Tokyo Guanciale

I can’t find a whole jowl here in Tokyo so I bought some pieces of pig cheek for yakiniku; butchered very oddly with most of the fat cut off in strange patches, but the closest I can get to the real thing.  I thought I’d try some after just six days in the drying chamber – the pieces of meat are thin so they are drying fairly quickly – and although I think these need maybe another week or so, having some pecorino cheese at hand I couldn’t resist making some spaghetti alla carbonara.  I have been converted: from now I will always make such pasta with guanciale, and not pancetta.  The cure is straight from Ruhlam & Polcyn.

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