Here’s an easy way to make broccoli, or any green vegetable, absolutely delicious for either a holiday/special dinner, or just a weeknight meal that is guaranteed to be liked by all.
We started making guanciale years ago as part of our mission to use every part of the animal. With guanciale, there's no compromising on flavor, either! Its name comes from the Italian word for cheek, which is where this bacon comes from. Traditoinally, this would be cured and then dried for up to six months. Right now, our jowls are cured with sea salt and raw sugar and then smoked before being sliced. The flavor is much richer than traditional bacon, though!
Slow fry half a package of guanciale on low for about 15 minutes, until it is nicely browned on both sides and starting to crisp up. Remove from the pan to a cutting board (and GUARD it from the vultures! I don’t know about your house, but in my house, the wild packs will descend on kitchen prep ingredients and quickly gobble up any stray delicious morsels, especially the salted pork variety). Chop your broccoli and add back to the fat in the pan. If there is a lot of fat from the guanciale, remove some. It really depends on the specific distribution of fat on the part of the pork cheek that your package of guanciale was cut from, and on the individual animal differences. Sometimes it is very fatty, releasing a ton of flavorful lard, a healthy fat for cooking. Other times, like in these photos, it is very meaty, with just enough fat to cook the vegetables.
Saute the broccoli in this cooking fat for about 10 minutes or until bright green. We add chopped garlic and a squeeze of lemon juice at this point. Dice the cooked guanciale and return to the pan. Enjoy!