What do do with Pork Jowl?

Discussion in 'Pork' started by dougmays, Feb 5, 2014.

  1. dougmays

    dougmays Limited Mod Group Lead

    So my local grocery store had Pork Jowl on sale and I dont really know much about it. Looks like fattier bacon to me. I assume they have already cured if it its smoked.

    I guess i'm wondering what people do with it? I'm going camping this weekend i was debating maybe soaking it in a jalepeno pepper marinade and have some jalepeno bacon cooked over the camp fire. But wondering what everyone else does with it.

    I didnt find anything on the search :)
  2. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I'd cure it and make Guanciale. I know lots of people smoke it and add to black eyes peas. I have smoked it and used it in navy beans. One restaurant here braises it and serves with grits and collard greens
  3. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    If it's already cured & smoked like you think, you do the same thing you always do with Belly Bacon or and other regular cured & smoked Bacon.

  4. dougmays

    dougmays Limited Mod Group Lead

    awesome thanks guys...wasn't sure if it was "just like bacon" or more tough or something else. I'm going to go back today and see if it was cured already.....i cant remember
  5. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    If it is cured and smoked "just like bacon" then like Bear and Case said, treat it just like bacon. Although I think you'll be pleasantly surprised with the taste and texture...we prefer jowl bacon to belly bacon because it has a richer, porkier taste, and also the fat has a crispier texture after the bacon cools down after frying it.

    If it is fresh jowl, then you can cure it and then air dry it (in a frig or ideally around 50-55 deg F/70% humidity) for a few weeks to few months to make guanciale. Guanciale is to pork jowl, what pancetta is to pork belly. Same thing, just not rolled into a roll. Guanciale is absolutely fantastic in pasta dishes like Bucatini All'Amatriciana....Mario Batali has a good recipe out on the web which is easy to find and make.
  6. raastros2

    raastros2 Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Boil it down with greens and corn
  7. Best way I've found to describe hog jowls that are cured/smoked is bacon meets fatback. And you can use them in every dish you use both of those in.
  8. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I vote BACON...... I have heard it is great...... I been looking for jowls for awhile.... haven't found them yet.....
  9. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    If already smoked?  I would treat it like a ham hock.

    If fresh?  My mouth is watering for some bacon?

    Good luck and good smoking.
  10. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Me, I'd try a Bear trick and see if I could try and double smoke one! In the olden days jowls were what the rich folks always had instead of bacon. Its great as a seasoning meat, and if you can find a good tomato, a JLT is awesome.

    SnorklingGirl's knowledge and abilities are so far ahead of mine, well she is pretty impressive. Guanciale must be some good stuff!

    I always buy all I can find when I can find it and freeze it. I have always wanted to dust some with Tasso seasonings. My goodness that would be some good stuff for secondary flavor enhancement.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2014
  11. dougmays

    dougmays Limited Mod Group Lead

    so i chickened out and didnt buy it but i want to try this fancy ol' Guanciale sometimes so next time i see it i'm going to ask the butcher more about it and if its what i need to make it
  12. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Ya know when someone before mention the Jowls, my very first though was the brazed side bacon that Moikel talked about. I bet that would be awesome with Jowls.
  13. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hey Doug,

    If you do decide to try making guanciale, go check out Jason Molinari's blog "Cured Meats". He has posted on guanciale (even smoked guanciale!) several times, and his recipes and process are solid. I'd personally recommend that you not use the recipe in Ruhlman and Polcyn's "Charcuterie"....way too salty IMHO, and using a time-based cure process rather than equilibrium curing.

    Have fun!
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2014
  14. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hey Kevin,

    I just saw this comment, thanks so much for your kind words! But you know the old saying.....good experience comes from bad experience (or something like that). Anyway, Iet's just say I've got a lot of bad guanciale (and bacon) experience to draw from. LOL!

    Have a great day!

    P.S. - JLT's are awesome, as are jowl bacon burgers with blue cheese dressing!
  15. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    LOL....... I just thought of this.

    "Except for a nice M.L.T.--- a mutton, lettuce and tomato sandwich, where the mutton is nice and lean... And the tomato is ripe. They're so perky. I love that." ~ Miracle Max (aka Billy Crystal!)
  16. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    LOL! That movie is a classic!
  17. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Used in Italy like pancetta as Clarissa points out. I have never cured it.
    If they are fresh ,:yahoo:
    I would be tempted to braise them,really slow in apple cider,root veg,& bits.
    Then cool set the fat,there's going to be plenty,then reheat. Or take out jowl dry it then hard fry it to crisp the edges then pour the reheated sauce over it. Served with spiced baked apples & mashed potato.
    I can stick. Recipe in here if you want! In my head at the moment!

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