Thanks everyone for the compliments. To clarify, i am NOT one of the Molinari who currently sell salame and other stuff in the US...not even remotely related. I wouldn't say i have a knack for this stuff, i can just follow direction, take good notes, and i'm sure my engineering background made making the curing chamber easier to make.
The lardo is actually very easy. In Colonnata (where they use marble vats to cure the lardo in, taken from their quarrys), lardo is never dried like pancetta. It is covered in salt and spices for a short while, then water is added to that to basically make a very concentrated brine, and left like that for months and months...then sliced thin and eaten.
This is the recipe i used for mine:
1 liter water
9g rosmary needles
2 cloves garlic
3 small bay leaves (i used fresh)
7 juniper berries
7 leaves of sage
1000g hunk of fatback that is as thick as you can find
Make a brine and bring to a boil, add the herbs and let it sit as if you were making a tea (i let it sit covered until it was cool)
Put lard in a tightfitting tupperware or non reactive vessle that you don't need for 3 months :)
pour brine with all the herbs over the lard. The lard is going to want to float, so you need to so something to keep it down. I used a clean meatl chain to weigh it down, and then put a weight on top of the tupperware lid.
Put in the the fridge
Flip ever 30 days
Leave minimum 3 months. Take it out, rinse and dry very well.
NOW, the one i made is a touch salty. IT would be GREAT on unsalted crackers like Carr's or an unsalted Tuscan bread (hmm surprise, given that one of its birthplaces is Tuscany!). Yesterday i soaked it in a bath of water for 30 mins, to see if i can desalt it a little bit. I'll try it today to see how it is.
Edited by jmolinari, 27 May 2006 - 09:18 PM.