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Lou & Lucy’s Leftovers

For those devoted readers who hang on my every word, here’s the promised update on the making of guanciale (unsmoked, cured pork jowl, for you English majors).

Back in the summer I bought an organic pork jowl that weighed about 3 pounds.

I cured it in the fridge with salt, sugar and black pepper for three weeks. Then rinsed it off, patted it dry and back it went into the fridge on a rack for another three weeks.

That’s where I left you faithful readers, suspended in time in the fridge with the pork jowl, which was slowing firming up.

Well, I can now report that the process was a success.

I sliced the jowl into ¼-inch thick slices, about 1½-inches wide by 3-inches long. Then I froze them.

I have used the slices in soups, stews and bean dishes, usually by rendering the fat out, which added a porky flavor to whatever I was cooking.

I even gave some to a neighbor who was interested in the whole pork jowl thing and received a nice bottle of wine in return.

So, if you’re looking for a way to add depth of flavor to your cooking, just buy the next pork jowl you come across.

And telling people you make your own guanciale adds a certain cachet to one’s cooking resume.

Some people even look at me like I know what I’m talking about. Now that’s scary.

— Lou

You know what’s scary? Looking at 3 pounds of pork jowl in the fridge for 3 months. I think I will stick to bacon or salt pork for my “porky flavoring.”

— Lucy

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