Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Lardo D'Arnad - Tasting

After almost 90 long days the lardo is done. There really wasn't much to it; no need to control temperature, humidity or anything else really. Just waiting. So the waiting is over, and it's time to eat!

This is what the brine looked like after 85 days. It's darkened considerably, and has stained the outside surface of the fat. Not sure what causes this darkening...i guess something coming out of the herbs.

Here is the hunk of fatback, removed from the brine and dried. Ready to slice super thin.

This is how it's traditionally eaten. Sliced very thin, some black pepper, and eaten over some grilled rustic bread. The warm bread gently melts the lardo, making it almost disappear.

Here is the lardo on some warm rye bread. Not a traditional accompaniment, but it was very tasty...and it was the only sliced bread i had.

Overall it's really good. The herbs and spices can be tasted but not too strongly. It is a little bit salty, so i'm going to take a hunk and follow the recommendation an Italian guy who taught me to make this gave me. Soak in clean water for 24 hours per kilogram of lardo. This will draw out some of the salt. It'll take some time in the fridge for the salt to re-equilibrate throughout the hunk, but it should reduce the saltiness.

I'm not sure what i'm going to do with this much lard. As you might imagine a little goes a long way. It's VERY tasty, but it's rich and eating a whole lot in a sitting isn't going to happen. I'll split it in multiple pieces and vacuum pack it and freeze it. I think it'll keep well.


Ben the Butcher said...

Have you ever done dry cured lardo? How does the wet brined compare?

Paul Drowns said...

Hi Jason,

Looks delicious! You can cook with lardo as well... use it to flavor the pan when you saute vegetables, as part of a sofritto, to make beans absolutely unctuous, etc.

Jasonmolinari said...

Ben, i've never made one dry cured, so i'm not sure how they'd compare.

Paul, with it is good too...just remember to adjust for salt.

Omar said...

Thanks for the awesome post jason. i would put that on everything. im going to try this over the week end.

scott said...

Looks great, Jason.

Ben: you can see dry cured Lardo on my blog.

Mister Meatball said...

Well, looks like it was well worth the wait. Nice work.

Rye bread, huh?

Had some really nice lardo on a salumi platter here in Portland couple nights ago. Damn fine stuff.

Jasonmolinari said...

MM, thanks. The rye bread was quite tasty actually! I was surprised.

Anonymous said...

send some in the mail

Anonymous said...

Jason! I just put my hunk of fatback on brine today! I based my recipe on yours, but reduced the salt a bit (based on your tasting comments). Emile is a really great guy, and his pork is second to none. Thanks for braving the way. Ill let you know how this turn out on october 5th.

Jasonmolinari said...

awesome, let me know how it turns out!

JD Berry said...

Jason, I have to say I just found your blog and i've been reading it for two days straight! Awesome. Very ambitious stuff. I am a beginner and very much appreciate your instructional posts. I live in Marietta and have had trouble finding any cured italian meats locally so i decided to start making my own. Thanks for the help!

Jasonmolinari said...

Thanks JD. Glad you like the blog. Welcome to this hobby.
Make sure you read all the way back, i detail a lot of information on curing chambers and other equipment.

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Gwen Pratesi

2nd-favorite said...

great post as always. I have just started curing in the last couple of months and have always found inspiration on your site. I just pulled a piece of pork belly out of my curing fridge after a few days unattended. (I was out of town) It has developed a rather strong sour smell. Several of my previous curing projects have had a similar smell, but none so strong. Wondering if you could offer any advice on this. It doesn't have any visible mold or anything. Thanks.

Jasonmolinari said...

sour smell is bad.
I'm not sure what would be causing it. Tell me your process and your conditions

2nd-favorite said...

Thanks for your quick reply. Here is my process.
I started with about a two pound piece of belly, probably at least three inches think. I dry cured it for 12 or 13 days. Then it was tied and hanging in an old fridge. The fridge is just a space though, it doesn't work so humidity control is manual and temperature is up to the whims of nature. It is in a cool basement though so it stays fairly regular, never above 70 or so.
As I said, I left town for a few days and left the fridge closed> I think the RH got a bit high. Came back and it was damp and smelled.
I soaked it in brine for a few hours. It still smells quite strong. The interior as well, though not as much.

MV said...

I stumbled onto your blog a few months ago when I first starting to cure meat. So far i have only ventured into whole muscle and have done a couple of bresaolas some of which have come out a bit to salty, some of which were fantastic. I played around with a couple of pork tenderloins which i haven't gotten perfect yet, thanks to your diagram i was able to produce a fantastic coppa, and currently have a prosciutto hanging which still has some time to go.

I read your bio and noticed you are from italy and i was wondering if you know of anyone, any place, anywhere in italy that would be a good to learn charcuterie. I have cooked professionally for 8 years now and love food but am shifting interests in other directions, i still love food but would love to learn some additional speciality skill, charcuterie being on the top of my list.

I'm a traveler, i love immersing my self in other cultures, i love to explore, i love to eat, and i love to learn. I'm open to any suggestions, i thought you would be a great person to ask.

thanks a lot, Marc V.

Jasonmolinari said...

Marc, i dont know any "norcini" in italy, as they are called...sorry. Wish i could help point you at least.

Anonymous said...

SO I just cut into the lardo and agree on the salt. Ive made another infusion of herbs, peppercorns and water (sans salt) that Ill soak the lardo in for another 2 days to balance the salt and herb flavor out. Great recipe! Thanks man!

Jasonmolinari said...

sous: yeah, give it a soak for a day or 2, then a few days to re-equilibrate

Bettina said...

Potato Pancakes are great with lardo either in it, finely cubed or on it.

Jasonmolinari said...

Great idea Bettina. I will have to do that!

adam said...

hi jason

i was wondering if freezing the lardo was successful and if it altered the flavour or texture at all?

would you suggest a limit to how long one should freeze lardo for?

i have the same questions about guancialle, and cotechino


Jasonmolinari said...

I vacuum pack everything, and i've never run into a deterioration of the product.
I've held cotechini frozen from one year to the next and they were perfect.

TW said...

Hi Jason, I made your lardo d'arnad and after about 2 months, my bag broke and leaked out most of the brine.... My piece was thick but not as thick as yours (about 1 inch at thickest) and had a TINY bit of meat on it. Would you think it would be safe to assume that it's ok?

Jasonmolinari said...

TW, yes, it should be fine after 2 months.