Braised Cabbage and Kale with Crispy Guanciale

This simple side dish takes advantage of the incredible flavour and fat content found inside guanciale. This Italian cured meat comes from the jowl of the pig and has an incredible flavour. We’ll be rendering out a lot of the fat to cook our greens in and garnishing with the crispy pieces of guanciale. Feel free to use thick cut streaky bacon or pancetta as a substitute.

Cabbage Kale Guanciale

Serves 5-6 people
Cooking time 25 minutes
Preparation time 15 minutes


1kg cabbage
1 bunch or 24 leaves of Tuscan kale
4 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons of roasted garlic
250g guanciale
Apple cider vinegar
Salt and black pepper to taste
250ml vegetable stock or water


1. Cut the cabbage into quarters through the core. Remove the core on each quarter by slicing just above it. Take the cored cabbage and cut into thin strips.

2. Remove the leaves from the stems of the tuscan kale by pinching around the stems and pulling the leaves off. Discard the stems and chop the leaves into 1cm strips.

3. Peel the garlic and cut into thin slices. Remove the skin (if any) from the guanciale and cut into ½cm slices. Cut the slices again into small batons.

4. Place the guanciale into a medium sized pot and cook over medium low heat until the fat has rendered out and the guanciale begins to fry. Once the guanciale is nicely coloured, remove half of the batons with a spoon and reserve, leaving behind all of the fat they were cooking in.

5. Add the garlic to the pot and cook for 2-3 minutes or until fragrant.

6. Add the cabbage and kale to the pot. Stir to coat with the fat and increase the heat to medium. Season with a light pinch of salt and several grinds of black pepper.

7. Cook the cabbage and kale for 4-5 minutes while stirring occasionally before adding 250ml of vegetable stock or water and placing a lid on the pot. Cook for 15 minutes.

8. After 15 minutes remove the lid and continue cooking until most of the liquid has dissolved.

9. Season to taste with a teaspoon of dijon or wholegrain mustard and a light splash of apple cider vinegar. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper as needed.

10. Serve topped with the reserved crispy guanciale.

Cabbage kale Guanciale

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