Author Topic: Canadian bacon and Guanciale  (Read 6082 times)

Offline mjdeez

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Canadian bacon and Guanciale
« on: March 04, 2011, 08:53:16 pm »
Been too busy with work and meat this week to post much but it's been fun (the meat part).  Good sales this week... I bought 3 briskets, a pork loin, a picnic ham, 4 turkey thighs, some salmon / tuna, and took some pork jowls out of the freezer to make some Guanciale. I also made my first sausage, but since I never keep it simple, I made bratwurst, bockwurst and breakfast sausage. My conclusion: pusherman (CRG) got me. Can't wait to make more bockwurst. But that's another thread.

So... I took the pork loin, ground about 1/4 of it to make 2lb of ground lean for dumplings, cut about 2 lb for some nice pork chops now in the freezer, and the other 4 lbs are currently curing in my fridge as Canadian bacon. I'm not a fan of the sweeter bacons, so  I decided to use Ruhlman / Polcyn's savory belly bacon recipe but added some fresh thyme. Essentially this is MTQ + garlic (mine was smoked) + peppercorns + bay leaves + the thyme. 

Guanciale (from the Italian word for cheek, guancia) -- this is from Ruhlman / Polcyn  page 47. Seems like an excessive amount of salt / cure (like 3x what i'd expect) but we'll see how it comes out. This is basically a pancetta recipe (unsmoked bacon).

Pork jowl on the left. 1/2 pork loin on the right.


A little flavor. The garlic was cold smoked.


The pork jowl. I wanted to eat this raw. I felt bad salting this, thinking there may have been a more savory way to cook this, but I'm looking on the bright side: I split this hog w/ my friend and she's got the other jowl!


Ok, so here's where we are now... curing in in the fridge. Canadian bacon on the left and guanciale on the right.


more to come, but not for a week or so.

Offline DTAggie

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Re: Canadian bacon and Guanciale
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2011, 09:02:49 pm »
go BIG or stay home!  Dang!

squirtthecat

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Re: Canadian bacon and Guanciale
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2011, 09:07:58 pm »

Very nice!

I'll be interested in how that twist on CB turns out..

Offline mjdeez

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Re: Canadian bacon and Guanciale
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2011, 09:11:43 pm »
go BIG or stay home!  Dang!
;D I try to be frugal.  But there's so much out there that I've wanted to make, so when i saw all this meat on sale I couldn't resist. Most will go in the freezer anyway.  And all this talk about turkey pastrami and my co-worker asking what would happen if you bring brisket pastrami up to 190*F... how could i NOT find out?  8)

Offline La Quinta

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Re: Canadian bacon and Guanciale
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2011, 01:16:40 am »
Mjdeez...looks great...I appreciate your mixing it up on the CB...can't wait to see/hear how it comes out. So educate me about the guanciale please? I assume it is hanged? And dried? I live in a very warm area and have always wanted to try a pancetta or guanciale...but think I'm screwed because of the heat here...true?

Offline 3rensho

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Re: Canadian bacon and Guanciale
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2011, 01:24:53 am »
You're gonna love that stuff.  When I make Guanciale I always make a big batch of bucatini all'amatriciana.  Good stick to your ribs winter food.
Somedays you're the pigeon, Somedays you're the statue.

Offline mjdeez

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Re: Canadian bacon and Guanciale
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2011, 07:00:26 am »
We don't eat too much CB in my house. I actually got it confused with pork roll when I was ordering my side of pork, that's how seldom I've eaten it my life. The farmer gave me a couple of packs of CB to try and they tasted around as sweet as I would expect looking at the recipes on this site and in books. I'm hoping it just tastes like awesome bacon, but it will be interesting (new for me) either way. I'll let you all know how it turns out.


