Spanish Lomo Curado

I love Spanish cuisine, especially the dry cured forms of it. Spanish sobressada, Chorizo, and of course the Lomo Curado. This cured pork loin is smoky, spicy, perfectly seasoned, and absolutely delicious. Best of all in today’s post you will see how easy it is to make at home. Generally dry cured meats are made under very specific parameters with controlled humidity and temperature (check out our post on how to build a dry curing chamber), but today I’m going to show you how to make it in your house refrigerator.

Making dry cured meat isn’t very complicated. We first cure the meat then we dry it. It’s literally those 2 steps. The first step (curing the meat) is all about 2 things: preserving/protecting the meat from harmful bacteria and infusing lots of flavor. The method we will be using to cure our meat is called the equilibrium cure. I really like this method as it’s not only incredibly easy to do but it’s also the most reliable and safest way to cure your meat. This method allows us to perfectly season/cure our meat without any concern of over/under salting. What’s also great about this technique is that you can work at your own pace (meaning if you can’t get to the meat immediately and it needs to sit in the fridge a few more days you don’t need to worry about it becoming too salty or over seasoned). This method is contrary to the alternative method called “Salt Boxing”. Salt boxing simply means you take a bunch of salt and encase your meat in it. Salt boxing is very unreliable and often produces a piece of meat that is extremely salty. We can talk about the 2 techniques in a different post. Once our meat has been cured we begin the process of drying.

How long should my meat cure?

Curing the meat is all about time. Once you add the necessary salt and spices you simply need to wait long enough for those spices to penetrate the meat. Our goal is to have 100% penetration. Depending on the size of your muscle will completely determine how long you leave it in your refrigerator. I found this great calculator that breaks it down for you. Click on the tab “Brining Time” and input the information. Be sure to add 20% to the answer so ensure that your cure gets fully penetrated. Bookmark this page as you will certainly find it useful when you start dry curing lots of meat

Calculator for determining how long to cure your meat

Are curing salts necessary for this recipe?

This is a tricky topic that can be quickly misunderstood so I want to tread lightly as I explain how this works. Curing salts (Sodium nitrite and sodium nitrate) are added to recipes for protection against harmful bacteria, especially botulism. Botulism is a deadly bacteria that grows in anaerobic conditions (no oxygen). If you create an anaerobic environment and Clostridium botulinum spores are introduced (by contamination) they could grow to infect your dry cured meat. As an example, conditions like this could exist when smoking meats at low temperatures or making salami. In the case of salami the meat is ground (this is where possible contamination could take place), it’s then stuffed tightly into a casing (this is the anaerobic environment), then hung to dry for several months. For both of these examples I would ALWAYS recommend the use of curing salts.

In the case of whole muscle curing the situation is slightly different. Freshly and properly butchered whole muscles are sterile inside and because botulism can’t grow on the outside of the muscle there is no cause for concern. With that being said there are a few things to consider when selecting a whole muscle to dry cure.

  • Try and buy the freshest possible piece you can get for your dry curing project
  • Inspect the muscle to make sure there are no knife gashes or punctures of any type

When it comes to charcuterie fresh is always better. Get to know your butcher (or the grocery store butcher) and find out when they receive fresh merchandise. More importantly though you’ll need to inspect the muscle that you plan on using to ensure that it doesn’t have any knife punctures or gashes in it. These cuts can introduce unwanted bacteria to your already sterile muscle. If you can follow these 2 pieces of advice you can safely cure your whole muscle using only salt.

So why are curing salts added to whole muscle dry curing projects if they are technically not necessary. Well, often people will add curing salt to preserve the color of the finished product or some will add curing salts to enhance the flavor. Some even add curing salts as an extra layer of protection for the “unknown”. Everyone has their own reasons. I can tell you this, if you are unsure or you don’t want to take any chances, my advice to you would be to simply add the appropriate amount of curing salt to your muscle. In the recipe below I’ve added curing salts as an optional ingredient in the event you feel like you want to add it.

