Friday, August 14, 2015

Barding and Larding ...plus Tying a Roast

To 'Bard' and 'Lard' are culinary techniques; the purpose of either method is to introduce fat to meat, poultry or game.

#1 Bard and start with a slip knot
'Barding' is the culinary technique of wrapping meat, poultry or game in thin slices of fat, bacon or salt pork before cooking. The main purpose of barding is to maintain moisture of the meat. It also helps keep it from overcooking and adds flavor.

'Larding' is the culinary technique of adding thin strips of salt pork or fat into meat with a special larding needle. It is a classical technique that dates back to when meat was much leaner and dryer than today. It is essentially a way of creating artificial marbling. Modern meat has much more marbling so this technique is not used much anymore. That said, larding can be useful for preparing lean game meat such as venison, that might otherwise dry out when roasted. The main purpose of larding is to enhance the moisture of the meat and add flavor. 
#2 Continue to loop and keep tension

I am sure many of you have wrapped a lean chicken breast or pork tenderloin in bacon not knowing that you were 'barding' the meat! The 'Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin' in the photos is from 'For the Love of Food' page 217. This idea sprung from my original favorite that used a boneless, skinless, turkey breast; seasoned, wrapped in bacon and tied with butchers twine to even out the shape and hold the bacon in place. The turkey breast was then cooked on a rotisserie spit in a barbecue with a hickory smoke pouch. This combination of techniques turned what could be an unappetizing, dry, piece of meat; into a tender, juicy and flavorful delight!

Learning to tie a roast can be a challenge at first. I would suggest using a rolled up hand towel instead of raw meat to practice. There are two main reasons why you would tie a piece of meat. The first is if you have an uneven piece of meat and you want to even out the shape so it will cook more evenly. The second is if you have a rolled and stuffed piece of meat or you have used the barding technique. Tying a roast will help the roast cook evenly and carve nicely.  

#3 Ready to Roast
Now back to that pork tenderloin... after barding, the meat is tied using a long piece of butchers twine rather than a bunch of short pieces. Tie a slip knot, leaving a short end of string to tie off later (photo #1). Then place the loop around one end of the roast and tighten just enough to hold, but not cut into the meat. (It may help to use toothpicks to hold the bacon in place while you work on your tying skills.) Keep tension on the string but don't pull too hard. Continue to loop and move the string along the roast to the other end (photo #2). Flip the roast over and thread the long end of the string under the loops along the length of the underside of the roast. Flip the roast over again and adjust the tension. Bring the long string around the end of the roast and tie to the short end of string that was left on the first slip knot. Cut off the excess string (photo #3). 

At this point, I tightly wrap the tenderloin in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. This allows some of the bacon cure and flavor to penetrate the roast. This is why the cooked tenderloin still looks pink. Always use a meat thermometer for the true internal temperature of cooked meats and poultry. Remove from the oven and tent the meat with foil and allow to rest for 10-20 minutes before carving. This rest time allows the juices to re-distribute back into the meat for a tender, juicy result. Carefully cut the butchers twine with kitchen shears and remove all strings before carving
Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin with Maple Mustard
Till next week ... Bon App├ętit!

Photos by Sally Rae

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