Sunday, June 29, 2008


Lonzino is a pretty simple salume. It is a salted and then dry cured pork loin. I guess it could be the equivalent of a pork bresaola. It's lean, tasty and easy to make with easily available ingredients.

The first time I made it, I let it cure in the salt too long. If I remember (it was a number of years ago), I left it for about 20 days. I never re-made it because i thought it wasn't that great. Last month someone commented on this blog that I should make a lonzino, so here it is.

This post contains the formula as well as the outcome. I just didn't have a chance to post as it was curing.

IngredientQuantity(g)% of Meat+Fat
Pork loin965100
White Pepper
Clove1 clove

Cure #22.40.25%
Fennel Seed

Start by procuring yourself a nice pork loin. One with some fat attached wouldn't hurt. You can see mine here on the left. Pretty standard stuff. I got this one from Publix.

The spices are ground and mixed with the rest of the ingredients. Shake shake shake to combine well.

Cake the mixture onto the pork loin and rub it in nicely. Put it in a zip lock bag, making sure to put even the cure that fell onto the plate into the bag. You want to make sure you get all the curing salts in with the meat to maintain safety.

This is the pork loin after 10 days in the fridge with the cure, and a quick rinse. Looks about the same, just slightly darker and it feels firmer.

All I had was 100mm casings. 90mm would have worked better, but I made do. Tighten well with kitchen twine, and pop any air pockets in the casing with a clean toothpick or a sterile needle. Squeeze well to get the air out.

As an experiment I took about 3 sq. in. of moldy casing from a salame i had in the fridge from my last batch, mixed it with 133g of distilled water and 1g of dextrose, and used that as a mold spray.

The cased loin was hung at 68-70 deg. F for 38 hours.

It cured in the curing fridge at 54 deg. F and about 68% RH, until it lost about 35-36% of its weight. This took just about 1 month.

As you can see the moldy spray worked pretty well

Look how beautiful the lonzino is. It has just a little bit of fat on the outer area, and nice fat flecking in the meat. It is soft and tender.

Here is the lonzino sliced thinly. It is VERY tasty. The salt level is just right. It is pretty strong on a certain spice, i can't quite put my finger on, but i think it is the juniper. It's very nice.

Next time i might put just a little less juniper. The weight loss of 36% is just right. It's still tender and soft, but nicely cured.


Eric said...

Jason, What is the reason for keeping the meat at the higher temperature for 38 hours after the cure and before it is hung to dry. I thought this wasn't necessary for solid muscles which are not fermented. I noticed Len Poli's recipe also calls for 80 deg. for 12 hrs. Thanks.

Jasonmolinari said...

Eric, i'm not sure i know the true reason. I've seen it specified in most of the books i have, even the ones that deal with a commercial environment.

Jen (Modern Beet) said...

I'm so happy to have found your blog! Meat curing/ charcuterie/ sausage is something I've started dabbling with recently (1st attempt: bresaola -- turned out so-so)... I look forward to visiting often

Hart said...

I was going to say pretty much exactly what jen (modern beet) above me said. Obviously, she beat me to it. Nice work, man! Your blog rocks! I'm not sure where you find the time, but it's awesome that you do.

Jasonmolinari said...

Thanks for the compliments, i'm glad you guys enjoy the blog.
As to finding the time...that's the problem, and it's why i don't post very often. It's very time consuming, and life keeps me rather busy!

Kent Mills said...


Thank you for your Lonzino recipe. I just finished and tried it - it was like butter ! Good work, and keep blogging.

Jasonmolinari said...

Kent, i'm glad the lonzino worked out for you.

Aaron Adelstein said...

Hey man- love the blog. I'm just getting into this too. All I can find in 90 and 100mm casings is the inedible version. Is this what you use, and if so I assume you remove the casing and mold before eating? thanks.

Jasonmolinari said...

Aaron, yes, casings that large in collagen are always inedible. I do remove them before eating.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jason

I tried to start a lonzino tonight and got what I thought was a 2lb prepackaged pork loin from my supermarket and got home to find that it is 2 1 lb loins. I've got 100 mm collagen casings, Am I going to be able to push them both into the casing? I'm worried that there may be some trapped air inside that I may not be able to get rid of. What do you think?