Drying in your home refrigerator

Drying meats inside of your home refrigerator can be tricky because of the low humidity and high air flow. Both of these factors are almost certainly going to produce an overly dried piece of charcuterie. The trick to making this happen is having a unique wrap around our cured pork loin that controls the moisture loss. I have used lots of different product over the past 10 years that claim to do this and the one I like the most is The Sausage Makers Dry Aging Wraps. These wraps were developed for dry aging beef but in my experiments I’ve found that they produce some pretty decent charcuterie as well.

When you use these dry aging wraps, simply (and carefully) place the cured loin on the sheet and begin to wrap the muscle with your dry aging sheet. As you fold the wrap around the meat you will want to press out any air pockets. Once it’s fully wrapped place the netting around the meat, weigh it, record the weight, and place it in your refrigerator till you lose the appropriate amount of weight. I like 35% for this recipe. That’s it!!

I hope you enjoy this week’s video and recipe. If you give this a go be sure to let me know how your came out and if you have any questions ask away in the comment section below.

Here are a few things you might find useful when making this recipe

ThermoWorks Thermapen Mk4

Enjoy the video and the recipe. If you have any questions feel free to ask away. If you make this at home I’d love to hear about how it came out!!

If you want to see the different things that we use in operation our be sure to check out our new Amazon Store.

2 Guys & A Cooler Amazon Storefront

Print Recipe
4.81 from 21 votes

Spanish Lomo

Dry Cured Pork Loin
Prep Time1 hr
drying/curing time35 d
Total Time35 d 1 hr
How much do you want to make? 1000 grams

Ingredients

Meat

  • 1000 g Pork Loin

OPTIONAL

  • 2.5 g Insta Cure #2 this is only for color and flavor enhancement. If you add cure reduce the salt level by how ever much cure is added

Materials

  • dry aging wraps this is the wrap you'll be using to dry this in your home refrigerator

Instructions

  • Weigh the pork loin and type the weight in the box above that reads "How much do you want to make?"
  • Combine all of the "cure" ingredients and rub them onto your meat. Be sure to include 100% of all the cure spices. You don't want to leave any spices behind. Place the meat (and any spices that are left in the tray) in a bag and vacuum seal it (or a zip lock bag and remove as much air as possible).
  • Once your meat has been vac sealed place it in your refrigerator for 7-21 days (depending on the size). Check the link in the blog post to calculate how long you should cure your meat for. Be sure to turn and massage the meat daily.
  • After the appropriate amount of time in the refrigerator you can remove the now cured pork from the fridge. Blot the muscle dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle the meat with a little wine or water to create a slightly damp surface.
  • Place the cured loin in the middle of a Dry Aging Sheet and gently fold each side over the coppa trying to remove as much air bubbles out as possible. Trim off any excess.
  • Once you wrap your loin in the dry aging sheets, place the net around it, weigh the muscle, record the weight, and place it to dry in your refrigerator. Make sure that it is on a grating or hanging so that there's air flow on all sides.
  • Once you lose 33% – 35% weight your pork loin is finished. Slice thinly and enjoy.

Storage instructions

  • Take your pork loin and give it a vinegar or wine wash (to remove any molds), then place the uncut piece in a vac sealed bag and vacuum seal it. Store it in your refrigerator. It will be good for up to a year.

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56 thoughts on “Spanish Lomo Curado

  1. Peter Martinez
    Peter Martinez

    5 stars
    My family and I, absolutely love cured meats. I cured Hamon while living in the northeast where the temp was perfect for the occasion. Since moving to Florida and dealing with the heat. I don’t have the flexibility I once had until I saw your videos on You Tube. I’m planning to follow a few of your videos in the future in order to make some of those cured meats such as Lomo and Capocollo.

    1. Eric
      Eric

      Nice. If you run into any issues let me know..

  2. Jim J.
    Jim J.

    Thank you for this video. I’m looking forward to trying this recipe. You have inspired me.

