• Easy recipe for the young players


    1kg pork cheek (skin on)

    25g sea salt

    2.5g instacure / quikcure

    7.5g black pepper

    2.5g chilli flakes

    17.5g brown sugar

    5g fennel seed

    2 small rosemary sprigs

    6 juniper berries (or 30ml gin)

    2 bay leaves


    Rinse cheeks, mix spices / cure and massage well, vacuum seal or put into ziplock bag and remove as much air as possible.


    Place in fridge for 1 week turning every day.


    Remove, truss and hang at around 14C rH 80% until 20 - 25% weight loss is achieved.


    Enjoy with pasta or on anything you want!

    Once you put my meat in your mouth, you're going to want to swallow.

  • I have had pork cheek, but never Guanciale, I don't think. I am going to assume Guanciale would be to bacon, what pork belly is to pork cheek. i.e. just eating pork cheek does not mean you are eating guanciale? So is it normally cured, then also air dried? I am gonna guess it is in the Pancetta family, sans nitrates, for lack of a better term? I make a lot of my own bacon, so I am familiar with the curing process, just not sure why it would be dry aged? Is it to enhance flavor, some what like Dry Aging beef? I cant imagine bacon being better by Dry Aging it after curing, but if I am missing out by not air drying I need to get it together!

    "There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance — that principle is contempt prior to investigation"


  • I have had pork cheek, but never Guanciale, I don't think. I am going to assume Guanciale would be to bacon, what pork belly is to pork cheek. i.e. just eating pork cheek does not mean you are eating guanciale? So is it normally cured, then also air dried? I am gonna guess it is in the Pancetta family, sans nitrates, for lack of a better term? I make a lot of my own bacon, so I am familiar with the curing process, just not sure why it would be dry aged? Is it to enhance flavor, some what like Dry Aging beef? I cant imagine bacon being better by Dry Aging it after curing, but if I am missing out by not air drying I need to get it together!

    Guanciale is cured pork cheek yes, similar to pancetta but more delicate and with a hint of fennel... it does contain nitrates (in the quikcure)


    I've never "dry aged" my bacon but I do allow it to hang for a day or two between curing and smoking to allow the pellicle to form.

    Once you put my meat in your mouth, you're going to want to swallow.

  • it does contain nitrates (in the quikcure)

    The traditional recipe does not. In fact it's quite different to your recipe. Traditional guanciale has none of the ingredients you listed.

    Cured in rock salt for 2-3 weeks, then dusted with black and white pepper and hung to dry for a few months. While it could be eaten freshly cured, the hang period allows the flavour to further mature and the salt to balance out in all parts.

    I find it far more flavourful than pancetta, which is mild flavoured in comparison. PLB check out my post from years ago if you're interested in the traditional method.


    Masterbuilt Gravity 800 | Maximus Pizza Oven | GMG - Daniel Boone | Cyprus Grill | Big Steel Keg | Blackstone Griddle | Fire Pit | Weber Genesis |

  • As usual, my diction sucks. I meant that Pancetta has no cure #1 in it I believe, just salt for preserving. I should also just be more direct. Why would you hang & dry age the guanciale after it had been cured, that I did not understand?

    "There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance — that principle is contempt prior to investigation"


  • As usual, my diction sucks. I meant that Pancetta has no cure #1 in it I believe, just salt for preserving. I should also just be more direct. Why would you hang & dry age the guanciale after it had been cured, that I did not understand?


    The traditional recipe does not. In fact it's quite different to your recipe. Traditional guanciale has none of the ingredients you listed.

    Cured in rock salt for 2-3 weeks, then dusted with black and white pepper and hung to dry for a few months. While it could be eaten freshly cured, the hang period allows the flavour to further mature and the salt to balance out in all parts.

    I find it far more flavourful than pancetta, which is mild flavoured in comparison. PLB check out my post from years ago if you're interested in the traditional method.


    A) Our local Health Inspector expects me to not only stick to the FSANZ codes but go beyond - although she's going to question only 20% weight loss on Guanciale.

    B) I use Quikcure to ensure it is cured throughout and makes time wise a little bit shorter. I also hang to mature and achieve that correct weight loss - I have to show weekly recordings of weight loss, temp, rH and pH otherwise she will cause a massive ruckus and make me send samples off to Pathwest for pathogen testing more frequently. Yes its a bit of over reach on her behalf, but to keep the peace I go above and beyond to save the arguments and myself money.


    Sorry - haven't had coffee yet, so I'm hoping my brain has answered the questions for you.

    Once you put my meat in your mouth, you're going to want to swallow.

  • A) Our local Health Inspector expects me to not only stick to the FSANZ codes but go beyond - although she's going to question only 20% weight loss on Guanciale.

    Fair enough. Good on you for doing it at all. It's a rare cut in Oz. I'd encourage you to try it plain though.

    Masterbuilt Gravity 800 | Maximus Pizza Oven | GMG - Daniel Boone | Cyprus Grill | Big Steel Keg | Blackstone Griddle | Fire Pit | Weber Genesis |

  • I think I get it, just part of the process for making Guanciale.

    "There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance — that principle is contempt prior to investigation"


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