Called for in an Italian beef stew. Don't know what it is or where to buy it.
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It is similar to pancetta, but made from the jowl and not the belly. Use pancetta if you can't find it. If you can't find pancetta, use blanched bacon. Get guanciale and pancetta in Italian deli's and specialty markets. Trader Joe's and Fresh & Easy, and I suppose Whole Foods, have pancetta.
I order guanciale from niman ranch. I agree with nutcakes that pancetta makes a decent substitution. Make sure you dont use a smoked product like bacon, though.
Unsmoked italian bacon made with pig cheek
Thanks! That is what I figured.
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I love guanciale but, depending on where you live, you might have to order it on line from La Quercia (best domestic I've tasted) or maybe Salumi in Seattle (Mario Batali's dad---and a really nice guy). The bottom line though, is that it really is worth seeking out. Wonderful flavor.