    1. Eric
      Eric

      You’re going to love it. Let me know how it turns out

  3. Jeff LaShell
    Jeff LaShell

    5 stars
    I stumbled across your YouTube channel last week and instantly knew I had a new favorite. I have several species of wild game in the freezer and am always looking for new ways to prepare it to share with friends and family. Your straightforward approach, easy explanations, and time and effort you’ve spent making your recipes and methods easy to follow is very much appreciated. Today I’m thawing a wild boar loin to make lomo, and in the very near future I’ll start looking for an old fridge and some controls to make a dry aging cabinet. Thanks very much! But don’t tell my wife…she’ll kill me if she finds out I have another hobby.

    1. Eric
      Eric

      LOL. That’s excellent to hear!! Let me know if you run into any questions.

      1. Cameron
        Cameron

        You mean questions like:
        “And how much did this shiny piece of equipment cost us, Jeff?”

  4. Chuck Kimberl
    Chuck Kimberl

    When I remove my loin from the refer after the cure time, do I wash all the spices off before blotting it dry? Thank you.

    1. Eric
      Eric

      You don’t have to. I personally leave the spices on. If you added bay leaves then you will want to remove that but everything else is ok..

      1. Chuck Kimberl
        Chuck Kimberl

        Thank you. Today’s the day the curing is done. I have my Dry Aging Wraps from Sausage Maker and I’m ready to roll.

          1. Chuck Kimberl
            Chuck Kimberl

            It’s out today and I am very pleased. Everything went as planned. I am moving on to your other offerings. Thank you Eric for the recipe.

  5. John Robinson
    John Robinson

    Would you recommend freezing the pork fisrt to make sure it’s trichinosis free or cure without that step, thanks?

    1. Eric
      Eric

      If you have doubts then yes. I would freeze for at least 21 days first, then cure it and then dry it.

      1. Ben
        Ben

        Realted to lomo because it is dealing with drying whole cuts of meat. I am making jerky from fresh sheep meat. Because it is dried with plenty of airflow at 158 to 167 degrees Fahrenheit no nitrates needed. BUT if I then stick it in sealed package with an oxygen absorber at room temperature. Is it now a low oxygen environment requiring nitrates or nitrites be cause it is now high risk?

        1. Eric
          Eric

          As soon as the meat is dried they no longer pose a risk for these food born pathogens. Food born pathogens tend to thrive in meat with a high moisture content. So you can vacuum seal the beef jerky and you would be fine..

      2. Nic
        Nic

        Currently have a cappocolo and a pork loin curing in the fridge. These have not been frozen for trichinosis. Could I freeze them after the drying process to ensure they are trichinosis free?

        1. Eric
          Eric

          I’ve never tried that but should work

    2. Johan
      Johan

      5 stars
      I realize the person asking about trichinosis may not see this reply, but still I wanted to address this question for future readers.

      If the person is US-based, they may want to be aware that trichinellosis cases suspected from US commercially sold pork is vanishingly rare. See table at link below (sorry it’s 2011-2015, latest I could find, but it still gives you an idea).

      In that 5 year span there were reported 30 cases of trichinellosis, but the majority were linked to boar meat. The number of cases suspected to be from commercially prepared/sold US pork was 2 over that 5-year span (or as high as 11 for the 5 years, about 2 per year, if you add in the 9 “unspecified pork” cases as potentially also being commercial pork). Think about that for a second – about 100 people in the US get hit by lightning each year.

      So the risk may not be zero, but it’s pretty low.
      https://www.cdc.gov/parasites/trichinellosis/data-statistics/tables.html

      Still, the US requires that pork sold intended for the cured/dried products market (i.e., products which will be eaten without cooking) be tested before it goes into production – so the gov’t still exercises caution despite the low prevalence.

      There are also indications that the curing and drying process kills trichinella – although of course the CDC must still, for safety’s sake, say that curing “doesn’t consistently” fix the problem (note this language is likely more related to game/venison trichinella, given it was followed by comments about homemade jerky and sausage).

      In any event, I found studies indicating that curing and drying at salt weight percentages over about 2% tend to kill trichinella given enough time. In the links below, researchers report they intentionally “heavily infected” pigs then made Genoa salami (no starter) and prosciutto with the infected meat. After about 35 days they found no viable trichinella in the prosciutto (the Genoa salami was negative by about day 14).

