I had a few small pieces of fatback that I took off of the loin at the natural fat seam. They aren't large or super thick, but I wanted to see how sodium ascorbate worked on straight lard and also wanted to try something a bit different. Paprikaspeck is a product found in areas of Hungary, Germany and Northern Italy. The paprikaspeck, like most lardo type projects, is meant to be eaten alongside something, usually a warm piece of bread. The lardo, placed on the bread, will slowly soften and melt into the bread for a beautiful little taste of fat.
This particular prep involves a simple salt and pepper cure, then a coating of 50/50 sweet and hot paprika followed by a cold smoke of about 5 - 6 hours. After pulling it off the smoker and letting it cool, I cheated the process to take a small sliver of the paprikaspeck prior to putting it into a vacuum package to age in the fridge for a couple of months. If I had any doubts about the benefits of SA in salumi making, they were all washed away with this particular prep. The addition of SA keep this fat so pure white and so clean. The flavor was very sweet and you could pick up the nuances of the flavor profile, where as with some lardo, you're fighting through slight rancidity.
This is a great entry way into processing back-fat into an edible product onto itself. The process is dead simple, an you'll even get a chance to play with a cold smoker, if you haven't already. We'll check back in on the end product come March or April and see how it has changed over that period.
Fatback, Salt - 3%, Bay - .2%, Black Pepper - .2%, Sodium Ascorbate - .15%, Sweet and Hot Paprika to coat
- Combine all ingredients in a bag and age for 3 days per pound of meat.
- Remove from cure and rinse.
- After rising and patting dry, cover entirely in the paprika mixture
- Cold smoke for approximately 6 hours.
- Remove and let come back to temperature
- Seal in ziplock or vacuum bag and allow to age for 2 - 3 months.