Lomo en Manteca – Confit of Loin of Pork

So, I translated this dish as confit, as it sounds so much more appetizing than “slow cooked in lard”.  Let me tell you how I come to be posting about this delicious dish.  Do you find that you´ve struck up friendships through your blog? I bet the answer is yes.

Someone forgot to tell the ladies it was Singles Day at the local bar...

Well, a blogging pal of mine, Mad Dog, has a bit of a passion for many things Spanish, due to having worked in Barcelona.  We exchange e-mails and ideas from time to time and for some very strange reason recently, we were talking about lard and how it has fallen out of fashion.  He sent me info about it and I was amazed to learn that weight for weight, it has less cholesterol than butter.

Anyway, I´ll leave it to him to tell you more another day, I´ll move on to the fact that lard most definitely has not fallen out of fashion in Spanish cooking. Round here, if you´re not using olive oil, it´s lard.  Even in cakes.  Many of the more traditional dishes use lard and it was very common to preserve pork in lard for the winter months, after the matanza, or pig killing.  Back in those days the meat was stored in big earthenware pots and slabs of pork were dug out and used as needed.

Pork loin, slowly cooked in lard is a common dish still and is served cold and thinly sliced as a tapa, or warmed through or refried for a “plato de los montes” (a mountain dish) with egg, fried potatoes, fried peppers and chorizo and morcilla for an immensely filling meal.

To recreate this dish nowadays is very simple. Quantities are not that important as it will all depend on how much meat you are using.  Nowadays people tend to cook it frequently and store it in the fridge – so no need for mountains of lard to cover kilos of meat.

An optional but highly recommended stage is to take your piece of boneless pork and the night before cooking rub it with a large garlic clove, sprinkle some salt over, add a small amount of white wine and chopped thyme and forget about it until the next day.

You will need enough pure lard which, when melted, will cover the pork when it is in a container.  Cut the pork into thick slices (about 10cm wide), remove any garlic and thyme clinging to it and put in a pan with the lard on a very low hear.  Cook very slowly until the meat is cooked through but not browned. Some people mix a little olive oil in with the lard, that´s up to you.

Now either leave the meat in the cooking pot if you do happen to have a nice earthenware one or transfer it to a storage container and leave to cool. The lard will revert to solid form and cover the meat.  When you want to serve it, remove the meat from the fat, covering over any pieces that become exposed.  This will keep for several weeks at least, but if you plan on storing it for longer (which is probably unlikely), don´t salt it before cooking.

As a tapa, slice thinly and serve with a chilled glass of your favourite wine or beer, a little slice of bread and a few tangy olives.  Old men in flat caps are optional.


73 thoughts on “Lomo en Manteca – Confit of Loin of Pork

      1. I believe so. I’m very pleased I was born in the ’60s! But do feel the need to have a go at the lardy cake some time.

      2. My grandparents used to enjoy toast and dripping on Monday after the Sunday roast, but I think dripping is from beef and lard from pork? A little sprinkle of salt and they were in heaven 🙂

    1. Wow – that looks good and a little like some of the pastries they make round here. Am desperately trying to shift a few kilos…but this will go on the “to do” list!

      1. Tell me about the kilos! I’m surrounded by people who insist on homemade cake, biscuits and bread. I suppose I should just get some discipline and be grateful they like my cooking!

    2. Thank you for this link! My son has dairy allergy and I have been dying to make him danish pastries, but can’t make myself make it with margerine. Been looking for an Italian recipe for lard patstries, but they were all very compliated and with eggs.

      Chica Andaluza – what are the lard pastries down here called?

      1. Most of the pastries here a made with Manteca – roscos, roscones – just ask if they have Manteca or Aceite de Oliva instead of mantequilla and he´ll be fine! Will see if I can find a recipe for you.

      2. Oh I’m so happy to have helped. I didn’t even think of that. I hope your son enjoys this.

  1. That looks fantastic and you went on location for the beautiful picture of the tapas! I can’t believe that I’ve never eaten lomo en manteca – I’ll have to put that right soon 😉

      1. You do know that you can buy confit de canard i Aldi right? This along with the fact that I can buy quial eggs in Aldi makes Spain my all time favorite country.

