Whipped Lardo Recipe

whippedlardo

Lard used to be a staple in kitchen, but for decades it’s been shunned due to fears that saturated animal fat increases risk for cardiovascular disease.  Recent  studies have casted doubt on this claim and we’re reading more  articles about lard and seeing more on menus of restaurants.  We are not nutritionists and while the jury is still out, on the health effects of lard, we know what what tastes good and more importantly, how to enjoy things in moderation. So there’s no reason why to cut out lard completely from our diet.  That’s how we rationalize enjoying one of our favorite spreads ever, whipped lardo.  Lardo is Italian salumi of salt cured fat but the spread version we had, while sharing the same name is slightly different. While in Las Vegas at Mario Batali’s steakhouse Carnevino, we were served warm bread with whipped lardo.  It was the most flavorful spread we’ve ever tasted and over warm bread, its something we dreamt about for days.

So we searched the internet for a reliable recipe.  There are many salumi style lardo recipes but only few whipped lardo spread recipes. They ranged from rendering pork fat back to whipping uncooked pork fat back and curing it with salt and spices.  Luckily we stumbled upon TheGastroGnome’s recipe which apparently comes from a chef that learned from the famed Italian butcher Dario Cecchini.  She also had a similar obsession and rendered and cured mounds of lard to recreate it.  Her recipe is a  super simple one and doesn’t require any actual salumi lardo or cooking at all!  And it turned out spectacular,  just like what we had at Mario Batali’s Carnevino.  Essentially, you’re grinding uncooked pork fat and seasoning with spices.  We know, it sounds weird, but it tasted wonderful!  If you’re wondering why we’ve fallen in love with whipped lardo, this quote from TheGastroGnome couldn’t be written any better: “So what is the whipped lardo like? Like butter on overdrive, like meat in cream form, like flavor that is at once so simple and so complex that you must have another bite to figure out which one it is.”

whippedlardo2

The key to the recipe is obtaining quality pastured pork fat. Don’t attempt to make this with commercial pork fat or the lard at the grocery store.  Ask your butcher or check your farmers market for pastured pork back fat or leaf lard which is the fat around the pig’s kidneys.  This may take some sleuthing on your part, but it’s worth it as pork back fat is pretty cheap. Another key is the recipe is  salt, preferably kosher or sea salt.  While the recipe doesn’t state an amount we started off with 1/2 ts and continued to add small amount at a time and tasted.  You can use any spice for flavoring. Rosemary is used here, but since lard is flavor neutral, it takes up any spice flavoring well. Make lavender, fennel, coriander lardo, the possibilities are endless!  She uses a meat grinder, but we think using a processor to blend the fat and then working the spices in with your hands will work as well.

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Whipped Lardo

The recipe calls for grinding the fat through a meat grinder, if that's available, cube the fat into 1 inch pieces and use the food processor. The key is season with salt as you go. Start with 1/2 teaspoon and add more to taste. Store in a air tight jar in the refrigerator which lasts for at least a month, and frozen even longer.

Ingredients:

1/3 lb of pastured pork back fat or leaf lard
1 small clove of garlic
1 teaspoon of sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
1 sprig of rosemary, minced
Kosher or sea salt
ground pepper

Directions:

Grind the fat through the smallest setting on your meat grinder. Add the garlic and vinegar and begin massaging air into it. As you work with the meat, folding in air using a motion like a back rub or milking a cow, it will get softer and softer. Add in salt and pepper and rosemary and begin to taste. It will need a decent amount of salt to bring out the full flavors, though go more sparsely on the pepper and rosemary for that big pig flavor.

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13 Responses to “Whipped Lardo Recipe”

  1. 1

    The Gastrognome — October 10, 2014 @ 8:08 am

    Yay! I’m so glad that you guys found my recipe and were able to make use of it! And thanks for not being too critical of the shortfalls of the recipe…it was a long time ago that I wrote it!

    • The Ravenous Couple replied: — October 10th, 2014 @ 11:24 am

      most recipes are rough guidelines anyway, thanks for all the leg work!

  2. 2

    Ngoc — October 15, 2014 @ 1:45 pm

    Thanks for posting this recipe. A local butcher gave me a lardo sample and I don’t know what to do with it besides use it for cooking like oil or butter. Do you know if lardo expires? It’s been a while and I’m not sure if my container is still good. Since it came from a butcher, it’s not marked like commercialized products are.

    • The Ravenous Couple replied: — October 24th, 2014 @ 9:48 am

      was your lardo already salt cured slab of pork fat? if so, people slice it really thin and place it on finished dishes to put it over the top, so to speak. this whipped lardo is slightly different than the salt cured lardo.

  3. 3

    Jessica @ The Dining Traveler — October 30, 2014 @ 6:48 am

    I recall having something similar in both Austria and Poland and loved it. I don’t see myself making this in the near future due to lack of meat grinder (And time to find a good butcher) but hoping to see it pop up at more restaurants in DC. Beautiful pictures! Made me hungry!

    • The Ravenous Couple replied: — November 28th, 2014 @ 9:05 am

      a foodprocessor should work too!

  4. 4

    anna — May 14, 2015 @ 1:35 pm

    Very popular dish in Poland i love it (I’m from Poland )and my vietnamese boyfriend also like it:)
    We eat this with a lit bit of salt and pickles .
    I like your blog and your recipes .Just get back from trip to Vietnam and I’m gonna try to make some vietnamese food.
    Yummyyy:))

  5. 5

    matt — May 2, 2016 @ 7:53 am

    should I quickly blanch the fat first in boiling water for safety concerns?

    • The Ravenous Couple replied: — May 3rd, 2016 @ 3:54 pm

      we didn’t but don’t see why it would hurt, just don’t over do it

  6. 6

    Gloria — July 5, 2016 @ 12:23 pm

    Thank you, thank you. Have been wondering how to get the recipe for the whipped lardo I had at The Butcher’s restaurant in Panzano, Italy. It was WONDERFUL! ! Will be on the hunt to find the pastured pork fat.

  7. 7

    Sabrina — August 3, 2016 @ 6:09 pm

    I had some fat from a pork shoulder and just rendered it so as not to throw it away. Can I somehow turn it into a sort of lardo? Chill, add salt, pepper and rosemary, stir and leave in fridge a while?

    • The Ravenous Couple replied: — August 10th, 2016 @ 2:55 pm

      certainly worth a try as poor mans version of lardo :)

  8. 8

    rajesh kumar — August 9, 2016 @ 10:08 pm

    A very friendly openhearted place to occupy a couple of nights. All persons were well trained, cooperative and helpful. Everything was handled with effectiveness and attention to every detail was given. Food was delicious and the view was wonderful while dining. Thanks…

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