Thursday, September 22, 2011
Guanciale: Phase 1
I love the women of Dandelion Spring Farm, pure and simple. Not only are they extremely friendly and grow some of the most beautiful produce, they have also bestowed upon me my first whole pig jowl.
The deeply blushed red and porcelin white lobe is sitting in the refrigerator now, coated with salt, sugar, pepper and thyme.
It will live there for nearly a week before its wrapped in cheesecloth, strung up and hung in the Missus' office. The cooler temperatures will ease it into a cured state and turn the jowl into the Italian bacon, Guanciale.
When it's ready, in about 3 to 4 weeks, it will be cut down, sliced and paired with my new cheese obsession: Harbison from The Cellars at Jasper Hill.
The newest addition to the Jasper Hill family of cheeses, this is one of the most complex cheeses I've had in a very long time. It starts out smokey, akin to a young Winnimere, then a wash of butter and cream hits, ending with a distinct mustard finish. French's Yellow Mustard to be exact.
That beginning and end makes it a perfect pairing for cured meats. The worst part about the whole thing is the month long wait I'll have to endure before I can savor these two together. I'll let you know how it all goes down when the time comes.