  2. This does look delicious, Tanya, just like I’ve come to expect when I visit! Within the past few weeks, there was a discussion on a cooking show about using lard. I only caught the end of it and they were saying something about one kind of lard being better than another. I didn’t think much of it until seeing your pork here. Maybe I should do a little research on the guy’s website. Hmm…

    1. Yes, Mad Dog mentioned it to me too – I think some of it is chemically processed (probably has some added preservatives) and the pure staff is pretty much just rendered down pork fat and I think that´s what makes it better. Glad you enjoyed your little visit!

    2. Not to butt-in, but what I’ve been told is that you want “Leaf Lard'” which comes from the kidney area, for pastry, and the regular, rendered fat for other uses…
      Now, locating a butcher who can actually make this distinction is a whole ‘nother issue around here!

  3. Oh, I can’t wait to try this. It’s like confit de canard, which is cooked in the same way with lots of duck fat and then conserved under the layer of fat. Lard is very popular here too – as you say, when you’re not using olive oil you’re cooking in pork fat – and it’s called saindoux, which I think is a lovely way of combining the words for healthy and sweet/soft!

  4. I’ve learned quite a bit of new stuff on this post! I remember my mother referring to using lard both in cooking and baking but her comments made me thing it was “bad” in a fattening kind of way. It’s interesting to see that its not so bad after all. I love, love, love your photo! And, yes, check out all those single men…lol!!

  5. I love all the little “bite-able” things they have in Spain… and yet I still haven’t been. Got any recommends on the “best” place to go for an excellent food experience? I want to make sure I can try yummy things like this!

    1. Wow – well you´re in Paris so you could get to just about anywhere. TGV to lovely Madrid, the north has fabulous food (check out some posts I did in September/October about Asturias and Galicia) but just about anywhere in Andalucía and you´ll be spoilt for choice with tapas (and it´s much cheaper than the rest of Spain on the whole)…let me know if you plan to visit!

      1. Andalucia sounds good – and looks good judging by your photos… maybe I’ll try and fix up a visit for my wife and I sometime 🙂 Thanks a lot!

  6. What do you mean!? Slow cooked in lard sounds so appetizing. 😉 But seriously, I bet this was delicious. Sure looks good! And I have made some great friends–one of my favorite aspects of blogging. 🙂

  7. You always have the most interesting dishes and methods of preparation.. I think the most unique of all my blogging friends (sorry everyone), especially when I compare them to the kind of cooking and baking I’ve grown up with. I always enjoy reading your blog and love that I come away having learned something very unique every time! I love those old men in their flat caps:)

    1. I think Spanish rural cooking, and more specifically Andalucían, owes its roots to so many cultures as it has been occupied by pretty much most of Europe and North Africa! It was, and still is to a great extent, a poorer part of the country and singularly individual and this is reflected in the way they cook – very local ingredients, using every part of the plant or animal, and cooked to make the most of the flavour. It can get a little repetitive (pork, pork, pork!) but mixing it up with what we now have available certainly makes it fun and exciting. Thank you so much for your lovely words!

    1. Oh yes – another fan! And we love pork jowls (the Brits call them pig cheeks) which are now becoming trendy in the UK and so, expensive. Fortunately not here!

  8. You have officially horrified all of the U.S. and the Hispanic part of Caribbean. In this part of the world, even vegetable shortening isn’t used, and regular butter is only used at a minimum (more common are plain yogurt, cream cheese, and olive oil-based butter). The part about cooking pork with garlic, thyme, white wine, and olive oil sounds goods though. 🙂

    1. Hey ho, I guess the Mediterranean diet balances it out…I think most of the Mediterranean countries who eat products like this (but also plenty of fruit, vegetables, and natural fats like butter, cheese and olive oil etc) have quite low incidences of heart disease compared to many countries. It´s all about balance.

      1. Of course. If someone’s not a fast food and junk food addict then they’re probably pretty healthy. I just meant that this is one of those things that would be so out of place in this food culture that a person would be horrified. I’m sure there are food taboos in Spain too.

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