Salo (сало) Recipe

Lastest Updated April 19, 2024
Home » Recipes A-Z » Salo (сало) Recipe

Ukrainian lard, or ‘salo,’ is a simple yet versatile treat that’s a cinch to prepare. I must confess, there’s something extraordinary about well-prepared Ukrainian lard. It’s not only delectable and incredibly satisfying, but it’s also a culinary chameleon.

Challenged by the prospect of preparing this unique dish? I am here to help. This article promises to navigate you through every step of the Salo preparation process, imparting pro-level tricks to ensure a delectable outcome.

You’ll also learn about the perfect accompaniments for your Salo, explore foolproof storage techniques, and discover a world of other enticing Ukrainian dishes.

Lard – A Dish Loved By All Ukrainians

Salo2

Ukrainian Salo, with its rich, buttery flavor, holds a place of honor as arguably the most iconic dish in Ukraine. This savory delight has inspired a vast array of humorous anecdotes and jests expressing Ukrainians’ profound fondness for it. Here’s a glimpse into some of that humor.

Think Salo is just for meat-eaters? Think again! Ukrainian vegetarians, after passionate debates, amusingly declared that Salo is a vegetable. It’s a testament to how beloved this dish is!

And the jokes continue.

“You’re not going to eat Salo, are you?”

“Well, I’m on a diet, but… who am I kidding? Bring it on!”

And consider the Ukrainian traveler at customs:

“Do you have any drugs or narcotics?”

“Only a suitcase full!”

Upon inspection: “This is just a suitcase full of Salo!”

“Exactly, it’s my high. I can’t live without it!”

These humorous tales underline just how essential Salo is to Ukrainian culture. Of course, it’s not consumed for every meal, but any truly traditional Ukrainian spread feels incomplete without it.

Whether served as a standalone snack or as a tasty topping on a sandwich, Salo adds an undeniable flair to the table.

If you peek into the annals of culinary history, you’ll find Salo as one of mankind’s oldest prepared dishes. Salting, while enhancing flavor, primarily served as a preservation method.

Though the process of salting Salo might seem straightforward – “take the lard and salt it” – it’s actually quite nuanced. Different breeds of pigs produce varying qualities of lard. Some pigs are even fed special diets to impart unique flavor notes to the meat and lard.

Anyway, enough theory. Let’s finally cook this wonderful delicacy!

Tools

Salo Tools
  • Sharp Knife: To accurately and easily slice the lard.
  • Cutting Board: This provides a solid surface for chopping and cutting the fat.
  • Pot or Saucepan: You will need a small pot or a saucepan to cook the brine.
  • Bowl: Used for salting fat. While a food-grade plastic container could work, a glass bowl is my preferred choice. Connoisseurs of traditions even use an oak barrel for salting meat and lard, but the result, in my opinion, is no different.
  • Paper Towels: For patting the Salo dry after removing it from the brine.
  • Measuring Cup (optional): This tool helps to measure out the correct quantity of water needed to prepare the brine.

Ingredients To Use

Salo Ingredients
  • Pork Belly: You’re going to want to pick out cuts with uniform meat layers. And remember, the fresher, the better – this really counts!
  • Salt: Though traditional recipes might call for coarse salt, feel free to use any salt you have on hand as long as it doesn’t have additives or artificial flavors.
  • Water: Any potable water will do the trick. If you have access to natural spring water or an artesian well, consider using it for an authentic touch.
  • Black Peppercorns: You can also use your favorite type of these aromatic spices, such as green or white peppercorns.
  • Coriander: I usually use ground coriander, but if you prefer whole grains, go for it.
  • Bay Leaves: Here’s a pro tip – make sure your bay leaves are dry! Fresh ones can be way too strong and might overwhelm the dish.
  • Garlic Cloves: Slice ’em fresh and you’re good to go.
  • Paprika: Basic paprika works great, but for those who like an adventurous twist, smoked paprika might be your new best friend. And if you’re into heat, consider throwing in some hot pepper.

How To Make Ukrainian Salo

Step 1: Whip Up the Brine

Kick things off by making the brine for your Salo. Grab a saucepan and throw in your water, salt, bay leaves, coriander, and black peppercorns. Crank up the heat and let it boil for a few minutes, then set it aside to cool down a bit.

Salo Step 1 Whip Up the Brine

Step 2: Get the Lard Ready

Rinse your Salo and cut it into bite-sized pieces, about 3.5 ounces each. Place your sliced garlic cloves in a bowl and arrange the Salo pieces on top. Don’t be shy with the garlic—pile more on top of the Salo.

