Cured Spanish lomo is not as well known as other cured Spanish meats such as the Serrano ham or the ever popular chorizo, a real shame as good cured lomo is a true delicassy and a real gastronomic treat. Lomo is basically the loin of the pig and in Spain is either cured to make regional specialities or sold fresh the same as you can buy from your local butchers in the UK or anywhere else.
When it comes to curing lomo the Spanish have this perfected as you would expect and there are several variations of lomo depending on where the cut has come from. Many local artisans season their tenderloins before the curing process begins which results in an infusion of flavours. One popular way of presenting lomo is to tie it to a wooden board with string, this is known as “table de lomo” and these loins can range from small cross sections to full lengths up to three feet long. The table de lomo is certainly an impressive piece of cured meat which is always seasoned with rosemary and other herbs. Once cured the lomo turns a deep burnt orange colour, dressed with herbs it defiantly makes a great centerpiece for any Spanish table.
Other variations of lomo range from “lomo de cabeza”, “lomo de corteza” and simply “lomo”. The latter is almost 100% pure tenderloin and has all the fat removed resulting in a tender round of meat which soft and highly textured all the way through, this tends to be the more expensive of all lomo varieties as it is very pure and cured to perfection. For those who enjoy a little more fat running through their meat the lomo de cabeza, loosely translated as “head of lomo” has a good fat content, not on the outside but running through the loin itself, this lomo is usually seasoned with a sprinkling of black pepper just enough to add some peppery flavour to the meat. Lomo de cabeza as the name suggests comes from the top of the loin near the shoulder. Lomo de corteza is very much the same with the exception that one side of the loin has the skin remaining, underneath there is nice layer of fat which adds a lovely flavour to the loin, again, seasoned lightly with black pepper and occasionally herbs.
Iberian lomo which comes from the acorn fed Iberico hogs is something different altogether… This lomo is mottled with creamy white/yellowish fat but it is the texture of this speciality as well as the flavour that will impress. Iberian lomo has nutty tones and is literally melt in the mouth not unlike its cousin the Iberian ‘jamon’. Iberian lomo is expensive but will deliver a gastronomic experience unlike any other, weight for weight, this lomo is even more costly than Iberico ham which should suggest that it is very much one of the finest cured meats in the world.
There is one more speciality that is very popular in the Granada region of Andalucia. “Lomo de Orza” is in fact not cured but a local recipe that involves frying fresh lomo pieces and then preserving in extra virgin olive oil. The recipe is quite easy to make yourself at home but for a real taste of Spain nothing beats a jar of lomo de orza from the local artisan butcher. Each butcher will have his own recipe and will swear that his is best, one thing is for sure though and that is you can be confident that this recipe will have been down through the generations. The pork is lightly fried with a subtle blend of herbs and spices giving this meat a unique and delicious flavour. Sometimes wine will be added along with other more secretive ingredients. One preserved the lomo takes on the extra virgin olive which is crucial for the flavour, once served the meat will literally fall apart giving it a supreme melt in the mouth texture.
Below are four types of lomo that you will find on this website:
Lomo Origen – Orce Pure pork tenderloin with very little fat
Lomo de Cabeza Origen – Huescar Loin with fat running through the meat, lightly seasoned
Lomo Corteza Origen – Huescar Loin with outer fat and skin remaining
Lomo de Orza Origen – Orce/Huescar Fried lomo recipe, preserved in olive oil
No matter which type of cured lomo you decide on this meat really is simply for slicing and enjoying. Similar to Serrano and Iberico ham lomo needs to be sliced as thinly as possible and left to breath where it will begin to “sweat”. Bringing up to room temperature will greatly enhance the lomo’s flavour. Lomo goes very well with cheeses, either mild or stronger cheese such as Manchego, complete this trio with a bottle of good Spanish red wine and you have some fabulous Spanish flavours working harmoniously together. Fruits also work well, orange, grapes, kiwi and apple all add a freshness to the favour combination and not forgetting other cured meats as lomo will also fit right in with a Spanish ‘embutidos’ selection.