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Any Lardo Tips?


Steve Irby
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I had a pretty big weekend breaking down a hog that I bought from a local farmer for $2.00 # hanging weight (My backs still killing me). It was delivered to a slaughter house with a kill fee of $65 which included blocking. The hanging weight was #300 and it was the fattest one I've dealt with to date. After breaking down the carcass I have some nice sheets of fat that I thought would be nice to cure. I've cured the belly for bacon and guanciale but haven't tried lardo. Any tips for lardo? I would like to shoot for a long brine time (3-5 months).

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Potential bacon

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27# Fresh Ham

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Edited by Steve Irby (log)
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I've never made it, but found a couple recipes just googling lardo recipe. I like this one http://frombellytobacon.com/2012/10/09/lardo/

Seems pretty simple, cure with salt, sugar, pink salt, spices and herbs to your liking. Wrap, weigh down and put in fridge, turn every other day for a month, then rinse and hang to dry (here they use a wine fridge). Once I find some nice good quality fatback I'll be trying this, but probably have to wait for winter so I can dry it in the garage, don't have a wine fridge. Or maybe I'll get one of those.....

Then I'd just eat it with good crusty bread, maybe a sprinkle of salt if it needs it, though it probably won't.

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"And don't forget music - music in the kitchen is an essential ingredient!"

- Thomas Keller

Diablo Kitchen, my food blog

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That is some fantastic looking pork! The only time I've seen them that fatty is Mangalitsa - is that what you got? If so, and at two bones a pound, I'd pay a lot of money just to get the name and number of that farmer of yours ...

As for the lardo, our eG friend jmolinari has a recipe for lardo that I've tried and had success with, as well. It's a 3-month brine.

http://curedmeats.blogspot.com/2010/04/lardo-darnad.html

 

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That is some fantastic looking pork! The only time I've seen them that fatty is Mangalitsa - is that what you got? If so, and at two bones a pound, I'd pay a lot of money just to get the name and number of that farmer of yours ...

As for the lardo, our eG friend jmolinari has a recipe for lardo that I've tried and had success with, as well. It's a 3-month brine.

http://curedmeats.blogspot.com/2010/04/lardo-darnad.html

Thanks for the link. It's exactly what is was looking for. I've prepared a number of pig parts by dry brining but would like to try the wet method.

I'm not sure what I got and I don't think the farmer knows exactly. I'm pretty sure it's not a heritage breed. I bought the pig from Carl Stewart in Bay Minette AL and he was pretty surprised when he took them to the slaughter that they weighed so much. Carl is primarily an organic produce farmer who bought some pigs to turn in to his vegetable plots to fatten them up on the tail end of production so to speak.

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Man, that's some nice looking pig. Any idea the breed?

Have you tried making pancetta with the belly before?

The pigs like me - questionable pedigree. I've haven't tired pancetta yet but have cured bacon and quanciale several times. I think last year I started out to cure a piece of belly for pancetta and changed course and smoked the piece with mulberry. I definitely will try pancetta this go around as I have plenty of belly.

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Shel - Here's a photo from last year of a tamworth cheek cured for quanciale.

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Pizza would be my best idea!!

I think you can cure it like Colonnato ( sp ) a good Italian Lardo.

http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives/2011/02/how-to-make-otto-enoteca-pizzerias-lardo-pizza-mario-batali.html

That's "Colonnata", but great work, Paul. Lardo melted over a very thin pizza crust with nothing else on it (usually called "foccaccia" in the pizzerias that serve it here, but it is made from the house pizza dough and just rolled thinner) is a common starter in pizzerias here, and great stuff. The lardo used is almost invariably the rosemary-scented Colonnata, but lardo is also cured plain and with any number of other herbs, depending upon local recipes. If you have guests who are squeamish about eating pure lard (which is actually better for you than butter, as animal fats go), the foccaccia is the way to break them in. Also, wrapping it around a good breadstick will work for you. Lastly, it is often found with streaks of lean meat in it also, short of the typical bacon mix of lean to fat, so do not hesitate to use a chunk with a little lean on it. One caution: I have no idea whether trichinosis is less of an issue with a fresh pig such as yours, but we are liberal about eating raw and undercooked pork products here because, unlike North America, trichinosis is all but unknown here. I also have no idea if the curing process for lardo would eliminate that concern anyway, but for Steve's sake, I hope so! (Actually, I see that an average of 11 cases a year are reported to the CDC, and some of those involve bear and other game, so I suspect that trichinosis no largely longer exists in the U.S., either.)

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Bill Klapp

bklapp@egullet.com

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As lardo was supposed to be a vital part of my now defunct charcuterie year-of-study(SIGH!), you can officially color me jealous!

In honesty, I've always wondered if curing in salt and sugar (dry) for a month or so, then wet-brining, with the usual s&s, plus a bevy of herbs and onion, to be cured for another several months, would be any good?

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I'm a lifelong professional chef. If that doesn't explain some of my mental and emotional quirks, maybe you should see a doctor, and have some of yours examined...

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As lardo was supposed to be a vital part of my now defunct charcuterie year-of-study(SIGH!), you can officially color me jealous!

In honesty, I've always wondered if curing in salt and sugar (dry) for a month or so, then wet-brining, with the usual s&s, plus a bevy of herbs and onion, to be cured for another several months, would be any good?

I've got enough pig parts that I could certainly experiment. The dry brine's that I've used for bacon, and variations for bacon and guanciale, have been pretty damn tasty. I've primarily used recipes from Charcuterie and from the Len Poli site. Given the time frames between initiation of the wet brine cure and sampling the final product it would be easy enough to try your variation.

For those that inquired as the breed of pig my supplier says it's a yorkshire.

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