Cook Hog Jowl Like Bacon For A Flavorful Twist On Breakfast

Want a flavorful twist on your next breakfast? Cook hog jowl like you would cook bacon. Rich and robust, hog jowl hails from the fatty cheeks of a pig. In terms of texture and taste, when cooked, it closely mirrors bacon, which comes from the pig's belly or back cuts. As the cuts are similar, when you fry hog jowl, it will crisp up beautifully and offer a depth of flavor. 

Hog jowl, often smoked, salted, or cured like bacon, has been a cornerstone of many cuisines, including Southern American cooking, especially during the New Year. Hog jowl brings richness to dishes like black-eyed peas and collard greens and is said to bring luck, good health, and wealth when eaten on New Year's Day. 

Even if you don't believe in auspicious foods, you can still enjoy hog jowl for a morning meal or brunch. To prepare it, remove and compost the tough rind, then cook slices of hog jowl like bacon. You can pan-fry it or bake it in the oven or air fryer. Once cooked through and crispy, serve the hog jowl alongside sunny-side-up eggs and pancakes, chopped and folded into omelets, or crumbled over a breakfast hash. You can even serve cooked hog jowl in a breakfast sandwich or burrito. 

The multifaceted charm of hog jowl in culinary creations beyond breakfast

While hog jowl makes a fantastic and flavorful bacon substitute for your morning meals, its culinary uses extend beyond breakfast and brunch. Whether fried, braised, roasted, or smoked, hog jowl imparts a distinctive flavor that can transform a simple dish into something special, rich, and smoky.

Are you making soups, stews, or sauces? Consider adding hog jowl to enhance flavors and add depth, thanks to its umami and smoky qualities. When cooked, you render down the fat in hog jowl, making it an ideal ingredient in your heartier dishes. It's no surprise how hog jowl also holds a place of esteem in Italian cuisine; guanciale, made from cured hog jowl, is a critical component in Italian dishes like pasta alla carbonara and amatriciana. Hog jowl also graces charcuterie boards, and like bacon, why should it not be in desserts like sundaes, macarons, or cupcake frosting?

For home cooks looking to experiment, hog jowl will become your new staple and a secret pantry ingredient. Incorporate it into recipes the same way as bacon or pancetta. With robust flavors and many uses, hog jowl shines as a breakfast component and can transform other dishes for any meal, savory or sweet.