In Spain it can be either cured or uncured, in Britain it is almost always cured. To complicate matters further, in Spain Beef tenderloin is simply called ‘Lomo’ whereas Pork tenderloin rejoices under such names as ‘lomo de cerdo’, ‘lomo ibérico’, ‘lomo de embuchado’ or ‘lomo cebón’ – tenderloin fattened on barley, apparently.
Easy to fall into the trap, but Tenderloin should not be confused with Loin – they are not the same thing.
Tenderloin, small in diameter – usually about 2-3 inches, is super lean, super tender, and is a long, narrow, boneless cut of meat from the pig’s muscle that runs along the backbone.
Pork Loin comes from the back of the animal, is wider, flatter, and tougher, and can be a boneless or bone-in cut of meat.
So now that’s sorted, how do you make it? The basic principles are to lightly cure a piece of tenderloin in salt, wash it, rub it with seasonings and then hang it to dry. There are any number of recipes and variations that include chilli, paprika, rosemary, and so on, even a light smoke over oak. And because it is so lean, it cures in a comparatively short time.
Robin Gill of The Dairy offers an admirably simple Lomo recipe in his latest book Larder.
He recommends salt, white wine, and pepper as seasonings that enhance rather than drown the flavours of the pork allowing it to shine to through. Without wanting to state the obvious, the quality of the meat is all important.
A well-made Lomo will last in the fridge for several months if properly wrapped. It’s best cut into wafer-thin slices and served with a little olive oil or lemon juice and good bread.
Credit: All article images With Copyright Owner Permission of Bloomsbury Publishing plc
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