ideas for fresh, uncured pork jowl
I picked some up at the farmer's market because it's a cut I've never tried before and I like to experiment. I've been perusing the internet, including some old chowhound threads about what to do with it. I love guanciale but since I have no experience with home-curing (and it would be difficult for me to do in my current housing) I think I'm picking from a few ideas that I've seen repeated in various places, but would like some clarification on:
1.) Slow-cooking without liquid in a slow cooker or crock pot and then shredding--apparently this yields a lot of rendered fat and good taco meat. I wonder, could one make carnitas this way? One thing I have noticed is that people who recommend this technique never mention seasoning the meat with anything. Can this be done with seasoning?
2.)Seasoning with various spices and roasting. This intrigues me but I'd like to know about how it turns out. Do you roast until it is fall apart tender (like the above technique?)or until you can slice it? How do you prefer to eat it?
3.) Braising with liquid, generally with Asian seasonings like soy sauce, fish sauce, rice wine etc. This got me to wondering if pork jowl couldn't be substituted for the pork belly in a Vietnamese pork belly and egg stew like this one: http://www.sbs.com.au/food/recipes/po...
I have never cooked this dish but I've eaten it and it's delicious. I've heard many people say that pork jowl is a lot like pork belly in a lot of ways so I wonder if I couldn't use my jowl in a recipe like this...yum!
Has anybody tried any of these techniques before and have anything to say about them or advice to give? I'm open to some other suggestions too although I do want to stay away from curing. Input greatly appreciated!
Pork cheeks are wonderful. There is a good recipe in Babbo that is a simple braise. You might find that to be a good basic approach. Otherwise, I search for pork cheek recipes.
Obviously curing guanciale is another option.
It was wonderful!! It didn't mean that it tasted like bacon, just that I cooked it that way. I dosed it with a generous amount of salt and pepper, sliced it on the thick side and fried in cast iron until the fat rendered and it crisped up. My husband kept stealing slices but I chopped it up and used it on a mock chopped salad.