The Kids Cook Monday – Monday June 27, 2011 – “Mangalitsa Lomo”

I apologize for the long delay in writing for The Kids Cook Monday. A rather eventful couple of months, but hopefully things will calm down soon.  I am happy to report that our attempt to cure mangalitsa loin was very successful. In my prior post I talked about how Alessandra and I made Guanciale, and we also wanted to make lomo, or cured pork loin. The result was amazing and it is surprisingly easy and quite easy for Alessandra to help out.

She was able to coat the meat with the cure using plastic gloves and there is very little that can go wrong. As long as the meat is evenly covered this is a stress free step of the curing process, but it really allowed her involvement. We repeated after 7 days for the remaining cure. For a curing chamber, I used our wine refrigerator and kept a bowl of heavily salted water in the bottom to create the humidity and I fanned fresh air into the refrigerator twice a day.

After the two stages of curing, I rinsed off the meat and patted them dry. Now it’s time to hang the lomo to air dry for 45-60 days. I tied each section up like a roast, weighed and took notes of each section, and then hung them to dry. The rule of thumb is to allow the meat to dry out, losing a 1/3 of its weight. In the end you get a perfectly colored slice of cured meat that is great for lunch or cheese and crackers. This wasn’t really something that Alessandra likes at this time, but she had fun looking at the meat through the window. Now we just got to get back into our routine of cooking together. I miss her in the kitchen!!

Below is the recipe that I used to cure the loin, and I must say the cure smells so good.

Lomo (Cured Pork Loin)
Chef Justin Everett of El Dorado Kitchen—Sonoma, CA
Adapted by
July 2009
5 pounds pork loin
60 grams turbinado sugar
9 grams pink salt
9 grams toasted Tellicherry black peppercorns
9 grams toasted fennel seeds
9 grams toasted coriander
45 grams Kosher salt
7 grams sweet paprika
3 cloves chopped garlic
3 grams thyme leaves
3 grams cayenne pepper
White vinegar

Mix sugar, salt, peppercorns, fennel seeds, coriander, salt, paprika, garlic, thyme, cayenne, and coat evenly all sides of the pork loin, reserving a third of the spice mixture for a second cure. Place pork loin in a non reactive container and refrigerate for 7 days. After 7 days, apply the reserved spice mixture and refrigerate for 7 more days. Rinse the pork loin and tie with butcher twine. Store hanging at 60°F at 70% humidity for approximately 45 days. Meat should not have developed mold, but should be firm to the touch and smell sweet. Remove from storage and wipe the surface of the loin with a lint- free cloth dipped in white vinegar. Place in sealed container and store for up to two weeks in the refrigerator.