Guanciale in Ann Arbor?
Is this a trick question?
I lived in MS fora few years and took a buddy from Greenwood to Blue Tractor - awful, we had the brisket and pulled pork - two bedrock bbq dishes - both were terrible. Also went to Zingerman's Roadhouse and got the brisket - smells much better than it tasted. So for now I just smoke my own and make my own sauces and still hope that one day I will find decent bbq somewhere in this neck of the woods....
423 S Union St, Traverse City, MI 49684
2501 Jackson Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48103
Not a trick question; Jan and I were discussing guanciale, which is an italian specialty made from cured pig's jowls, unsmoked. They are seasoned with a rub and then hung up to dry. BBQ is something else entirely. True BBQ is pork, but not all pork is BBQ.
If you want good BBQ, take a trip down to Manning, SC and eat at a place called McCabe's. I don't know of any good BBQ in Michigan, although I'm sure Jan will have an opinion.
I don't think Zingerman's is bad, but don't eat the brisket for goodness sake -- eat the pulled pork sandwich with plenty of spicy Vinegar pepper. It's like a dream of South Carolina BBQ for me: reminds me of it, without being it.
Dang...I just gave away my last batch that I made. May I suggest you look into making your own for the future (I know this does not help today though).
I know that Kroger often sells a cheaper version....nothing like making it on your own. They just all it Jowl Bacon. Can't remember the brand name but it is Orangish and usually with the Hocks and other cheaper smoked cuts usually.
If you do make it....
As for a good source of Pork....MAIL ORDER IT - you will not find good enough Jowl locally. Go ahead and tell them John Patterson refereed you to them. I would get a few steaks from them too if your gonna be talking to them. You will NOT regret it.
315 Mattison Reservoir Avenue
Branchville, NJ 07826
201 289 0210
Thanks, y'all. I've got to head down for a concert here in a minute, will swing by Zingerman's and see if it's my lucky day.
Jan - I would very much like to try making it. Do you have a good source for hog jowls? Also, do you ever find you have to cut off mold after 3 weeks? How do you tell?
That mail order place sounds great too. I find the quality of pork in the U.S. just doesn't compare to what I could get at my butcher when I lived in Germany.
I have yet to find any good local source for jowl. There is a guy in Traverse city that breeds Mangalitsa's (Best tasting fat on a pig there is) but I have not made contact with him yet.
I know that is where Brian Polcyn gets his from.
I have a good relation with guy from Jersey and I will stand behind his product any day of the week for any part of the pig that you want a fattier cut. Great source if you want to make Lardo too.
As for the Glands....I usually cut them off at the beginning before I add the cure. Last time I didn't and regretted it (was not awful but you should just get rid of first).
Just got this on Facebook from Earthy Delights.
Thought you might enjoy this short video of Mangalitsa hogs and the art of Old World style seam butchery which we shot this past January at Baker's Green Acres farm in Marion, Michigan. http://youtu.be/-5lzbca8ssM
Serious fans of heritage breeds and charcuterie are invited to attend Pigstock Traverse City, November 1 - 3, 2010.
Come see these beautiful animals and learn the art of seam butchery and learn Old World charcuterie techniques from contemporary masters of the craft at Pigstock Traverse City, November 1 - 3, 2010.
For more information, visit http://pigstocktc.blogspot.com/
JanPrimus, you are a font of knowledge as always. That pigstock event sounds amazing. I don't know if I'll be able to get up there, I'll have to look into it...
...okay, that is quite expensive. Money is tight right now but, man, would I love to go. I'll have to buy a Powerball ticket and hope for the best.
I cooked up some Amatriciana today with the guanciale from Zingerman's ... turned out pretty well, I thought. Did it roman style with some onion, and used a sort of combo recipe that I derived from reading several different takes on this very tasty sauce.
The diced guanciale (and the fat you get in the pan from it) just adds something to this sauce that regular bacon or pancetta could never give. I would add even more next time to the sauce -- I had about 125g in there, but next time would go with 200-250g.
Cooked up some bucatini and found the chilled Grüner Veltliner I had left over from the weekend a nice compliment to the porcine goodness.
But then I'll drink Grüner with just about anything...
Did find the guanciale today (Sunday) at the meat counter at Z.'s -- they said they "always" have it, although I can't speak for the catalogue. I picked up a quarter pound of it, and just got back. It's too late for Amatriciana tonight, but I think I'll make it for lunch tomorrow. The big question now: Amatriciana with onion, or without? I say with, but white onion, not yellow. Any opinions?