Monday, March 23, 2009

Current Chef De Cuisine Pork Projects

Matt (our chef de cuisine at Tastings) spends a lot of time on projects around the kitchen usually involving some type of pork product. Here we have a Lomo which is a Spanish cured meat made from a pork tenderloin. Its cured and then left to air-dry for several weeks,Matts version I think has more in common with chorizo in its seasoning. The meat undergoes the usual chemical reactions of curing, gaining a translucent, rosy color and complex flavor. The tenderloin may be either brined or dry-cured; if brined, wine is typically used for the liquid. Matt dry cured his lomo. In either case, other flavors may be added to the cure. After the cure is done, the meat is rinsed, wrapped in cheesecloth, and hung until it is dry and hard.

In Spain Lomo is served sliced very very thinly, with some extra-virgin olive oil, some lemon juice, and a small garden salad.

There are three types of Spanish lomo, the cured tenderloin which is cylindrical in shape and contains very little fat,like the one in the picture, lomo "corteza" which is a flatter full loin with a layer of fat and rind on the outer and lome "Orza" which are chunks of lightly fried lomo in a jar of extra virgin olive oil.

There aren't many recipes for this Spanish luxury, so we had to go on what we could find and them improvise. I think it came out great! A little saltier that some of the lomo I have had in the past, but beautiful texture and color and flavor was very very good.

Today Matt was making another head cheese, small head (8 pounder) but yielded a nice 2 pounds of meat.

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