How to Make Guanciale Recipe

Indulge in the rich flavours of Chef Michael Demagistris' homemade Guanciale! Cured in salt and spice mix, cold smoked, and then left to cure for 20 days, this savoury Italian bacon is the perfect addition to any charcuterie board or pasta dish.

Ingredients

Guanciale

1 ¼ Fine sea salt

Spice mix:

1 Tsp of pink-curing salt

Seasoning of your choice

3 Cloves of garlic, minced

4 Tbsp of ground black pepper

1 Tsp of crushed rosemary

1 Tsp of dried crushed sage

Preparation

*Before the recipe, cure your guanciale for 6 days in salt and spice mix, after the 6 days, wash it off then recoat it with a fresh spice mix, proceed to cold smoke it for 1 hour then cure it for another 20 days until weight loss of 35%.*

After 20 days, remove the sealed bag from the baking dish.

Use a sharp paring knife to cut a hole in one corner of the jowl about 1 inch from the edge. Thread a length of kitchen twine through the hole and knot it where it meets the pork. Tie the ends together very tightly in order to create a long loop for hanging. Alternatively, if you have a sterilized meat hook, this can be used in place of the twine.

Weigh the meat and note the weight. If using a meat hook, note the weight of it as well.

If you have a curing space, hang the guanciale in it. This is ideally a dark space that’s 41 to 43°F (5 to 6°C). Weigh the guanciale every 7 to 10 days until it’s lost 20 to 30 percent of its weight, which could take anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks. If you don’t have a separate curing space, place the guanciale on a rack set inside a shallow pan in the refrigerator and let it cure, uncovered, until it’s lost 20 to 30 percent of its weight, which could take anywhere from 1 to 2 weeks. Turn the guanciale over every few days to ensure that all sides are exposed to air.

Once it's done, you can dig into your guanciale, enjoy!

Recipe by: Chef Michael Demagistris