Thursday, October 22, 2009

Homemade Guanciale


We've been remiss in following up on the Guanciale we made earlier this year. We just recently cooked the last few remaining bits of it, so I figure now is a good time to revisit it.

Guanciale is a cured meat that is much like Pancetta, except that it is made with jowl instead of belly. We cured ours with a mixture of kosher salt, sugar, cracked black peppercorns and fresh thyme. This is what it looked like after about a week:


Then it was hung in the meat fridge until it was quite firm, but not too dried out  - a little over three weeks. When it was done, it came out looking like this:


We've used it in a number of dishes, but I want to highlight a couple. First, some Guanciale and Smoked Cheddar Sliders we made this summer:

Guanciale and Smoked Cheddar Sliders

And, of course, perhaps the most classic guanciale dish - Bucatini all'Amatriciana. We've been wanting to make this for a while, but we hadn't been able to find bucatini locally. We finally broke down and ordered some online.

The dish is extremely simple. We rendered down diced guanciale with some red onion and olive oil, added in some of Mario Batali's Basic Tomato Sauce, tossed it with cooked bucatini and served it with some grated Pecorino Romano:

Bucatini all'Amatriciana

Lovely, rich dish.


  1. Love the blog, it's great to see what foods people are doing locally.

    Here in San Diego I always get Bucatini at Mona Lisa in Little Italy, they've got a few different good brands of it.

    Guanciale looks great.

  2. Hi Jake - thanks for the Mona Lisa tip. We'll definitely stop by there when we run out of our current stash.

  3. whoa. looks so good. where do you guys get your meat?

    btw, i got around to trying the pliny last night and right when i opened the bottle, the smell was amazing. i also read there is a pliny the younger? will have to look for that next time

  4. Hi Sawyer - we get our pork from a number of places: Siesels, Ranch 99, Northgate Mkt. The jowl for the guanciale, however, came from Da-Le Ranch.

    Glad you enjoyed the Pliny. There is indeed a Younger. They only make a fairly small amount of it once a year. The better beer bars in SD usually get a keg of it, but it generally doesn't last more than a night.


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