Make Guanciale – Cured Bacon from the Pigs Cheek

Homemade Guanciale made from the cheek of a pig. Tastes fantastic and is simple to make. Home cured pork couldn’t get any better….
Let’s start the Meat Series with a Serious Home Cured Meat.

NOT for the squeamish.


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How to make Guanciale


  • Pigs Cheeks
  • 1/2 a cup of Salt
  • 1/2 a cup of Sugar
  • 12-15 Crushed Peppercorns
  • 1/2 a teaspoon of Saltpeter
  • Some Sprigs of Thyme

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Watch the full Video Tutorial


  1. You will need to start this recipe with he two pig cheeks either that you have removed from the pigs head yourself or asked you friendly butcher to do it LOL
  2. In a large bowl add the salt, sugar, peppercorns (crushed), the saltpetre and the thyme leaves. Mix together and set to one side.
  3. Take a large plastic container and lay the pigs cheeks in the bottom. Sprinkle over the salt mixture  and rub it into all the nooks and crannies of the pork. Lay some extra sprigs of thyme on top of the salted pork and pop the lid on the container. Place the whole container into the fridge
    Every day give your pork cheeks a quick turn in the brine solution and do this for a total of five days.
  4. After five days remove the container from the fridge and take out the pig cheeks and lay it onto a board. Take a sharp sterilised knife and in one corner make a hole where you can thread a piece of sterilised string through in order to hang the cheek. Do the same with the other cheek.
  5. You need to find somewhere dry and airy to hang the cheeks and leave them to hang to dry for 3 weeks. To start with you may need a tray beneath the cheeks so catch the drips as it starts to dry but that will only be for about 24 hours.
  6. Once the Guanciale ids nice and dry you can slice pieces off and fry them up ready to be used in whatever dish takes your fancy.

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