It is a specialty of central Italy and a staple product. The strong and unique flavor that Italians love to create in their cuisine is because pigs have well-developed muscles in their cheeks.
Cut Guanciale like you would any other type of ham. Start by cutting a cross-section of the guanciale.
The guanciale will be cut into pieces with a knife that is parallel to the length of the ham.
Guanciale can be cut into strips or cubes, depending on the requirements of the dish. If you are interested in learning how to cut Guanciale, you have come to the right place.
The best way to cut the meat for maximum flavor is outlined in this article, as well as how to cure the meat at home.
How Do You Remove Pork Jowls?
- The right tools are needed before you begin slicing and dicing.
- If you want to cook the meat yourself, you should use a chef’s knife to cut the meat from the bones.
- Place the animal’s head upside down on your chopping board with the chin facing upwards, based on removing the jowls from a whole or half head.
- The middle of the jowl area is where you want to cut down.
- The jawline is revealed by peeling back the meat. Remove the meat from the head by cutting along the jawline.
- Remove as much meat as possible from the bone with your knife. There is a yellowish-gray lump of tissue known as the thrill nodes.
- To remove them completely, trim around them since they may foul the meat and not taste good.
- If you cut further along the jawline, be careful not to come into contact with the teeth; they are strong and could ruin your knife.
- Once the under part of the cheek has been cut away, turn the head over to begin cutting the ear. The pig’s ear is about one centimeter away from your knife.
- You can begin to cut from the ear to the corner of the mouth.
- Again, try to remove as much meat as possible without cutting it too much.
- The cheek can be pulled away once it’s complete.
- Repeat the same steps to cut the other cheek.
Do You Cut the Skin Off Guanciale?
It’s better to have the skin removed when you’re ready to eat.
What time should the skin be removed? Some people remove it before the curing process while others do not.
Remove the Skin Before Curing
It is possible for the seasoning to penetrate the fat and meat more quickly. The skin of Guanciale becomes very hard to remove once cooked, making it more difficult to remove.
Remove the Skin After Curing
The traditional way of thinking is to leave the skin on during the curing process to retain its flavor, fat, and elasticity.
The curing process will take longer if this is correct. The stronger the flavor becomes, the longer the meat is left to dry.
How to Cure Pork Jowls?
- Kosher salt
- White sugar
- Crushed garlic
- Crushed black peppercorns
- Fresh thyme or Fennel
Note: You want the meat to have lost at least 30% of the water content at the end of the drying process. It is important to weigh your meat pieces so that you can see how dry it is.
- Put all your ingredients into a bag and put the meat inside.
- Rub and massage the ingredients into the meat after shaking the bag well.
- It should be in the fridge for between four and seven days.
- Rub the seasoning into the meat and turn it into a bag.
- A brine will be created by releasing liquid on the cheeks.
- It should become stiff by the fourth day, depending on the thickness.
- Pat dry the meat before removing it from the bag To hang a butcher’s hook or string from a cheek, create a hole around an inch from the edge.
- It will take two to six weeks for you to be in a cool place.
- The stronger the flavor is the longer you leave it to dry.
- You can keep an eye on how well the drying process is going by weighing your jowl each week.
- If it dries too quickly on the outside, you may need to pause the process for a while and put a bowl of heavily salted water under it to slow it down.
Best Way to Cut Guanciale for Italian Cuisine
This cut of pork is made up of strips of meat between layers of fat. It is important to cut it the right way to get as much flavor as possible.
If you want to eat it raw, you can slice it thinly or cut it into cubes.
It is possible to end up with cube pieces with fat only or meat only because it is such a lump of fatty meat when cut into cubes.
If you want to make pasta amatriciana, pasta alla Gracia, or carbonara, you need to cut your meat into strips.
The best of both worlds will be available in this combination. Cut a slice from the larger piece of guanciale, approximately half a centimeter thick.
To remove the skin from the strip, slice it. It’s possible to add flavor to your soups and stocks with the skin.
The slices should be cut into one-centimeter-wide strips. Each strip needs to have fat and meat on it. The strips may appear large at first but will shrink in size after being cooked.
An intense sweet-savory cut of meat is created by the strong muscles developed in the pig’s neck. Guanciale is used as a critical ingredient in traditional Italian pasta dishes.
The skin becomes hard and dry after being cooked. It would be better to remove the skin before cooking.
Keeping the skin on prolongs the curing process if you are curing it yourself. The more cured it is, the more delicious it becomes.
Hopefully, this article will help you figure out how to make a delicious Italian dish. Buon appetito!