August 16th, 2009
The fat distribution of the jowl is not what I have expected. I made Berkshire jowl several time in the past but my recipes didn’t work at all for the Mangalitsa. I marinated about 1.5 lb of the jowl in watered downed Chinese rose wine (玫瑰露酒, Mei Kuei Lu Chiew, a clear sorghum liquor distilled with rock sugar and rose paddles, about 46% alcohol), soy sauce, red curry pastes, kaffir lime leaves and young ginger over night. I then roasted it until the skin is golden brown.
I wrapped it in foil and put it back in the freezer. Take it out the next day and slice it to 3 mm with a Japanese ceramic medallion slicer. After a quick tasting I put a little bit of salt on top and lay them out on a rack and leave them in the fridge.
After about a week I served them on a piece of toast and use a torch to create a little bit of char and turn the fat transparent. The melted fat gets soaked up by the toast. Topped with a little bit of fleur de sel. Now we are talking. It smells divine and taste even better.
The other 1 lb piece I slice it 1/4 inch thick, skin on, marinated in teriyaki and soy sauce and a little bit of the Chinese rose wine over night. Then I put them on a rack and air dry it. With Berkshire jowl this would seal the juice in. With the mangalitsa something interesting happened. The Italian got it right. The fat develops a firm, almost rubbery texture and a tangy bite so intriguing that you must try it for yourself. After air drying I put them in the boiler sandwiched between two BBQ net to prevent the jowl fat from curl up. The top net weight it down and make flipping easier. The smell is divine. Alinea had a grill kobe beef dish where they’d bring out hot liquid to pour over dry ice on your table to “bring the smoke out to the table”. This would have been a perfect application to bring that divine smell to the table.
Entry Filed under: random thoughts