Friday, 15 April 2011


Guanci what? ....

..... Let me explain. I got a call from Cathy H-R yesterday and she advised that the half pig that we had ordered would be available for collection this evening. At half past five I picked up the cheque book and drove over to pick up the carcass. Cathy had slaughtered a couple of pigs and most of her customers are only really interested in the prime cuts. As a result, for my £70, I left with the half of the largest pig plus both heads and all of the trotters.

Now, what do I do with two pigs heads? I have previously made brawn, but on this occasion I had something more unusual planned; Guanciale. Guanciale is an Italian dish and is basically cured pig's cheeks. I mixed up a batch of dry cure and prepared the cheeks by removing the jaw bones. I also had a piece of belly pork spare so that got de-boned and cured to provide either pancetta or a few rashers of streaky.

Once the meat has been prepped it was well rubbed with the dry cure and stacked in a plastic box in the fridge. It will be rubbed with cure every day for the next week before being washed and air dried. It will be a month in the case of the Guanciale but the pancetta will only be hung for a week or so before being smoked and eaten.

The Guanciale is likely to be cut in to lardons so realistically the belly pork is most likely not to attain it's Italian pancetta aspirations and remain as a definitely very English streaky bacon.

As for the rest of the head, TP has taken the ears, rubbed them with olive oil and has baked them in a low oven as a treat for T&M and 30% is roasting the rest of the heads and I'm guessing that T&M are in line for those cuts too.

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