I've made guanciale before, so i'm not going to go into too many details about its awesomeness. It's basically like pancetta, except different. The fat on a jowl is very different to regular fat. It has a rather odd texture to it, it almost has a "crunch" to it. It's much richer than pancetta too.
Thanks to Jimmy at Eatitatlanta blog, I found myself in possession of a jowl from my favorite pork place of all, Caw Caw Creek.
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Look at the size of this thing! Emile at Caw Caw said he thought it was from a Large Black pig, which apparently refers to the ear size, and not the physical size of the hog. Emile lets his pigs grow to be rather large before slaughter, I can only imagine the size of the head of this pig!
Look at that! I trimmed it up a little but to clean up any soft sinew and connective tissue. Not much though.
This is only the jowl portion of the pig face. Can you picture how big the rest of the pig is!?
Here is the spice mixture well combined and ready to be applied.
The jowl was well rubbed with ALL the mixture.
Given the thickness and the quantity of fat, i'll leave this to cure longer than for a pancetta, probably 20 days or so. It'll then hang for at least 30.