add the stewed tomatoes, tomato paste and salt to the guanciale. Simmer the sauce over medium low heat until the pasta is done.
· Drain the pasta reserving some of the boiling water (the tomato can is a good place to put it).
· Blend 3/4 of the Romano into the sauce.
· Add the sauce to the pasta and toss to coat evenly, add some of the reserved pasta water if the noodles start sticking together.
· Transfer everything to a bowl and then sprinkle the remainder of the Romano cheese on top.





Lots of Romano cheese in this dish:
 
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