Salo Step 2 Get the Lard Ready

Next, cover your Salo with the brine you’ve just prepared. Put a plate on top to press down on the Salo pieces. This setup goes into the fridge for three days to let the flavors fully meld.

Salo Step 2 Get the Lard Ready1

Step 3: And Voila! Your Salo is Good to Go

After three days, pull out your Salo from the fridge. Remove the fat pieces from the brine and pat them dry with paper towels.

Salo Step 3 Add Voila

For the finishing touch, rub the pieces with a mix of paprika and salt. Now, your Salo is ready to enjoy or can be stored in the freezer for future use.

Salo Step 3 Add Voila1
Salo Step 3 Add Voila2

Useful Tricks On How To Salt The Perfect Lard

Salo2
  • Always go for the freshest lard you can find; it doesn’t get cooked, so quality really matters. Any lard that’s not perfectly fresh could spoil during the salting process.
  • Opt for lard from a young pig, ideally from a local farm if possible, to ensure the best flavor and quality.
  • The size of your lard pieces matters. Aim for pieces between 3.5 to 5.3 ounces. Anything larger might not absorb the flavors as well.
  • For easier slicing, let your lard freeze just a bit before cutting it into thin slices.
  • Apply a little pressure on the lard to keep it submerged in the brine—floating bits won’t salt evenly.
  • Give your salting lard a good stir at least once a day to ensure it’s seasoning uniformly. This is especially important if you’re salting a large quantity.
  • Even though this dish is incredibly delicious, remember that lard is very high in calories and fat. If you’re new to it, start small and avoid overeating.
  • Want a bit of a kick? Add in some paprika or hot chili powder. Not only will this give your dish a reddish hue, but it’ll also add an extra punch of flavor.
Salo4

What Is Lard Served With

Salo5

Lard is truly a versatile culinary staple. Traditionally, it’s served with bread – whether that’s rye or wheat, it’s all up to personal preference. A typical lard sandwich also includes garlic, green onions, and other fresh herbs to enhance the flavor.

Lard also makes an ideal companion to robust alcoholic beverages such as vodka and particularly homemade whiskey, where it’s served as a traditional chaser.

In terms of its role in soup dishes, lard is a non-negotiable ingredient in Ukrainian Borscht. It’s not uncommon for salted lard to be utilized in smoking or drying processes, although that’s a different story altogether.

Salo6

Moreover, salted lard frequently plays a part in numerous other dishes. It can be used for frying in lieu of oil, ground up in a meat grinder and used like butter, or added to a variety of soups for an extra dose of flavor and nutrition – whether it’s in whole pieces, sliced, or ground.

Lard is even a go-to for travelers and tourists who require a nutrient-dense, compact, and lightweight food source that doesn’t require refrigeration. It’s safe to say, the utility of lard goes far beyond the kitchen.

How To Store Salo

Salo7

First, use parchment paper or plastic wrap to cover the Salo entirely. Once the Salo is wrapped, place it in the refrigerator. Your Salo can remain fresh for several months without going bad.

You can also choose to freeze it. In the freezer, Salo can keep its taste and texture for up to a year. When you’re ready to use it, ensure it’s defrosted slowly in the refrigerator to maintain its quality.

Try These Ukrainian Recipes Next!

  • Potato Pancake (Deruny): This is a classic Ukrainian dish made from grated potatoes, eggs, onions, and flour. The mixture is then fried until it’s golden and crispy. Deruny is often served with sour cream or applesauce.
  • Chicken Kiev: Named after the capital of Ukraine, this dish is a staple in Ukrainian cuisine. It involves a boneless chicken breast rolled around cold butter, then breaded and fried. When cut open, the melted butter inside creates a delicious sauce.
  • Buckwheat Kasha: Kasha is a common dish in Ukraine, and the buckwheat version is particularly popular. Buckwheat is cooked until tender, then mixed with fried onions and sometimes meat. It’s a hearty and nutritious dish, full of protein and fiber.

FAQs

In moderation, Salo can be part of a healthy diet. It is high in monounsaturated fats and contains vitamins A and D. However, like any food high in fats, excessive consumption should be avoided.

Yes, raw Salo is a common way to consume. It is usually served thinly sliced with a piece of rye bread, garlic and sometimes accompanied by vodka.

Salo that has gone bad will often have a rancid smell, a change in color (usually darker), and may develop a slimy texture.

Yes, Salo can be used in a variety of dishes. It can be fried, baked, or used to add flavor to soups and stews.

While they are similar, they are not the same. Bacon usually includes the pork belly and is typically smoked, while Salo contains less lean meat and can be eaten raw, smoked, or cooked.

