Sunday, November 11, 2007

sLoW fAt : Lardo

Today I took took the fat back I'd been curing out of the cure and hung it up to dry. With the exception of one minor variation I've been mostly following the recipe from Charcuterie by Ruhlman and Polycyn, otherwise it's by-the-book.

The curing rub was made with kosher salt, dextrose powder, nitrate salt seasoned with black pepper, bay leaf and rosemary instead of the specified thyme (pun inteneded). After I coated the six pounds of fat back (from the Reading Terminal branch of Stoltzfus' Meats) with the curing mix, I put it in a dish (pictured below) and covered it with plastic and foil. Then I put a piece of plywood on top and weighted it with two 5 lbs free weight discs (not pictured). It seems that at least some types old exercise equipment don't have to sit around forever feeling useless. Not too sure that's going to be the case with the weight bench or the elliptical machine that we wasted a thousand bucks on 3 or so years ago. But I digress.

Today, after 10 days, I took the fat out of the cure, rinsed it off, rolled it in cheesecloth and hung it up to air dry. The taste of the raw fat coming out of the cure is amazing. It is very similar to the taste of fat in genoa salami but without the acidic edge that is produced when the salami ferments. But in truth there's nothing like it, I'm totally hooked.

BTW, the knife in the picture was given to me by my wife for my birthday (I just turned 53 Arghhh!). It's a pretty fancy Japanese chef's knife, by somebody named Ken Onion. I'm leaving it in the stand for now, but I doubt it's going to stay there much longer.


Tags said...

Glad to see you put the fatback to good use. Maybe I'll get a chance to try it.

How did the band competition go yesterday? And did the people there appreciate your charcutepreneurial efforts?

redman said...

awesome, I'm glad you did this- I've been wanting to try it.

Anyone read Heat? Passage at beginning about drunken, stoned Mario placing "tabs" of lardo on guests' tongues was making me drool just reading it.

looks like you have a faucet above your range

that is so cool

btw, if anyone wants to see my newest toy check out this link

Scotty said...

That looks incredibly fabulous. The lardo looks wonderful too. I have lusted for a Shun knife since I first saw Alton using them, but my lust has been for the classic design, not the Ken Onion or the Alton canted grip. When you do use it, let us know. I, for one would like to know how it works/feels for you.

I might even get one given to me when I turn 50 in January.