Updated: Sep 18
In the world of charcuterie, lonza (pork loin) is one of the easier dry cured meats that you can create. It’s salt, various seasonings and drying time; that’s pretty much it.
You can play around with swapping out the herbs and other seasonings to your own taste buds. I like to season mine according to the “season” we are currently in. For holidays, I like to use juniper, thyme, rosemary and sage. I created this recipe in the warmer months, so I went with a citrus and garlic flavor profile.
Please check out the notes below before continuing with the recipe for equipment and safety precautions.
Salting Time: 1 day per every pound of meat.
Dry Hanging Time: 2 to 4 weeks or until the meat has lost 30 percent of its original raw weight.
Food Safety Notes:
Trichinosis: In order to to make this pork as safe as possible to eat, the CDC highly recommends that the meat be frozen at or below 5 degrees F, for a minimum of 20 days to render most of the larvae inert. And that means the center of the pork must be at or below 5 degrees F for at least 20 days.
I have eaten cured wild boar that has been frozen this way many times. But it is completely up to you to make the final decision on whether you want to eat cured and uncooked wild pork.
Here is a link to the CDC webpage regarding trichinosis to help you make your decision.
Equipment & Tools:
If you don’t have access to a meat curing refrigerator, this recipe works well in a standard refrigerator as long as you have ample space and airflow.
If you would like to have a rounded tubular shape to your lonza, try wrapping it tightly in a layer of cheese cloth secured with butchers twine.
If you can’t get your hands on any Meyer lemons, oranges are a great substitute.
If you don’t have any fresh rosemary, thyme works great as well.
1 boneless wild boar loin, silver skin removed. (see notes for safety)
Fennel seeds, toasted and crushed or cracked (for the cure)
1 Meyer lemon, sliced thin
Juice of 1 Meyer lemon
5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 sprigs of rosemary, finely chopped
Fennel seeds, toasted and finely ground (for the rub after after the salting is rinsed)
Weigh out the pork loin and write down the results. (Don’t skip this step)
Place the loin on a large sheet pan. Sprinkle kosher salt all over the loin until every bit of it is coated uniformly well with the salt.
Place the loin in a large plastic food safe bag.
Put the rosemary, garlic, Meyer lemon juice and lemon slices into the bag. Uniformly distribute the seasons on the pork.
Roll the bag tight so the the salt and seasonings stay intact to the pork.
Place the loin on a clean baking sheet. Place another pan of similar size on top. Place something that you can use as a weight on the top pan in a manner that equally presses down the loin. Around 2 to 3 pounds will do the trick.
Refrigerate the meat for 1 day per every 2 pounds of meat.
Flip the pork loin over halfway through the curing process. Rub the pork all over again with the cure to redistribute. Roll it right and weigh it down again.
Once you’ve reached your appropriate salting duration, remove the pork from the bag and rise well under running cold water. Dry the meat thoroughly.
Rub the meat all over with the ground fennel. It should be a uniform light dusting.
Tie the loin with butchers twine in a way (like a roast) that let’s you hang it in your curing space.
Hang in your curing space until it has lost 30% of its raw weight that you recorded in the beginning.