Jasonmolinari said...

jake, you can try stuffing them both in 1 casing, but it would be best to use a smaller casing.
Either one will work, just be careful to really get as much of the air out as possible if you stuff both into 1.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jason,

if you like cured pork remeber that the italian dop products such as the one illustrated on are the only ones certified as coming out from traditional manufacturing

Best Regards


Anonymous said...

instead of casing - i use lard and pepper - works out great

Vert said...

Great postings!
How do you stuff your lonzino or any other solid muscle into collagen casing? I tried to make some bresaola and the casing would not stick to the meat, as a result I ended up with a mold under the casing. Is there any technique to do it?

Jasonmolinari said...

Vert, i try to get the casing closest in size to what the meat is, and then i fold over the excess casing and tie it up....

lofty said...

Hi Jason,

I have 2 Lonzini (is that the pleural of Lonzino?) going right now. They were cut out of a whole loin. The nerrow end fit perfectly into an 80mm casing. If I'd had a 90mm casing for the wide end, I think it would have been perfect. With a little trimming, 4 hands and a shoehorn we managed to get it stuffed. The trimmings were great fried, btw. :)

Have you found that there is any benefit to inverting your products when you rotate them in your chamber? In otherwords, does gravity seem to keep more moisture toward the bottom?



Jasonmolinari said...

Larry, i've never even experimented with inverting them, so i have no answer. Sorry.

Anonymous said...

Larry, I flip vertically all the time. In my (very not perfect!) drying environment I notice the top drying faster then the bottom. In the end, does it make a difference? Not sure but it makes me feel better...

Anonymous said...

Wondering how much you trimmed if at all, the loin before beginning the cure. With Bresaola I was told to trim as much fat, etc as possible. WOuld that be true with the lonzino?

Jasonmolinari said...

I don't trim the loin much at all. I would in fact prefer to use one that has a nice layer of fat.

Steven said...

I've been reading your blog for some time. I've been experimenting for 3 years with various kinds of cured meats, sausages, etc, including prosciutto, and have enjoyed seeing how your techniques and formulations differ from mine. I've also wondered about why you hang the meat for a period at higher temps after the curing is done. I've never done this, and my lonzo comes out just fine.

In addition, I don't case my lonzo, or spray it with a mold culture. I prefer to let whatever mold develops do so naturally. I do wrap the cured muscle in cheese cloth, which slows drying somewhat, and also spray the meat while its curing if I sense it's too dry. But I've had worse luck trying to case solid muscles than otherwise, including breasola, coppa, and lonzo.

Jasonmolinari said...

Steven, i've read that the initial warmer stage is to dry off the heavy excess moisture. I'm not sure it's strictly necessary

Gabi Bucataru said...

Hi Jason -

This one is my next curing project now that my Spanish Chorizo (which was insanely good!!) is gone.

Can I use pork tenderloin instead of the big loin? What you think?


Jasonmolinari said...

Gabi, tenderloin will work as well, but it's so thin and small diameter that hte cure time will have to be much less, and i've found that once dry there isn't much there!

Gabi Bucataru said...

It makes sense, Jason - I might have to look for a nice piece of loin. Thanks for the suggestions!

A - here are the pics of my Chorizo made after your recipe:

Jasonmolinari said...

that looks really yummy!

Gabi Bucataru said...

Thanks Jason - I used real fresh Hungarian Paprika bought in Szeged while I was visiting ROmania...

Couldn't get closer than that to real Paprika...


Kostas Patras said...

Hello, amazing blog you have here!

I live in greece and i'd like to ask a question.

I'd like to make this recipe but I have the front end of the pork loin and some of the neck fillet(if I'm saying those correctly). The neck fillet is the continuation of the loin. Small piece, about 500gr.

Could I make
the recipe with my piece of pork?


Jasonmolinari said...

Kostas, thanks!
Yes, the recipe should work well...just scale it to your meat quantity/weight.

Kostas said...

Thx man, will try it today :) Don't have juniper berries though. The days for curing stay the same even I got smaller piece right?

