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:
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:
Lovely, rich dish.