Serves 4. Recipe is from Viking Cooking School Outdoors and Carnevino Restaurant, Las Vegas. Guanciale is unsmoked pork bacon made from the jowl of the pig. It may be difficult to find; you can substitute pancetta or high-quality bacon
2 ozs. guanciale, pancetta or bacon
1 lb. russet potatoes, washed and cut into a 1/2-inch dice
1 tsp. kosher salt
4 cups cold water
1⁄3 cup half-and-half
2 tbls. unsalted butter
2 tbls. mascarpone cheese, brought to room temperature
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tsps. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1. Place the guanciale, pancetta or bacon in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Cook until the fat has rendered and the pork is crisp. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and place the meat on a paper towel to drain. Set both pan and meat aside.
2. Place the potatoes in a medium sauce pan, add the salt and cold water. Cover the pot and place over high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and rapidly simmer until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a skewer or the tip of a small knife, about 20 minutes.
3. Drain the liquid, leaving the potatoes in the pan. Reserve the cooking liquid. Place the pan over medium-high heat for 1 to 2 minutes to remove all excess moisture, the potatoes should be somewhat dry. Pass the potatoes through a ricer into a large, clean mixing bowl.
4. Place the half-and-half and butter in a small sauce pan. Place over medium heat until the butter has melted and the half-and-half is hot. Stir the hot liquid and mascarpone into the potatoes; add a bit of the reserved liquird if the mixture appears dry. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
6. Before serving, place the cooked pork on top of the potatoes and sprinkle chopped parsley over the top. Serve immediately.