Jasonmolinari said...

the curing in salt could reduce a little bit if the piece is smaller...but you must be sure it's cured all the way through.
the drying days will be lower...just check the weight loss.

Kostas said...

Thx once again, you are amazing ;)

Anonymous said...

Try brushing the loin with olive oil instead of the casing...that's the way I've been making it for years and the way I way taught years ago. And you don't have to worry about air inside the casing. Curing is basicly the same.

Jasonmolinari said...

Thanks, interesting idea!

Anonymous said...


I bought a 10lb whole pork loin that I bought at the local market.

I cut it down into two 5lb pieces that I'm currently curing.

I've increased the salt and spices accordingly, but I'm not sure how much time I should add to the curing stage.

My pieces are about 2.4x as heavy as yours. Do I factor up the curing time by that much, or would it still only take 10 days or so?


Jasonmolinari said...

the curing time is more based on thickness than weight. You could have a very thick short piece of a thin long one, and the curing times would have to be different.

I would leave it 15-20 days. More time won't hurt it, and you'll be sure the salt has penetrated and distributed.

Anonymous said...

Jason, I saw you mention that your lonzino was still tender and soft at 36% weight loss.

If yo don't mind my asking, exactly how tender was it? I just made two lonzinos (I posted above about cutting down a larger tenderloin into two roughly 5lb pieces). The smaller of the two is right around 35% weight loss right now, and parts of it are firm while other parts are very, very soft. There's quite a bit of give to it.

Jasonmolinari said...

I made this back in 2008, so it's hard for me to remember how soft "soft" was...
If it's lost about 35% of it's weight, and you're confident it was fully cured (enough salt for enough time), it hsould be fine to eat...maybe try 1 of the 2 you made...if it's too soft you'll know for next time....and gain experiernce

Anonymous said...

I found your blog a few weeks ago and have just tried some cured pork loin using your lonzino cure recipe though without using any casing. I cured a 1100gm piece for 8 days and dried it in my domestic fridge for 3 weeks. It's firmness and texture is as good as any parma ham I've ever eaten and the flavour even better. Lovely cinnamon smell with a subtle long lasting pepper after-taste.

Jasonmolinari said...

Glad to hear it came out well!

denis said...

I'm gonna put on casing my lonzino today, but i need your expertise, for colagen casing, do you put it on water before, like natural casing, or do you use it dry, out of the box ?

Jasonmolinari said...

soak the collagen casing until soft

denis said...

Merci ! Arigato, thanks and grazie !

Anonymous said...

Hi to everyone. Maybe this site will help you to find the right casing:


btw, I enjoyed this blog.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jason, I'm on day 20 of 30 dry-curing a lonzino & I'm seeing some white mold. I've read that white mold is good to see on the lonzino.I didn't usea a casing, I foillowed the advice of someone & brushed it with olive oil on day 1.
My question is;
1)Should I leave the mold build up until day 30 or should I wipe it off with a vinegar/water solution?
2) At the end of the dry-curing, should the white mold be wiped off before eating or not?

Thanks, great blog on dry-curing


Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing.

jaymo said...

Hello Jason-

I just got my curing fridge set up and am looking to try a few whole muscles before moving on to Spanish chorizo and other sausages.

When you make things like this lonzino, do you freeze the meat or get certified pork or anything to deal with possible trichinae, or isn't this an issue? I'm just trying to go by what I've read here and in Marianski & Ruhlman's books. Thanks!

Jasonmolinari said...

Jaymo, i don't get special pork. I'll often freeze it just out of convenience, but i would'nt be worried about trichinea if i didn't.

jaymo said...

Ok. Thanks. I have a spare 100m casing around (I assume it'll be a little too large, but will deal with it appropriately) that I intend to toss a pork loin into after curing. I guess I'll head to the grocery store tomorrow to pick up a loin and get that started!

Sal Anastasio said...

Jason, what's the resaon for putting it in a casing?
I bought a premix Lonzino al Finocchio cure from and in their recipe it doesn't mention anything about putting it in a casing. Their method is pretty much the same as yours except they say to hang at 70% RH for a minimum of 14 days or until it has lost 30-35% of it's start weight.
Thanks, Sal.

Unknown said...

