In Italian dishes, pork jowls are known as guanciale. Typically found in pasta, bean, green, and lentil dishes.
Pork jowl may not be traditional bacon, but it is bacon nonetheless. It is a part of the pig’s face, specifically the cheeks. This meat is frequently smoked and cured, and it comes with skin and rind. This meat comes in a variety of sizes.
Remember that the marinade is the key to cooking any meat. The longer the meat is marinated, the more tender it becomes.
Another thing to remember is to have fun while cooking; squirt in some lemon juice or zest to give the dish a slight unexpected tang and burst of citrusy freshness.
Nothing beats a good home-cooked pork jowl accompanied by black-eyed peas and cornbread.
Here are the 10 best pork jowl recipes you should try.
What is Pork Jowl?
Pork jowl is a cut from the pig’s cheek that can be used fresh, cured, or smoked in a variety of cuisines around the world. It is especially popular in the southern United States, where it is mostly used as jowl bacon.
With its sparkly chili hints and rich sauce, this dish will transport you to Southeast Asia. The dish is best served with sweet sticky rice and sautéed green vegetables.
Pork jowl recipes Ingredients
- 3.3 lb pork jowl
- 0.2 lb bacon, sliced
- 3 tbsp oil
- 2 tbsp paprika powder
- 1 tbsp sweet marjoram, dried
- 5 oz of your favorite red wine
- 1 big onion, sliced
- 1 large carrot
- 0.5 lb button mushrooms
- 1 tbsp tapioca flour
- 1 tbsp salt
- 2 tsp ground pepper
- 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
- Cut the pork jowl meat into pieces about an inch thick.
- In a cast iron skillet, heat the oil.
- Sauté the bacon for a few minutes before adding the onion.
- Combine the paprika powder, pork jowl, marjoram, and fresh thyme sprigs in a mixing bowl.
- Allow the pork jowl to brown for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Pour in your favorite red wine.
- Add about 17 oz of water, which should almost completely cover. Cook with the lid on medium heat.
- Meanwhile, cut the carrots into small cubes and add them to the stew.
- Check that the meat is soft enough after 40 minutes before adding the mushrooms.
- If necessary, add a splash of water. Cook for an additional 15 minutes.
- Make sure the pork jowls are tender. Stir in the tapioca flour thoroughly.
- Adjust the gravy’s consistency with water as needed.
- Cook for a few more minutes after seasoning with salt and pepper.
10 Best Easy Pork Jowl recipes You Should Try
1. Smoked Pork Jowl Bacon
You may be wondering what jowl bacon is.
Our first recipe is exactly that: bacon made from pork jowl rather than pork belly.
As a result, the bacon is softer, juicier, and tastes sweeter!
This recipe is extremely straightforward: cure it, dry it, and smoke it.
It does, however, necessitate some planning and equipment. To get the best results, you’ll need some curing salt and a smoker.
It takes time and patience to cure the bacon, but trust us when we say it’s well worth the wait!
2. Salted Pork Jowls (Italian Guanciale)
Guanciale is an Italian cured meat made from rich, fatty pork jowls or cheeks. It’s essentially Italian bacon.
We will cure the pork jowl in salt and spices in this recipe.
Remove any excess salt and hang it to cure for at least three weeks.
Curing for 3 to 4 months is recommended for the best flavor.
Once completed, all that remains is a quick sear in the pan.
You can eat it on its own or mix it into pasta for a delicious carbonara!
Refrigerate it properly and you’ll have a month’s supply of homemade cured Italian Guanciale!
3. Thai-style Braised Pork Jowl
One of our favorite recipes is this Thai-style braised pork jowl.
It’s very flavorful, and if that’s not enough, it’s also very quick and easy to prepare!
You can add more bird’s eye chilies to increase the spiciness if you like it extra hot, which is how we like it.
Be generous with the shallots at the end because they definitely complement the meat and round out the flavor.
This is a rich and delicious umami bomb that goes great with rice or noodles for a filling meal!
4. Caramelized Brussels with Pork Jowl
This Brussel sprouts with pork jowl recipe is a must-try for a balanced meal with some extra greens.
This dish is extremely simple and quick to prepare.
Ideal for people who need a quick and easy recipe to fit their hectic schedule.
It’s never been easier to cook pork jowl!
- Cook the meat in a pan until it’s golden brown, then flip it to cook the other side.
- Cook the Brussels sprouts until they are brown and nicely charred or crusty.
- To accomplish this, allow them to cook on the pan for a few minutes before touching them.
- Finally, combine everything and toss to thoroughly mix in all of the condiments.
The dish is finished when it reaches the desired level of doneness.
5. Thai Grilled Pork Jowl
Pork jowl is an underappreciated cut of meat, but with a line of fat running across it, it’s ideal for grilling.
If you want to make your meal healthier, you can remove some of the fat, but a little fat helps keep the meat moist and juicy.
Marinate the meat for at least 2 hours, but overnight is best to ensure that all of the flavor is absorbed by the meat and fats.
