Lomo, also known as lomo curado or simply Lomo meat, is tenderloin of pork that is extremely popular in Spain, and other parts of the world. Essentially, 'lomo' is the Spanish word for tenderloin. It is considered as one the most expensive and prized meat cuts available in the market. It is a long, tube-shaped cut of meat, and essentially runs along the spinal section of the animal. These cuts are obtained from both pigs and cows. As the muscle sections of these animals do not get a lot of workout, the meat is very tender and when cooked right, the meat turns out to be very succulent, soft and juicy. Traditionalists insist that correctly cooked Lomo cuts literally 'melt in the mouth'.
Lomo curado meat cuts have been a popular European food since the ancient times. To begin with, the soft, reddish-pink meat cuts were reserved for the wealthy of the society, the only ones who could afford them. Although the meat has become more accessible with the passage of time, it is still quite expensive and not something that everyone can easily afford. Despite this, lomo meat cuts are among the most widely purchased, cooked and consumed.
Culinary Uses of Lomo Meat
Lomo is most popularly used in Spanish and Continental cuisines, although, over the years, it has gained popularity among other cuisines as well. Many African, European, French and Italian delicacies are made with Lomos as the central meat ingredient. The meats cuts are cooked and consumed in various ways.
Lomos are most often cooked through the method of grilling but these can also be roasted, baked, sautéed, slow-cooked, boiled and even fried and barbequed. The most perfect cooking method, however, is grilling. The meat can be grilled whole, cut into cubes or sliced. It is important to remember that lomo cuts are very lean and need to be cooked very carefully, almost never beyond 'medium', or the meat could end up tough, dry, chewy and tasteless.
Preparation of Lomo Curado
Lomo can be purchased and prepared either whole or in the form of steaks. If purchased whole and vacuum-packed, the meat should first be unpackaged and allowed to sit at room temperature for about 60 to 70 minutes before it is cooked, sliced or consumed. This is done to ensure that full flavor of the meat has emerged. In case the cuts have been purchased pre-sliced or in stalks forms, these can be plated and allowed to sit for about 30 minutes at room temperature before dressing, serving or eating.
- Whole - Whole lomo cuts can be left as they are or butterflied. A whole lomo slab has a thick end and a thin end and therefore, some prefer to butterfly the cuts at their thickest part. Butterflying lets the cuts have an overall even thickness and the meat is cooked faster.
- Steaks - Steaks of tenderloin are easily available and can be used as they are or butterflied for maximum taste and even thickness. Two steaks can also be created out of one, if the size is apt.
Popular Lomo Curado Recipes
While there are well over a hundred different recipes to cook Lomo, some of the most popular and common ones are:
- Grilled Lomo Saltado - An easy-to-make Lomo dish, prepared by the method of grilling and perfect as an appetizer, side dish or even a main course dish.
- Spanish Lomo Adobado - The traditional Spanish recipe for cooking of lomo meat cuts. Also called the Spicy Spanish Tenderloin, Lomo Adobado is considered a must-have on special occasions and during celebrations.
- Peruvian Lomo Saltado - The Peruvian version of the Spanish Spicy Lomo cuts dish, the preparation is made with sliced beef tenderloin, hot chilies and French fries.
- Lomo Guisado - Simple sautéed beef tenderloin strips served with onion rings, chopped bell peppers, etc.
Buying and Storing Lomo Meat Cuts
Lomo is commercially available in various forms like whole, sliced, trimmed or even untrimmed. Tenderloin can be purchased easily at the local butcher store or the supermarket. The meat cuts can be bought loose or in vacuum-packaged bags. The latter have a longer shelf-life when stored in the fridge at the right temperature.
Lomo cuts, whether loose or packed, should be stored in the refrigerator at low temperature. For maximum flavor, untrimmed cuts should be purchased and the meat should be trimmed right before cooking. However, one needs to be experienced in the task of trimming to ensure that there is no wastage of meat (if inexperienced, one should get the cuts trimmed by the professional).
Lomo de Curado Trivia
Traditionalists strictly advise against using Lomo for mass-gatherings or get-togethers where people prefer well-done meats. Tenderloins are too expensive to experiment with and should therefore be used only when one is sure that the cuts would be cooked just right.