This post was written by Connor and originally shared in 2016 to his 4H blog. We hope to make traditional Italian lardo again soon!
Today, I am going to teach you how to make Lardo and a little of its history. Lardo is cured pork fat and is an Italian delicacy. I have Italian ancestry so it is cool to learn about the food they ate.
Italians believe in using all the pig. Lardo is an easy and cheap way to make the fat into a delicious dish. Lardo was once a poor man’s food and now it is seen as a delicacy. Due to them working so hard, they needed a cheap and healthy food to get by. So they used the fatback that was seen as useless and made it into a delicious ingredient to eat with all their meals. Since they also didn’t have refrigeration having a cured food solved the issue of rotting. Pigs are one of the most common livestock in Tuscany. Historically all the rich people got the meat and the poor got all the less used parts like the fat, ears, feet, etc.
Below is a picture of the town of Colonnata and its marble quarries. The town is located in the mountains right outside Florence.
Lardo is cured in salt and countless herbs for a delicious flavor and is then left in a marble container for six months. Here is a example of a Lardo curing cellar and shop.
Lardo can be using in countless recipes to add some extra flavor. Below I have some pictures of dishes made with Lardo. I can’t wait to use it in six months.
Now let me tell you how to make delicious and easy Lardo at home.
The fat used in this recipe is from the KuneKune pigs I was raising since they were piglets. They had an amazing life. They ate pasture, produce and had ton of area to roam. I would not buy the fat for this from the supermarket as it tastes worse and it is pumped full of artificial hormones. Buy the fat from a organic, pastured heritage breed pig. Also the fat from the super market wouldn’t be from a lard pig. A lard pig is a lot more fatty and delicious than a meat pig.
Ingredients you will need:
- Fresh Rosemary
- Fresh Thyme
- Kosher or Sea Salt
- Fresh Sage
- Fennel Seeds
- Black Pepper
- Ten Cloves Of Minced Garlic
- One Slab Of Fatback
Step One: Add all the ingredients besides the pork into a container and mix them. Make sure to cut up all the herbs.
Step Two: Cut the skin off your fatback slowly with a very sharp knife.
Step Three: Cover the fat with the mixture from step one, then add them both to a zip-loc bag. Put the plastic bag into a black trash bag and put it in the back of your fridge to cure for six months. Every month take the Lardo out and redistribute the salt. Add more salt or herbs if needed.
In six months, I will tell you how it turned out and share some delicious recipes. Buon appetito.