Guanciale at Cafe Rouge.
I went their last week for brunch and picked up some guanciale at their meat market. Guanciale ( Italian for pigs cheek) is cured, then cut and cooked like pancetta. But, I swear, this stuff is saltier than salt. I couldn't even eat in cooked into a nice red sauce I made up. It was probably 5 times saltier than bacon, literally! Any Comments?
I picked up some guanciale from Niman Ranch at the FP farmer's market a few weeks ago; it too is extraordinarily salty, so we've been slicing it cross-grain and soaking it in milk a bit like a salt-packed anchovy. It's tasty, but this example doesn't really change my world view. I'll have to try Fatted Calf's once we work our way through this rather large batch. I'm hoping the lack of epiphany has more to do with Niman Ranch's general good but not great quality rather than guanciale itself.
Is it usually used as a basis for a sauce where it's the only meat or is it added to sauces in small quantities where other meat or veg are the main ingreds?
I don't know much about it. Maybe some guanciale experts will step forward.
I'm only saying this as Cafe Rouge has always been the source of fabulous everything I've ever bought, from hamburger meat to bunny pate.