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The Next Charcuterie Adventure - Guanciale

Our guanciale covered in cure.
Charcuterie - it's up there at the top of my list with cheese and chocolate. I'd love to have a steady supply of the stuff (made from good, pastured pork) at the ready for a tasty snack or sandwich! Unfortunately, here in BK, well-made artisanal charcuterie is EEEKSpensive and we rarely indulge. 

And then, we made duck prosciutto. An epiphany! Finally, the pleasure of having some prociutto or bresaola on hand any time I opened the fridge was mine. It was awesome, but as soon as it was gone I realized that I had neglected to get another batch going! This week I finally found the time to try another easy home curing project and the dream lives on.

As of now, the Guanciale (pork jowl) is in the refrigerator in its bed of cure. In a few days it should be ready to hang! For those of you unfamiliar with Guanciale, it is a bacon-like cured meat made from the jowl of the pig instead of the belly. It has a richer flavor and is used in some of my favorite Italian pasta sauces - namely Carbonara and All'amatriciana. It can also be used in place of bacon. It's good stuff! The recipe I'm using is from Michael Ruhlman's book Charcuterie:

2lbs Guanciale, cleaned

½ cup kosher salt

½ cup sugar

10-15 whole black peppercorns

a bunch of  fresh thyme.

Mix cure ingredients in a plastic bag or small glass dish with an airtight cover. Add the jowl and, after rubbing both sides with the mixture, nestle the cut into the cure. Refrigerate for 4-7 days or until the jowl is stiff. Rinse and pat dry, puncture and hang for at least 3 weeks. They should be firm and dry, with a slight give. 

I'll let you know how it goes!

Did any of you try making the Duck Prosciutto? If so, I wanna hear all about it!