To Understand Ukrainian Culture, Lard Is A Must-Try

This delight is a favorite among those who savor its unique flavor, not to mention that it’s a healthier alternative to similar fried, high-fat foods. Why? Because the salting process keeps all the nutrients intact without the need for high heat.

Pair it with a chunk of fresh bread, use it as a frying medium instead of conventional oil, toss it into a soup at any stage of the cooking process, or enjoy it on its own – the possibilities are endless! There’s simply no wrong way to savor this traditional Ukrainian staple.

Today, you’ve whipped up a classic Ukrainian dish steeped in lore, humor, and tradition. This style of salted lard graces the tables of both high-end restaurants and humble backyard picnics. Give this incredible, nutrient-packed dish a try!

Hey there, dear readers! If you enjoyed this piece, be sure to hit that like button and share this article with your buddies. I’d love to hear how your own rendition of this remarkable dish turned out, so don’t hesitate to share your experiences in the comments below!

Salo

From Ukraine With Love: Authentic Ukrainian Salo (сало)

Without a doubt, this Ukrainian Salor (Lard) recipe will win over those who appreciate rich, flavorful dishes. This is arguably the simplest path to a profoundly delicious meal.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer, Main
Cuisine: Ukrainian
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 3 days
Total Time: 3 days 25 minutes
Servings: 10 Servings
Calories: 170kcal

Ingredients

  • 0.7 pounds pork belly/pork fat
  • 3.5 ounces salt
  • 1 quart water
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 4 garlic cloves sliced
  • 1 teaspoon paprika

Instructions 

  • Grab a saucepan and throw in your water, salt, bay leaves, coriander, and black peppercorns.
  • Crank up the heat and let it boil for a few minutes, then set it aside to cool down a bit.
    Salo Step 1 Whip Up the Brine
  • Rinse your Salo and cut it into bite-sized pieces, about 3.5 ounces each.
  • Place your sliced garlic cloves in a bowl and arrange the Salo pieces on top.
  • Pile more garlic on top of the Salo.
    Salo Step 2 Get the Lard Ready
  • Next, cover your Salo with the brine you’ve just prepared.
  • Put a plate on top to press down on the Salo pieces.
  • This setup goes into the fridge for three days to let the flavors fully meld.
    Salo Step 2 Get the Lard Ready1
  • After three days, pull out your Salo from the fridge.
  • Extract the fat pieces from the brine and pat them dry with paper towels.
    Salo Step 3 Add Voila
  • For the finishing touch, rub the pieces with a mix of paprika and salt.
  • Now, your Salo is ready to enjoy or can be stored in the fridge/freezer for future use.
    Salo Step 3 Add Voila1

Video

Notes

  • The total time is estimated based on 10 servings of Salo.
  • Always go for the freshest lard you can find; it doesn’t get cooked, so quality really matters. Any lard that’s not perfectly fresh could spoil during the salting process.
  • Opt for lard from a young pig, ideally from a local farm if possible, to ensure the best flavor and quality.
  • The size of your lard pieces matters. Aim for pieces between 3.5 to 5.3 ounces. Anything larger might not absorb the flavors as well.
  • For easier slicing, let your lard freeze just a bit before cutting it into thin slices.
  • Apply a little pressure on the lard to keep it submerged in the brine—floating bits won’t salt evenly.
  • Give your salting lard a good stir at least once a day to ensure it’s seasoning uniformly. This is especially important if you’re salting a large quantity.
  • Even though this dish is incredibly delicious, remember that lard is very high in calories and fat. If you’re new to it, start small and avoid overeating.
  • Want a bit of a kick? Add in some paprika or hot chili powder. Not only will this give your dish a reddish hue, but it’ll also add an extra punch of flavor.

Nutrition

Calories: 170kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 3861mg | Potassium: 85mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 0.04g | Vitamin A: 109IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 0.4mg
Olena Medvedieva

Olena Medvedieva

Content Writer

Expertise

Content Writer, Meal Planning, Recipe Development, Food Editor, Cooking-video Maker, Culinary Storytelling, Food Photographer, Food Stylist, Chef

Education

Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Ukraine

  • Program: Educational and Scientific Institute of Philology
  • Focus: Deepening students’ understanding and expertise in languages, literature, and cultural studies.

Introducing Olena, a culinary enthusiast from Ukraine, whose journey from philology studies to the world of food photography and styling is nothing short of inspiring. With a deep-seated love for both cooking and capturing stunning visuals, Olena’s work reflects her passion for culinary arts and her commitment to showcasing the beauty of Ukrainian cuisine. Her expertise extends beyond the kitchen, as she combines her creative talents to produce captivating images that grace numerous online platforms and publications.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *