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making dry cured pork loin (lonzino) – video!

Something a little different today folks. A full on video post. Well, almost full on. I recently put a pork loin in to cure, and air dry and thought it might be rather fun to video the making of it. Turns out it was fun, and I now feel the need to inflict the video on every reader of this blog (hi Mum!).

Lonzino is really pretty simple. A section of pork loin that has cured in salt and herbs, and then is left to dry hang until ready – normally about a month. To make things far less boring, I tend to case all of my whole muscle cuts now – so you get to watch me try and force a big piece of meat into a small casing (no jokes please..). The reason to case is that it slows down the drying process, and also helps prevent the exterior of the meat drying out too much – so you get nice even dryness across a slice.

So here is the video!

You can watch it at a higher resolution on the vimeo site too: http://www.vimeo.com/15465207

Recipe for air dried pork loin (lonzino)

NOTE: Cure ingredients are given here as percentage of the total meat weight, after trimming. Since you aren’t going to have exactly the same weight of meat as me, it is best to work out your cure ingredients based on these percentages.

Pork loin – 1082g

Salt – 36g (3.3%)

Black Pepper 10.8g (1%)

Cure #2 2.7g (0.25%)

Juniper Berry 1.6g (0.15%)

Fennel Seed 3g (2.7%)

Dried Bay Leaf – 0.4g – about 2 leaves

casing – beef or pork 3.5″ diameter

Trim away any nasty looking stuff from the meat – blood spots and so on. Wash gently, dry well.

Grind up all the cure ingredients in a spice grinder until finely ground. Put the meat in a large zip lock bag, and rub the cure all over. Seal the bag, and put in the fridge for 10 days. Every couple of days rub the meat through the back, helping to distribute the cure well.

Soak the casing in room temperature water with a splash of white vinegar in for at least 1 hour – you can leave it for 6 hours or so no problem.  Rinse the casing through a couple of times with clean water. Squeeze as much water as possible from the casing.

Gently stuff the meat in to the casing. Tie off both ends using a bubble knot (info on this kind of knot is here: http://mattikaarts.com/blog/charcuterie/making-salami-at-home/).

Tie the meat up, using butchers loops and knots, much the same way you would tie a roast. The video above shows the basics, and I have another video coming showing how to do this fully.

Hang to air dry at 55F, 75% humidity with gentle airflow for about a month – until the meat has lost 35% of its weight.

Slice thinly to serve.

Cure #2 is a mix of salt, nitrate and nitrite and is crucial in safe meat curing at home (it isn’t strictly required for whole muscle curing like lonzino however). You can order some online from here: http://www.sausagemaker.com/

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15 Responses to “making dry cured pork loin (lonzino) – video!”

  1. Jackie Baisa says:

    Oh my. I am BLOWN AWAY. What a fantastic video! It’s truly outstanding. Can’t wait for you to slice that puppy in a month! ;-)

  2. David Eger says:

    Great concept & great video! I’ll be watching to see how it turns out.

  3. love love love this video! awesome job Matt!
    you are just amazing, and the one to go to for learning how to make cured meats.
    this post is a definitely bookmark. thank again for sharing another amazing video.
    Rock On Charcuterie Meister!

  4. freaking awesome video Matt! total meat-porn

  5. Sean says:

    Stunning. I want to start dabbling in video content (not to mention more meat curing) and I love the POV on this. Really gorgeous.

  6. Matt,
    that video is both hilarious (in a brilliant way) and informative. It’s hard for people who want to start making their own charcuterie to jump in with written recipes and photos. Your video shows it takes basic skills and a few specialized pieces of equipment. Thanks for making lonzino so accessible.

  7. Scott says:

    If I may, one thing I’d like to add. In order to avoid any air pockets, I try to tie as tightly as possible. In order to do this, I employ the use of surgical forceps. After each half hitch completed, I attach a pair of forceps to the piece of twine where the tension is held. I then complete another half hitch and attach another forceps. I then remove the first forceps. I repeat this process for the initial series of half hitches. Takes a little extra time, but, is very effective.

  8. Alex says:

    I am using the following curing salt mixture:


    Should I follow their directions – to use 1.5% the mass of the meat (to substitute both cure#2 and salt) or use 3.3% + 0.25% combined as per your instructions?

  9. mattwright says:

    Hi Alex – I am not sure what that mix is. Without knowing exactly what percentage of nitrate and nitrite is in that mix, it is impossible for me to give you a safe suggestion.

    Personally I would make sure you use salt, and cure 2 – cure2 is a mix of nitrate, nitrite and salt. You will find most dry cure recipes to use salt and cure2. Remember that Cure2 is NOT pure nitrate or nitrite – in fact, it is no where close (only 6.25% of the mix is nitrite and 1% nitrate)

  10. Peter says:

    I want to try the lorinzo recipe, but the indredient measurements are challenging. How do you measure some of the ingredients in quantities as small as a gram or two without having to purchase an expensive scale?

  11. mattwright says:

    Peter – the only thing I recommend weighing out really accurately is the cure2. The herbs and spices are honestly up to you – roughly for those is fine. For the lonzino recipe you can try and get as accurate as possible with regular kitchen scales. You will find however that a very accurate scale will most likely only set you back $20. Look for the American Weight brand – they are inexpensive and accurate for small measurements.

  12. Nick says:

    Fantastic video! what is the name of the song? I love it!

  13. matt says:

    Nick – it is “bible school” by the incredible Blithe Field.

  14. rcl1210 says:

    I live in Palm Desert, CA and the winter/spring average temp/humidity is: 65-80F/20-60%RH. After I do my initial evening, fan-driven “air-dry,” can I finish the process in a typical refrigerator?

    I know it’s not ideal, but since I don’t currently have a controlled “curing chamber,” I’m hoping that the finish drying/curing process in the refrigerator will suffice.

  15. mattwright says:

    rcl1210 – it is a really bad idea to dry in a regular fridge – at regular fridge temperatures. The temp is too low, and the humidity is far too low.