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/