Lonzino

It's not been a very productive week as I've been 'on bed rest' because of a small pressure sore. However, I have managed to start off a Lonzino Stagionata. I think this is the correct term for what is a cured air dried loin of pork, Italian style.

It's basically like a parma ham but from the eye of the loin. Expensive, but superb.

I started off with 4½ kg of pork loin from Joseph Morris's. It was boned and the eye of the loin removed yielding 1½ kg of meat for the Lonzino and a further 2¼ kg of meat/fat that will be used in chorizo. The meat was a very good price costing about £16 for the piece - much cheaper than any supermarket.

Now for the cure, what should I use? I am at something of a disadvantage here as I've never tasted Lonzino. Online recipes, of which I found only two from trusted sources, varied considerably in the spices used so I was left with making up my own interpretation from the (little) information available - it's turned out as a sort of combination of the two online recipes. Whether it will be anything like the original is any-one's guess! Anyway, here it is:

For 1 kg meat I used:

Salt 34gm
Sugar 10gm
Cure #2 - 3gm (I actually use 3g cure #1 and 0.15g saltpetre, but cure #2 is far easier to measure)
Black Pepper 5gm
Fennel Seeds 4gm
White Pepper 3gm
Garlic Powder 2.5gm
Cinnamon 1gm
Mace 1gm
1 Clove

Grind the spices and mix with the other ingredients. Rub cure into the loin then put it into a food grade bag or vacuum pack it.

It will cure for 10 days or so.

Lonzino rubbed with cure

Others posts about this Lonzino are:

Lonzino Drying

Lonzino - Finished


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Bresaola

Having sorted out my Curing Fridge, it was about time I started air-drying meat in earnest.

Having said, "sorting out my curing fridge", it's taken one further item of equipment to get it working to perfection - a dehumidifier to reduce the humidity of the air going into the fridge. Although room temperature air may seem to be at the correct humidity, the relative humidity increases as the air gets cooler. I searched long and hard for a small dehumidifier to actually put inside the fridge, but none of the small Peltier effect dehumidifiers seem to work below 15°C. The only answer was to reduce the humidity of the room. A lucky buy on eBay (£21 for a nearly new Amcor dehumidifier) has solved the problem.

The first thing I fancied is Bresaola, cured 'raw' beef which is eaten thinly sliced. I've done two pieces of topside, one from my local butcher, and one from the supermarket. The first has been cured using this recipe from Jason Molinari's Blog.

Bresaola Curing

I started this on 3rd June and it will cure for 21 days (or maybe slightly longer as it's a wide piece of meat).

The other has been cured to a recipe by Franco, the owner of Sausagemaking.org

Bresaola Curing

Franco's recipe applies half the cure at the start, and half after 7 days Today I applied the second lot of cure. It will now cure for another 14 days. The only other real difference between the two is that Franco's has garlic powder in the curing mixture.

It will be interesting to see which meat is best - Local or supermarket.


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Buckling Pâté

brought me a buckling at the weekend from Cookies Crab Shop.

Now, for those who don't know, buckling is a whole smoked herring and like all herring is full of bones. Personally I find the bones a real pain, so I decided to make this Buckling Pâté instead of just eating the fish as is.

Buckling Pate

No need for a formal recipe - it's basically the meat off the fish with butter, seasoning, and chopped parsley, all mixed in the food processor. You could add some cream cheese or cream which would make it more spreadable from the fridge.


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Taramasalata

Taramasalata or taramosalata, the spelling's different, but the product's the same.

It was only a couple of days ago that I realised that I hadn't reported back on what I did with the smoked cod's roe that I made way back in March.

Now I know has been eating it just spread on toast, but he's made of sterner stuff than me! I find it far too strong for that! I think that the smoke was probably a bit too dense so there's just a slight bitter edge to it. Next time I'll smoke it in lighter smoke, but for longer, to avoid this.

As to the taramasalata, I've tried numerous recipes and, although purists make scoff, I've found the ones with some breadcrumb added to be the nicest.

Taramasalata

Taramasalata

150gm Smoked Cods Roe
150gm Oil (I used a light rapeseed)
35gm fresh bread (moistened in a little milk)
½ a garlic clove (steeped in boiling water for 5 minutes)
Juice of a lemon
1 tablespoon water

Process the roe, bread and garlic in a food processor. Add the oil a little at a time like making mayonnaise. Add lemon juice to taste then mix in the water to lighten it up.


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Pancetta di Larbo

I mentioned in this post that I was making a rolled pancetta - pancetta arrotolata - from a recipe by my mate Larbo who now lives in the US.

It's unusual as it's flavoured with orange zest and fennel - not the traditional flavours you expect in pancetta.

The meat was dry cured for 12 days, rolled and tied, and has been hanging in my air-drying fridge for 27 days.

Allowing for the removal of the skin when it was rolled, it's lost 22% of its original weight - in supermarket terms it's been made with 127gms of meat per 100gms pancetta - a somewhat greater amount than their offerings at 110gms per 100gms pancetta and £16 per kilo!

Pancetta di Larbo

Here's the recipe:

Rub a 3-pound piece of pork belly with

6 grams pink salt
25 grams kosher salt
12 grams turbinado sugar
10 grams coarsely ground black pepper
5 grams fennel, crushed
2 grams ground cloves
grated zest of two oranges

Put it in a plastic bag (like a Ziploc) and refrigerate it for 7 days. Every couple days, rub the belly to redistribute the seasoning (you can do this right through the bag). When the belly feels firm to the touch, it's cured. Then rinse off the cure ingredients, towel dry, and rub the inside of the belly with a second dose of pepper, fennel, clove, and oranges. Roll it up tightly (fat side outside) and tie it up. Soak for a few minutes in balsamic vinegar (I use the inexpensive, commercial brand Antica Italia), then hang to dry where the temperature is between 50 and 60, and the humidity is about 60%. Every week, take it down and soak it in the balsamic vinegar again for a few minutes. (I keep the vinegar in a bag for this.) When the pancetta is firm but still pliable, after 2-3 weeks, it's ready to enjoy.

It'll be great as an antipasti, and I think it'll be superb wrapped around a pork fillet before cooking. Mmm.

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