Among Spain's most treasured cured meats, Lomo Embuchado is carefully dried for 2 months, seasoned with smoked paprika, garlic and spices. Lomo embuchado is simply a whole pork loin, solid meat with no fillers. Because of this, many prefer lomo to chorizo or salchichón sausages.
Each thinly cut slice has a light marbling of fat which adds significantly to the texture of the meat. The lomo is sometimes smoked with charcoal and wood and slow cured in natural drying houses. There are three types of lomo - from normal 'serrano' pork, from Ibérico, or "pata-negra" pork, or finally from Ibérico pork from free range, acorn fed pigs, also known as "bellota".
Taste & Appearance of Lomo Embuchado
Cured pork loins are usually about 2 feet (60cm) in length. Their natural flavor is delicious, with a smoky, lightly salty taste. Lomo Embuchado is usually sold in whole or partial pieces, and should be vertically cut into thin slices to taste. It should be stored in a cool, dry place. The exterior color is light red and the inside is a darker red with marbled fat. Lomo embuchado does not need to be cooked, as it has already been cured.
Lomo embuchado has a smooth texture, which is flavor-packed with an intense sweet, aroma and undertones of paprika and smokiness.
How a Spanish Pork Loin is Cured
The pork loin is first cleaned by removing any visible outer fat. Subsequently, the lomo is packed in sea salt. The loin is then washed and seasoned with a combination of spices, such as garlic, paprika, oregano, lemon and olive oil, and after 24 hours, it is stuffed into a casing. The loin is then hung in a drying room at a temperature of between 18 - 20ºC, and a relative humidity of 80-85% for 24 or 48 hours. The temperature is then lowered to about 12 - 14ºC and a relative humidity of 75-80% for approximately 60 days. Finally the cure-master approves the loin for sale, ensuring that the lomo embuchado is uniformly cured, smooth and firm.