Monday, July 26, 2010


Or maybe jowl bacon.

I bought a $3.50 pig's head the other week to try making guanciale.

There's actually quite a lot of meat in a pig's head …

… I got ~1 kg of cheeks (one was much bigger than the other, the butcher had been a little careless) and the tongue …

 … plus another pile of trimmings that I made into a stew …

 … plus what I assume was the thymus, which I was too chicken to try eating myself, so I sautéed it and gave it to the cats:

The skull was intact, so I couldn't get the brains out even if I wanted to. Which is maybe a good thing, as I'd have felt honour bound to try eating them and I'm not keen on that idea at all.

I boiled the tongue, it was delicious cold.

And I cured the cheeks in salt, curing salt, sugar, some garlic, and a few chopped herbs for a week before rubbing the smaller one in smoked paprika and chilli flakes and hanging them both up to dry.

When they've aged quite a bit more they should be guanciale, but in the mean time, I keep slicing bits off and frying them - it's the most heavenly bacon! I'm not sure they'll get the chance to become guanciale at all.

Pig's head is going to become a regular on my shopping list I think. The only problem with it is getting rid of the skull.


  1. Oh My What A Bountiful Deal for the price!

    I love cow's tongues but dont' remember eating pig's tongues before but I am sure its nice too!

    Are the ears included? dont see them... damn delish pigs ears are!

    Now, where are the shoes from Auckland?

  2. btw, did you just boil the tongue in water or stock or?

    Might want to get pig's tongue next marketing day!

  3. No, the ears are removed before the pig gets t5o the supermarket. I think they turn them into dog toys.

    The Auckland shoes need to wait for a no-tights day, and we're not quite there yet.

  4. I just boiled it in quite salty water. It was OK, but next time I'll brine it first.

  5. Woah! You are brave Bronwyn! I have a hard time cooking things that can stare back at me -__-

  6. Still in hospital being bored Maki?

    My stepmother used to have that problem with whitebait. Our whitebait are maybe 5cm long and the eyes are the size of a pinhead, but she refused to eat them because they were looking at her. You miss out on some good food like that.