How to Cure Guanciale in Six Steps

I have yet to try this, but it’s on my “to do” list!

We Are Chefs

Todd Kelly 5x7
Recipe and article by Todd Kelly, executive chef and director of food and beverage at the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza, Cincinnati
This article originally appeared in Sizzle Magazine, the American Culinary Federation’s digital quarterly for culinary students.

Guanciale is the Italian word for “cheek” and is a basic method of curing a whole muscle. Derived from the pig’s jowls, guanciale has a wonderful texture and aroma with just the right amounts of fat. I source very fresh, high-quality pig jowls, then season with a curing mixture to crust the jowls to cure for seven days. I then rinse the jowls, dry in a refrigerator overnight and let the meat hang for three weeks in a 58-degree curing room until it loses 30% of its original weight.

The process of curing meat dates back to ancient times, before the invention of refrigeration. The application of salt, sugar and seasonings preserve…

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