I’ve done guanciale many times before, so this really isn’t anyhing new. What’s IS new is the cold smoke I applied to it before putting it into the curing chamber.
You may notice the addition of sodium ascorbate to the curing mix, this sounds like some crazy chemical, but sodium ascorbate is nothing more than viatmin C. Vitamin C is used to reduce the formation of cancer causing chemicals called nitrosamines which are formed when nitrItes are cooked at high temperatures (such as frying). Since i often cook my guanciale and pancetta at higher temps, I’ve been giving this some thought.
I’m not sure how necessary this is for a dry cured product, as I would think that over the 3-4 months the guanciale or pancetta hang, the great majority or all of the nitrites in the product have already reduced to nitric oxide, meaning no nitrosamines would be formed anyhow. Since i’m not certain of my last statement, and since this is really just vitamin C, and since it doesn’t affect flavor, I decided to add it in an abundance of caution.
|Not much new, as I said. The cure mix was applied to the jowl, vacuum packed and refrigerated for about 2 weeks. |
It was then rinsed and dried.
This was a Caw Caw jowl. Always great stuff.
It was cold smoked (about 50 deg. F) over hardwood for about 24 hours and then hung in the chamber at 55 deg. F and 75-80% RH.
I use a Pro-Q Cold Smoke Generator to cold smoke.
Skin side, after smoking
|After about 4 months it was removed and eaten. It lost about 15% of its weight.|