There is also a dipping sauce that you can customize to your liking (we like to increase the amount of lime used!).
For a complete meal, serve this with rice!
6. Bourbon and Cider-Braised Jowl Bacon Steaks
When braised in bourbon and cider, this incredible recipe elevates the pork jowl, which is already a very flavorful cut of meat, and transforms it into a heavenly meal.
It complements the turnip greens perfectly and balances out the flavor.
This is a simple recipe for braised pork jowl. Just make sure you have enough bourbon and cider to completely cover the bacon.
Turnip greens are also easily prepared by tossing them in a skillet over medium heat.
Sear the fully braised bacon and serve with the turnip greens!
7. Cozy Pork Jowl Stew with Southern Black Eyed Peas
This black-eyed peas and pork jowl (or hog jowl) recipe is the ideal homemade comfort food that you must try!
This tasty Southern dish goes well with cornbread and takes only 10 minutes to prepare!
Allow the delicious stew to simmer for a couple of hours, and your house will be filled with an irresistible aroma that will draw the attention of your friends and family.
The steps are straightforward.
- Soak the peas overnight.
- Cook the meatl in an onion, garlic, and butter sauce.
- Mix in the chicken broth and water.
- Cook, stir, and serve!
8. Sweet and Spicy Pork Jowl
This sweet and spicy pork jowl recipe is sure to blow your mind if you like a kick!
Chili peppers and honey are the main ingredients that contribute to the sweet and spicy flavor.
This dish is not only delicious, but it is also very simple to prepare at home.
Prepare all of your dry and wet ingredients, then combine them in an airtight ziplock bag or container with freshly washed and dried pork jowl.
Allow it to sit overnight, then cook it the next day to enjoy the flavorful meat!
9. Pork Jowl Char Siew
Char siew is a delicious Asian Cantonese style of grilled pork.
It’s sweet and juicy, and it goes well with noodles or rice, though it’s delicious on its own!
Because it is primarily an Asian dish, you may need to visit an Asian supermarket if you lack some of the essential ingredients, such as oyster sauce and sesame oil.
But believe me when I say you will not be cooking this just once!
Essentially, what we’re aiming for with this pork jowl recipe is to sear and caramelize the meat.
The end result is a delectable pork char siew!
10. Pork Jowl Braised in Sherry
This Spanish-inspired pork jowl recipe is a fantastic way to use up that bottle of sherry sitting in the corner while also creating an amazing dish!
The recipe calls for pork cheeks, but we recommend using pork jowl instead.
Because it absorbs more flavorful sauce, pork jowl has slightly more fat and will be tastier in a braise!
This mouthwatering dish is a perfect addition to a tapas spread, with a combination of sweet sherry, paprika, cumin, and almond flakes.
You can also serve it with mashed potatoes or rice for a tasty meal!
Frequently Asked Questions
What exactly is pork jowl?
In the South, cured and smoked pork is known as jowl bacon, pork jowl, or hog jowl.
However, hog jowl bacon is made from the pig’s fattier cheeks. So, while store-bought bacon and hog jowl are both types of bacon, hog jowl bacon is a true fatback.
How does pork jowl bacon taste?
The flavor of pork jowl bacon is similar to that of regular bacon, but it is sliced thicker. Streaky bacon is another name for thick bacon.
Where can you get pork jowl?
At the butcher’s counter in the grocery store, you can purchase smoked and cured hog jowl. Hog jowl resembles a ham section and comes in a variety of shapes and cuts, ranging from thick to thin depending on the butcher.
Is there a difference between bacon and hog jowl?
Yes, bacon is hog jowl, and bacon is hog jowl. They’re both jowls of pork.
Hog jowl is a cut of pork taken from the pig’s cheek. As a result, hog jowl and pork jowl are both types of bacon.
Is jowl pork the same as cheek pork?
Yes, hog jowl is a type of pork cut from the pig’s cheek.
What is the purpose of jowl meat?
The jowl is the most important piece of meat on the head. It’s the fatty and meaty cut from the pig’s cheek in the case of pork jowl.
How long does smoked jowl take to cook?
The quickest way to cook smoked pork jowl bacon is to air fry it. It takes less than 10 minutes and requires no turning on of the oven or standing over high heat.
How do you keep pork jowl bacon fresh?
Refrigerate cooked pork jowl bacon for up to 4 days, sealed in a food storage bag, plastic wrap, or an airtight container.
Can turkey bacon be substituted for pork jowl?
Yes! Air fryer + turkey bacon = a delicious and healthy soul food swap! Turkey bacon is an excellent substitute for pork jowl in this recipe.
Is guanciale the same as pork jowl?
Guanciale is an Italian smoked meat that is similar to bacon but fatter because it is cut from the cheek of a pig. Guanciale is a non-smoked jowl of pork.
Is it the same as ham hocks to eat hog jowls?
Because the cut is from the fattier pig cheeks, hog jowl purchased from the butcher and sliced into bacon strips is more like a ham hock.
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