LONZINO, AIR-CURED PORK LOIN
I owe salami guru Len Poli a lot for this recipe, which is an adaptation of his. All lonzino is is air-cured pork loin, a lean cut that cures easily if you follow these directions. It is best served as is, although it makes a great sandwich. You could also dice it as a substitute for any of the Spanish ham recipes that call for diced Serrano ham (and there are a lot of them). It is silky, only a little salty, and you get a hint of the spices that help cure the meat with every bite. This is a subtle meat.
- Makes a 1 1/2 pound cured lonzino.
- Prep Time: 24 days
- A 3 pound piece of whole pork loin or boar loin
- 45 grams kosher salt
- 15 grams sugar
- 5 grams InstaCure No. 2, also known as Prague Cure No. 2
- 10 grams black pepper
- 5 grams garlic powder
- 5 grams ground cloves
- 10 grams onion powder
- 8 grams dried thyme
Mix all the dry ingredients. Rub them well into the loin, then put the meat into a plastic bag or wrap with plastic wrap. This is to keep it from drying out. Keep the meat refrigerated for 12 days.
On the 12th day, remove from the wrap, rinse it off and then let it dry on a rack for 2-3 hours. I use a portable fan set on low to oscillate over the meat.
Truss the meat with kitchen twine (the white stuff) as you would a roast. Leave a long loop at one end so you can hang the meat. You can also use pre-made sausage netting.
Hang the meat in a cool place to dry. It needs to be humid, about 70 percent humidity. How long? At least another 12 days. It should feel firm throughout and be a pleasing red. How long can you hang it? Up to six months or more, but it will become harder and drier the longer it hangs.
To store: Wrap tightly in butcher paper or, better yet, vacuum seal pieces of it – I cut the loin into three chunks – and freeze. Unfrozen, it will last indefinitely in the fridge, but it will continue to dry out.
NOTE: White mold is your friend. Green mold is no fun, and black mold is dangerous. At the first sight of green or black mold, wipe down the meat with a cloth wetted with vinegar.