My Mom’s Russian Salo In Brine Recipe

Photo Russian Cured Pork Fat

Salo is very popular in Russia, especially in the North of Russia. The recipe I am going to share with you is over 40 years old salo recipe. It was tested so many times by my family!

  Salo is very popular in Russia, especially in the North of Russia. The recipe I am going to share with you is over 40 years old salo recipe. It was tested so many times by my family! I am originally from Russia, Siberia, and every family has its own recipe. Salo is cured pork lard. This is my mom’s recipe for salo (сало в тузлуке). Salo is prepared in large amounts for winter in Siberia. They fry potatoes with salo, add them to dishes for flavoring, and of course, eat as is. It is so good, especially with rye bread Borodinskii! My family there uses different recipes and this one is their favorite. I live in the USA for almost 20 years but make salo only one time. The reason good salo is not easy to find for the recipe and it is not a product my husband is going to eat. However, this one time making the salo in brine reminded me how good the recipe is and I want to share it with you. My friend’s husband from Ukraine brought raw pork lard home and ask her to do something with it. I need to mention, that salo is a national product in Ukraine and very popular there. They like salo so much, so have chocolate candy made with salo on the market. I never tried these candies myself, so can’t say anything about the taste.

Photo Salo salted pork

      My friend didn’t have any recipes or experience with how to brine pork lard, so she asked me. Do I know how to cure pork fat? Of course, I do! It was so easy to refresh my memory! Because the recipe doesn’t require an exact amount of spices but very important to keep the right saltiness in the brine. How to make a salt brine without a Hydrometer I am explaining in the recipe. My hydrometer is a cube cut out of a potato.

       The quality of salo is so important on the menu of pork had. How to choose a good raw salo to make in brine? If you press salo with a finger, the spot should stay in. Another indicator is, to take a match and insert it in lard, the match should easily go in. The skin should be soft and not dry. Fresh lard has a milky and slightly smoky aroma.

       If you are not familiar with pork lard, feel free to ask me. I know a lot about this ingredient. I can give advice on what you can do with it if have a lot in your hand.

The best way to use brine pork lard salo is to eat as is as an appetizer. It is not a recipe for salo to use in borsh, fry potatoes in it, or add flavor to recipes. You can use it for these purposes, but plain salted lard is much better.

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1 pound pork belly fat

500 ml water

10-12 tablespoons coarse salt

10 black peppercorns

5 allspice corns

1 teaspoon black pepper

6 corns coriander

2 bay leaves

1 tablespoon dry dill

4-5 garlic cloves

1 potato

Photo Ingredients Salo

Cooking Direction:

  1. Cut out of raw potato dice 1 cm size. It will be our homemade hydrometer* to measure the concentration of salt for brine.

*Hydrometer is a tool to measure the concentration of salt in water in factories.

2. Add 10 tablespoon of salt to room temperature water. Dissolve salt in water by stirring with a spoon. Add the potato cube to the water. If the potato still covered with water, start adding spoon by spoon more salt gradually. In the recipe in the photo, it took 11 tablespoons.

Photo brune for pork fat

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3. Bring the brine to a boil and add black peppercorns, allspice corns, black pepper, coriander, leaves and dry dill. Boil brine on medium heat for 5 minutes. Put aside and cool off to the room temperature.

Photo brune for salo

4. Wash lard and dry with a paper towel before use. Scribe the surface with a knife, if need it. Cut the lard into smaller pieces, approximately 6cm X 9cm. Slice garlic. Stuff salo with garlic from all sides.

Photo pork lard with garlic

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5. Submerge salo in brine. Don’t remove spices from the brine.

6. Cover the salo with a plate on the top, so it completely submerged in the brine.

Photo salo covered with plate

7. Try salo after 2-3 days, if it is not salty enough, you can keep up to one week salo in brine. Dry out the salo with a paper towel and you can keep it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days without brine. If you going to serve for guests, wrap it in plastic and keep it in the freezer for 1 hour before slice. This simple step helps you to make beautiful slices for the presentation. If you made it in advance for someone, keep it in the freezer for a few months.

Photo salo in plastic

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How To Serve Cured Pork Fat Salo Fancy

So many ways how to eat salo. Here are a few easy ways to serve salo and eat it.

  1. We can slice salo into thin slices and serve with green onion or parsley.
  2. Salo can be served on the platter with varieties of different salo. For example, smoked salo, covered with paprika, covered with black pepper…
  3. We can serve slices of salo on a meat platter with other cold cuts.
  4. Cure pork lard is great to serve with hot boiled potatoes sprinkled with green dill – the most common salo pairing in Russia. The fancy way to serve salo with potatoes is to slice 1 cm of boiled potatoes and slightly fry it for crunch. Place slices on the top and serve. Garnish with green onion.

    The best garnish to serve salo traditionally is dill pickles, green onion and black pepper.

Fancy Way To Serve Cured Salo Is Canape

Photo Salo Pickle Canape

To serve salo fancy to impress your guests, I am going to share a simple and great recipe. Canape is the way to present this product for people not familiar with this Russian delicacy but willing to try it. Bread Borodinskii you can buy in any Russian or European store in the USA. Of course, you can substitute it for other rye bread. The canapes with salo can be made a day in advance.

*The photos with canapes I made with salted pork that I found at the local store. It can’t be a replacement for Russian or Ukrainian salo!

Read more about bread Borodinskii ⇒ Russian Cooking Glossary A B C D E

I decorated the salo canapes plate with curly flowers made out of the green onion. It is great decor for food but don’t place them on salty surfaces directly. So, if we place directly on the top of pickles on our canapes green onions will be withered and will be not presentable.

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Ingredients to make 12 canapes:

2 slices of bread Borodinskii

150g salo

1-2 dill pickles

Green onion

Whole grain mustard or Russian mustard

Black pepper

Cooking Direction:

  1. Slice thin salo and pickles.
  2. Remove crisp from bread slices for a better appearance. Cut bread slices into six pieces.
  3. Spread a layer of mustard on bread.
  4. Roll salo and attach to bread with pickle slices on the top. Sprinkle with black pepper.
  5. Garnish with green onion or with garlic chives as the last touch.

Photo salo on bread

We can make canapes one day in advance. Keep it in a plastic container layered with a paper towel on the bottom, just in case of some drops from pickles. Cover with a lid.

Photo salo in box

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