The guanciale is new for me. I didn't ask for the jowl for my first side of pork 2 yrs ago and didn't really know that was such a desired cut until I saw some lunatic eating the meat off of a pigs face on an episode of Criminal Minds. For a 2 lb jowl, the recipe calls for 1/2 cup kosher salt, 1/3 cup sugar, 2 cloves garlic smashed, 15 peppercorns cracked, 1 bunch thyme. Mine was a 2.5 lb, so upped the qtys, plus I added bay leaves. Cure in non-reactive container in the fridge, re-distributing / flipping daily, for 4-6 days until the jowl feels stiff (not squishy). Rinse with cold water, pat dry and hang for 1 to 3 wks depending on temperature and humidity until it is completely stiff. Edit: Forgot to mention the authors say a teaspoon of Cure #1 is optional. This is a similar ratio of the MTQ substitute on susanminor.org so I just used the correct amount of that in place of the salt / sugar / cure, and then added a little extra sugar to get the ratio correct for this recipe. /edit

I've never hung food to dry so I'm not sure how cool it really needs to be. I'd guess 55-58*F is ideal, like a cave. I plan to hang in my basement and hope it stays dry enough. I may just put a fan near it and blow air across it at low speed to help the drying process, since the area in my basement is not exactly a clean place... it's my well tank closet.

bucatini all'amatriciana -- I had never heard it this, but thanks for sharing it... I will definitely be making it if the guanciale comes out ok. It's good to have another recipe for it.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2011, 08:49:30 am by mjdeez »

Offline 3rensho

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Re: Canadian bacon and Guanciale
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2011, 11:18:46 am »
Actually you need to maintain RH within a specific range when you dry meat.  If it hardens too quickly on the outside then you will end up with spoiled meat - case hardening and that can be dangerous.  Read a lot before doing.  This is not rocket science but there are norms to be followed.   bucatini all'amatriciana - just Google it.  Great stuff.
Somedays you're the pigeon, Somedays you're the statue.

Offline mjdeez

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Re: Canadian bacon and Guanciale
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2011, 06:14:30 pm »
Actually you need to maintain RH within a specific range when you dry meat.  If it hardens too quickly on the outside then you will end up with spoiled meat - case hardening and that can be dangerous.  Read a lot before doing.  This is not rocket science but there are norms to be followed.   bucatini all'amatriciana - just Google it.  Great stuff.

Thanks for the tip, I was thinking it would be more like fermented sausages but I can duplicate those conditions for at least another week in my unheated hallway with a humidifier. I'm aiming for 55F and 70 to 75%RH.


So..... the guanciale is out of the cure, rinsed, and hung to dry.  It smells awesome.

The lean side:


Hanging:


Closeup. The second string is in case the first one fails.

« Last Edit: March 09, 2011, 06:28:44 pm by mjdeez »

Offline bears fan

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Re: Canadian bacon and Guanciale
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2011, 06:39:32 pm »
Wow, you must be a bachelor because there is no way in hell my wife would go for that hanging from our ceiling. 

Offline mjdeez

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Re: Canadian bacon and Guanciale
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2011, 06:50:59 pm »
Wow, you must be a bachelor because there is no way in hell my wife would go for that hanging from our ceiling. 

ha ha, no I waited till she left for a bit and then hung it up. (Actually, it just happened this way, it wasn't deliberate.) She came back and said, "what the @#$* is that?"  Then she googled it and apparently lots of wives are surprised to find meat hanging from the ceiling.  But she is not thrilled, no.

Offline bears fan

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Re: Canadian bacon and Guanciale
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2011, 07:00:49 pm »
We got a good laugh out of that here.  My wifes response was "NO WAY" and she agrees with your wife.

Offline mjdeez

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Re: Canadian bacon and Guanciale
« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2011, 07:08:26 pm »
We got a good laugh out of that here.  My wifes response was "NO WAY" and she agrees with your wife.

Yeah the original recipe calls for 1-3 wks depending on humidity but i've also read that it can cure for 1 to 2 months. I mentioned 2 months to her and got a look. It wouldn't work anyway because as the temperatures get warmer that hallway will heat up, and I'll need to move it downstairs in the basement... a finished basement that is her mother's living quarters... (evil laugh) It will probably end up in the well tank / electrical closet in the basement.

Really what I need to do is find a cheap / free fridge and turn into a damn curing / fermentation chamber, like what ExpatCanadian has done. My wife is on board with this idea.

Offline bears fan

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Re: Canadian bacon and Guanciale
« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2011, 07:26:19 pm »
Deck the halls with boughs of..........what the heck, thats not holly! :D

Offline La Quinta

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Re: Canadian bacon and Guanciale
« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2011, 12:40:43 am »
My husband would let me do it I think...would drive the dogs crazy...HOWEVER...we can't get our home cool enough for 2 months...I am so looking forward to seeing this when it's done!!! I find the entire process of hanging the protein really interesting...I have never lived in an environment that it was possible so...keep us updated!!!