Lardo

Lardo

Cured and sliced lardo

I have loved lardo since I was introduced to it a few summers ago. It is a solid white brick of pork fat that has been cured and aged for a month. After a recent trip to Italy, I had the opportunity to try lardo from its birthplace in Colonnata, Italy. After I finished the piece of lardo that I brought back with me, I knew I had to recreate this wonderful piece of cured fat. We had eight pigs raised for Black Butte Ranch this last summer and this pork fat came off of one of the bellies. I kept it wrapped in plastic and foil in the freezer until I was ready to use it, it is important to keep it wrapped in foil to prevent light from hitting the fat, as this will ruin and spoil it.

Lardo

3# Pork Fat from the belly

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1/2# Coarse Sea Salt

1oz Pink Curing Salt

4oz Sugar

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8ea Rosemary Sprigs

  • Combine all dry ingredients (except the rosemary) and sprinkle a quarter of the dry mix onto a non-reactive pan.
  • Toss the pork fat with the remaining dry mix.
  • Remove the rosemary from the stem and put a quarter of it in the pan with the dry.
  • Re-toss the fat in the dry mix and place it in the pan with the dry mix and rosemary.
  • Put the remaining rosemary on top of the pork fat.
  • Cover the pan with plastic and then a sheet of foil to prevent light from getting to the fat.
  • Place another pan on top of the pork fat and add about 10 pounds of weight. You can do this by putting cans or full water bottles into the pan that is on top of the pork.
  • Refrigerate and let the fat cure for 10-12 days.
  • After the 10-12 days, the fat should feel firm.
  • Rinse the pork and pat dry; wrap with cheesecloth and hang in a cool, dark, and humid place for 18-24 days. Ideally you will be looking for a 60°F temperature with 60%-70% humidity.

Aging and drying the pork fat.

  • Once dried, remove the discolored and dried outer edges. Slice thin and enjoy with olive oil baguettes or your favorite bread.

Lardo

Lardo is a type of salume (Italian charcuterie) made by curing strips of fatback with rosemary and other herbs and spices.

The most famous lardo is from the Tuscan hamlet of Colonnata, where lardo has been made since Roman times. Colonnata is a frazione of the larger city of Carrara, which is famous for its marble; Colonnata is itself a site where Carrara marble is mined and, traditionally, lardo is cured for months in basins made of this local marble.

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My favorite use for this is to place a couple of thin slices on top of halibut that just came out of the oven.