Air Cured Pork Loin

Have you ever had thin slices of lomo at a tapas joint or perhaps have a family tradition of Italian lonzino?

I’d never heard of lonzino until I tried to find a recipe online approximating the delicious cured pork loin served to us each day when we visited my father-in-law.  Even lomo wasn’t on my radar any longer, but an order from La Tienda filled the gap pretty well while I finally got around to trying to cure my own.  (La Tienda is a great resource if you crave things like fuet!)

This is not going to be a recipe or exact procedure (per usual here.)  I do detest measuring and weighing after all.  Besides, I have yet to come up with a way to make a mouth watering smokey loin with a strong hint of thyme such as the traditional Romanian kind my father-in-law makes.  So far I’ve achieved salty and savoury.  I need his secrets and perhaps a smoker.  Nonetheless it was an adventure, and maybe someone reading this will be inspired to try their own charcuterie?

I began the cure on the 18th of November, and I deemed the pork ready on the 18th of December as it turns out.  They were rather large hunks which took a long time.  I just began four, as thin as my wrist, yesterday as a second attempt which will go faster.  First I washed the pieces and trimmed them a bit to be a more regular size and composition (less fat.)  Roughly following a few online guides I salted them including pink curing salt in the mix (which contains nitrates/nitrites which are extremely important to prevent dangerous bacterias from colonising the meat.)  This is also supposed to be done by weight for safety reasons.  The dry brine included some herbs, liquid smoke, and semi-sweet paprika, but it turned out to not be enough for the flavour I was looking for.  The pieces were tightly wrapped and went into the fridge until the 4th.

salted-pork-loin

At that point I rinsed them (not well enough fearing they’d be bland… too salty in retrospect,) let them drain for a while, and tied them up to hang in the garage.  It didn’t look odd at all, I’m sure.

pork-loin-after-refridgerator-curing

curing-pork-loins

On the 18th I figured the smaller one was ready, and it was was indeed.  I wonder what the drain guys who came to fix our sewer line thought when they walked into the garage??  😀

romanian-cured-pork-loin

I made pa amb tomaquet to serve it with, and we didn’t die.  😉

pa-amb-tomaquet

 

Meanwhile, I have been very productive lately and preparing to post about a big cosmetic improvement to our house.  I finally re-tiled the fireplace hearth and the entryway!  That was… last week and the week before, but I still haven’t done the grout.  Once I set the entry tile on Thursday I’d been ready to write a nice post, but without a completely done after photo I’m stuck.  Today I nearly did the grout but somehow found myself painting the guest room panelling instead.  Tomorrow!  I’ve really been in a productive frenzy lately, which is good.  Partly it is due to the holidays and wanting things to look as nice as I envisioned when people will actually be here to see, and partly it is a due to a looming deadline on the horizon…  This is off topic for this blog, but we finished up the IVF cycle with a day five transfer last Thursday, and today I had a really obviously positive home pregnancy test.  It is pretty exciting although I should keep my enthusiasm tempered this early, but I can’t.  😀  (It is extremely early to test, but I’d already tested out the trigger and know it’s real.  Now we just need it to stick!)