Casigns are used to both slow down the drying and reduce surface contamination with molds.
14 days of drying it going to leave you with a very sad finished product indeed. That is not near long enough for enzymes to break down proteins in amines and flavorful compounds.

Anonymous said...

Hi, great site!

just have one question.. why do you pack solid muscles, like lorinzo in casings?

can I cure it without casings?

Jasonmolinari said...

the casings help control the drying speed, protect the muscles from molds and give flavors of their own (when using natural casings).
It CAN be done without casings but it's hard to regulate how fast the product dries.

Anonymous said...

Hi again,

thanks for the advice, I guess next time i will use casings.

I put lorinzo (your recipe) to the curing chamber 10 days ago, and till today moisture lost 30%.

the same day, I put Pork tenderloin 530 grams to the chamber, today 270g. I dont know, but I think that this a little bit fast??

My chamber: 52F, 70-75%RH.

I cut pork tenderloin in half and saw this:

the quality is poor, but what do you think? thanks A LOT

GreasyBici said...

Hey Jason,

First off thanks for making this blog. I would not have had the guts to try this stuff without this thorough reference tool. Could you please offer me a suggestion?

I'm making this lonzino recipe pretty much the same way you do it, with 2400g meat but I gave it a 14 day curing time instead of your 10. While tying the meat up to hang and dry, I took a finger of meat off that was awkwardly sticking out and decided to fry it up in a pan and found that the taste was quite salty.

Should I be concerned about my final product being too salty, or do you think that this saltiness will balance out with the theoretically less salty center over the drying period? I was thinking half an hour in cold water could help elute some of the exterior salt out just in case I overdid it.

Thanks so much man. Keep up the great work.


Jasonmolinari said...

John, after 14 days it shuold be pretty well equilibrated. 3.3% is on the higher end of salt, i've since gone down towards 2.75%-3% on my products.
I can't recommend soaking in water, it would work, but it would be hard to know how long to soak.
I say, let it dry, eat it and make the next one aroudn 3% instead of 3.3%.

GreasyBici said...

Thanks for the fast response. Lookin forward to how it comes out. Since you dropped the salt by 17% did your blood pressure drop by 17%? :)


Jasonmolinari said...

Hah! not as far as i know

Jon Lewis said...

Hello and thank you very much for your site. I am curing my first lonzino. My chamber has temp and humidity control pretty steady at 55deg and 68-70% rh. After about a week in the chamber it's lost 15% of its weight. Is this too fast? I also have a small fan in the chamber on low setting. Thanks again for your site and info!
Jon Lewis

Jasonmolinari said...

68-70% should be pretty good. i would probably put that fan on a timer so it's not running continuously.

Jon Lewis said...

Thanks very much for the quick response! I will try that with the fan.

Jon Lewis said...

I took your advice and had the fan turn on only when the humidifier was on. Just took the lonzino out of the chamber at 36% weight loss after 31 days so that seems good. Now the rookie question - there is some "lacy" white mold on several spots on the outside of the casing. I did not spray it with bactoferm. Should I wash this off the outside before opening? Thanks very much for your help.

Jasonmolinari said...

white mold is not a problem, no need to wash the outside, just peel the casing back.

Jon Lewis said...

Thanks! I appreciate the help.

Don said...

Hi Jason, I'm impressed at your site and ambitious pursuit of strong meat. I have been making Italian style salt cured meat for about 20 years and still learn new tips and tricks every season. I have quality juniper berries here in Oklahoma and an abundance I would like to sell 5806788785. Besides that, I think we cured almost every animal in Oklahoma last year. Pork is still the best in my book. Dancing the line between the right amount of salt and spoil is difficult for many in the beginning, many over salt and ruin the meat. a rule of thumb to gain this knowledge is to (Taste IT) take 1 or two lbs of fresh pork sausage for breakfast salt and season the entire batch little by little break off a small piece and fry it if it tastes just a little salty you got it! I know you knew that its just for the new enthusiasts. Great job on the site. Thank You

MalcolmTennant said...

Hi Jason, i'm new to curing. For the bresaola can i use aged beef or does it need to be fresh from the abattoir? Regards Malcolm

Jasonmolinari said...

Fresh beef if you're going to cure it