      While prosciutto is similar to the Loma product made here, note this study is not perfectly analogous. The prosciutto making described in the study included 5 days hanging at 100°F and then on to a final stage of drying at 45°F.
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1255518/ (summary)
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1255518/pdf/cjvetres00049-0082.pdf (full document, 4 pps)

      So all this is not a 100% guarantee, but I hope people will consider it in the context of the actual risk environment. And of course freezing flat for 3 weeks is low-effort and doesn’t affect the texture too much.

  6. Peter
    Peter

    Can I wrap in collagen sheet and place in curing chamber?

  7. Timbo
    Timbo

    How much curing salt would be appropriate for drying in a prepared chamber and not the home refrigerator?

    1. Eric
      Eric

      You could use .25% or 2.5 grams for every kilo (1000 g) of meat

  8. Juan
    Juan

    5 stars
    Hi Eric, amazing recipe. Thank you so much for sharing.
    Got a couple of doubts….if you can help us out.
    First, I started with a 1625g with a target weight of 1056. Right now, it has been 29 days and got to 1068g. According to my projection, I will reach the target weight at 31 days (two days from now). I have a feeling it’s been too fast, I was expecting around 2 months. I used the Dry Aging Wraps you suggest for the fridge.
    Should I vacuum seal and place it on the fridge for it to stop losing humidity and develop flavour? Should I consider it done and cut it up? I made my curing chamber (similar to the one you made, converted a wine fridge to have humidity control-12°C and 80% Humidity), Should I move it there?
    Thank you so so much.

    1. Eric
      Eric

      If you hit your target I would cut it open and see how it looks. You could always place it in a vacuum sealed bag for 30 days and let the moisture in it equalize..

      1. Juan
        Juan

        Perfect. Will try that. Thanks Eric!

        1. Ben
          Ben

          Hey Juan. Really interested to see how this comes out as I think I am having a similar issue. Keep us posted!!!

          1. Juan Jaramillo
            Juan Jaramillo

            5 stars
            Hi Ben,

            Things at the end worked out fine. Actually…..ended up AWESOME! I don’t have the experience to tell you nuances of the quality of flavor. But overall, I feel the end product is pretty amazing.

      2. Juan
        Juan

        Hi Eric, thanks again for the tip. I opened up the Lomo and looks and tastes amazing. Got it on vacuum sealed bags to equalize. One last piece of advice please, is it better to do this in the fridge or a curing chamber (3 or 13 celsius)?

        1. Eric
          Eric

          I do it in the refrigerator 3c

  9. Michal (SnopFop)
    Michal (SnopFop)

    5 stars
    Finally I got the chance to try this out!

    I have a piece of muscle planned to be taken out of the brine today. Been curing for a week. 🙂

    I have a lot of liquid in the vacuum bag, does that count against the final weight loss ?

    1. Eric
      Eric

      I wouldn’t count it. Some people do. You can go either way. I would reweigh after it cures and use that number to decide your target (that’s called hanging weight)

  10. Bob Rapolas
    Bob Rapolas

    Gonna give this a try. Sounds and looks easy enough to do. What size netting do you use? Thanks.

  11. Ben
    Ben

    Can whole dried cured muscles like spanish lomo be stored after drying at room temperature after they are finished drying like summer sausage or a country ham for the winter and beyond with out using #2 curing salt. You seem to imply that whole muscle if not punctures are sterile and because they are dried with airflow around them they are not low oxygen therefore safe to use only table salt. Is this a correct assumption? I have four sheep to butcher and looking forward to making whole cured muscles like lomo, country ham without curing salts if I can find s recipe and method that is safe (not a low oxygen environment to hang from my kitchen or dining room ceiling and jerky.

    1. Eric
      Eric

      Yes. They can be stored at room temperature after the finish drying. They will degrade overtime as they continue to dry but once you finish curing and drying the whole muscles they are considered shelf stable (depending on how much you let them dry). Only salt would be necessary for this process

  12. Sandris
    Sandris

    Hi Eric,
    I just pulled my Lomo after 37% loss. EQ method, collagen wrapped and netted,. In a regular fridge. no case hardening, the meat looks, and the little bit I tasted, taste great, great smell, but the inside is tacky. I would rather have it dryer, and will go more next time, but is this safe to eat?

