Smelling Guanciale

Smelling Guanciale

Oh what a smell, after one week in the cure we smelled the cured cheek and the excitement was killing us, we had to taste it. What a taste, I was ready to cook, next we will be dry aging, by hanging them in the butcher for the next couple of weeks. We tried something slightly different in the cure this time adding wood chips, one to see how much of the taste would be influenced and to see how much liquid it would soak from the cure.

In this recipe we have added more fragrant herbs and spices than would be necessary, but then we are on a special journey making guaciale, we want this jowl to be extra special.


4 pork cheeks whole cleaned and trimmed
100g black peppercorns whole
40g sichuan peppercorns whol
100g garlic whole
30 bay leaves
20g thyme fresh
10g rosemary fresh
1kg salt coarse
500g sugar granulated white
5g pink salt


Toast the peppercorns.
Combine the toasted peppercorns with the herbs and garlic.
Pulse in a blender until coarse.
Combine the coarse mixture with the salt and sugar.
Rub the cure mixture all over the pork cheeks.
Allow to cure for 5-7 days depending on how thick the pillows are.
Gently remove the cure do not wash just rub off.
Place on a wire rack and allow to sit in the fridge for 24hrs until it dries out completely.
Tightly wrap the cheeks individually in cheese cloth.
Truss with butchers string.
Hang in cool place for 1 -3 weeks

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