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.


Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Guanciale - Ready to eat

The guanciale that was cured and put up to dry about a month and a half ago was ready to be eaten. How did I know it was ready, well, because I had a pasta I had to make with it!

I weighed it, but I forgot to write down what the finished weight was, oops. As you can see on the left, it doesn't look too different from what it looks like before drying, it is just firmer.

I used it for some pasta alla Gricia, and some amatriciana, and it was quite tasty. I think I prefer pancetta, as it seems more flavorful. I also noticed the fat on guanciale has a strange "soft/crunchy" texture if you don't render enough fat out of it...not really a texture I cared for much. The flavor was good, quite mild, porky and very very slightly herby.

If I were to remake this I would season more liberally with herbs and leave them on instead of rinsing them off before drying, like I did with this one.