Sunday, February 21, 2010

Larding in French Cooking

From "Domestic French Cookery", 1836

Larding with slips of fat bacon greatly improves the taste and appearance of meat, poultry, game, etc. and is much used in French cookery.

For this purpose, you must have a larding-pin (which may be purchased at the hardware stores); it is a steel instrument about a foot in length, sharp at one end, and cleft at the other into four divisions which are near two inches long, and resembling tweezers.

Bacon is the proper meat to lard with ; the fat only is used. Cut it into slips not exceeding two inches in length, half an inch in breadth, and half an inch in thickness, and smaller if intended for poultry ; they will diminish in cooking. Put these slips of bacon (one at a time) into the cleft or split end of the larding-pin. Give each slip a slight twist and press it down hard into the pin, with
your fingers. Then run the pin through the meat or fowl (avoiding the bones), and when you draw it out on the under side it will have left the slip of bacon sticking in the upper side. Take care to arrange the slips in regular rows and at equal distances ; have them all of the same size, and let every one stick up about an inch from the surface of the meat. If any are wrong, take them out and do them over again.

Fowls and birds are generally larded on the breast only. To lard handsomely and neatly, practice and dexterity are requisite.

Cold poultry may be larded with slips of the fat of cold boiled ham, and when not to be cooked again, it may be made to look very tastefully.

The slips for cold poultry should be very small, scarcely thicker than a straw.

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