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What Is... Lomo?

Lomo is Spanish for Tenderloin…

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.

Where does Tenderloin come from…

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.

How to Make Lomo

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.

Recipe Idea

Robin GillRobin 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.

Serving Lomo

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.

Did you Know?

  • As a reaction against the Arab occupation, and once they were chased out of the country in the 15th century, the eating of pork was seriously encouraged, and is now Spain’s most popular meat.

Credit: All article images With Copyright Owner Permission of Bloomsbury Publishing plc

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