    1. Eric
      Eric

      The inside shouldn’t be tacky.

  13. Jonas Kristiansen
    Jonas Kristiansen

    How important is it to use the dry aging sheets?

    1. Eric
      Eric

      Very. You need something to help slow down the drying. Those wraps are an option. Umai bags are another option..

  14. CHuck
    CHuck

    I found that at 30% weight loss my lomo had a tough outer ring (.25 to .5 in) but the center was still a bit too moist and spongy. Is it because it is drying too fast? I was thinking about re-wrapping it to get to 35% weight loss but I am afraid I will lose too much meat in the really dry outer ring, I used sheet and fridge method. Any advice? Much appreciated.

    1. Eric
      Eric

      You can let it continue to dry the once it gets to 35% vac seal it and place it in the refrigerator for 3 weeks or so. That ring will mellow out and soften up..

      1. CHuck
        CHuck

        I will try that, thank you Eric.

  15. Tom R
    Tom R

    5 stars
    Just finished this. Total time was 7 weeks, 3 for curing and 4 to age in refrigerator using the collagen sheets. It was like magic. Everything was easy except the wait. Will be on the repeat list

  16. Johan
    Johan

    5 stars
    Hi Eric – just a quick note. Most of the time the cut is properly referred to as loin, but 4 or 5 times you have a carryover paste error from the capocollo post, where you refer to this cut as coppa.

    1. Eric
      Eric

      Thank you.. I just noticed..

  17. Johann
    Johann

    Question for Eric or really anyone who might have tried this. Is it possible to suspend the drying process for a while mid-way through?

    I have 2 pieces of loin that are finished with the cure time (I gave it 8 days) and was planning to start drying. Then I found out I have travel for 10 days in mid-April, through the time the drying process would normally be completed, so I wouldn’t be able to monitor it.

    I’m wondering if I can start drying now, then vac seal and refrigerate it when I leave, then resume the drying process on my return?

    The other alternative is to just keep it on the cure and start drying once I return in 5-6 weeks. Theoretically it seems possible, given equilibrium curing, but it seems like I’d really be pushing the envelope and be safer with the interrupted drying method first mentioned.

    Thoughts?

    Many thanks.

      1. Johann
        Johann

        Hi Eric, great, thanks much.

        1. Johann
          Johann

          P.S. 10 days into the drying period (being a nerd I’ve charted the daily mass loss for both pieces) and I find the drying rate is slowing over time. If the current rate either holds or further slows, both pieces will still be over 65% of original weight by the time I return, so I can just keep them drying while I’m gone.

          I used a full loin and for the lomo cut one piece from the white meat end and the other from the red meat end (appx. 1.4 kg each), using the remaining middle section for a roast.

          You or your readers might be interested to note the red meat piece is losing weight considerably faster and at current projection will be done a week ahead of the white meat end. I’m guessing this may be because the nice fat cap of the white end (also as shown in your photos) retards the drying process a bit more – the red meat end has no fat cap to speak of.

  18. patrick
    patrick

    5 stars
    my Lomo has been curing and hanging since 2/17/22 and the meat still seems soft to the touch today is April 4 2022 is that normal?

    1. Eric
      Eric

      How big was it and how much weight has it lost so far?

  19. William
    William

    Hi Eric,
    Great videos absolutely love them. Will be doing my first cured muscle this weekend and will likely go for the Lomo. I was talking to my Spanish colleague in the office today and she pointed out that you kept the fat and she is used to Lomo being a lot leaner and with less fat. I won’t criticize as I love fat personally. But would like to know if this was a preference of yours?

    1. Eric
      Eric

      That is correct. It was just a preference. Usually the fat is removed for Spanish lomo

  20. David Arpino
    David Arpino

    Hi Eric
    My Lomo has been in cure for the last 4 days.
    However I forgot the paprika!!
    Should I leave alone or add some when finished curing?
    Many thanks
    Dave UK

    1. Eric
      Eric

      Either way. If you add it after it cures, you’ll have a cool paprika crust on your charcuterie. You can also omit it and it will be ok.

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