Allright! call me obsessive-compulsive; why else would one try to make his own guanciale — just to make Pasta All’ Matriciana, or Pasta Amatrice. Or perhaps it’s only because I’m a cheap-skate; or maybe because I am way underfunded; yet anyhow here I go where few have gone before: Charcuterie. Yesterday I motioned to my butcher, Antonio Moya Castellanos, down at http://www.carnicaslazaro.com/, which part of the pig I wanted. He said I could have a fresh piece next friday. But then: what must be done? How does one cure a guanciale? I’ve got my ideas, but I thought I’d kinda open up the discussion: open source pork! doesn’t that sound highfalutin… I’m thinking I have a lot of fresh herbs growing in the garden; hippy herbs — parsley, sage rosemary, and thyme… and savory and basil and oregano. So with big thick sea salt and these flowers — show this piece of pig some love by curing it in the fridge for a few weeks slathered in lard; not just any old crisco, but manteca de cerdo — fresh from an Iberian black pig — La Pata Negra. And as the foraging season is upon us, why not flavor the guanciale with local herbs ad the odd flowers from the garden — much like the cheeses of Swabia encased with wildflowers. But I’ll ask to cure it in the carniceria. then smoke it. But how can you smoke meat in a wood-fired oven. Now you’re getting my drift, this is new stuff for the dude STRAIGHT-OUTTA-BAKERSFIELD.

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