Improving the flavor and juiciness of meat with lard larding

To lard is to thread strips of fat through lean meat before cooking it. Slice chilled fatback or salt pork into uniform, square-cut strips about 1/8 to 1/2 inch thick and about an inch longer than your cut of meat. Place a fat strip in the groove of a larding needle-a long, narrow, scoop-shaped tool.

Insert the needle at one end of the meat, with the grain, and twist it through until about 1/2 inch of fat protrudes from the other end. Holding the exposed fat against the meat with one hand, gently twist out the needle with the other. Insert fat strips at 11/2to 2-inch intervals. If you don’t have a larding needle, use a sharp knife to cut deep slits through the length of the meat; push in the fat with a sturdy chopstick or the slender handle of a wooden spoon.

Bardingis anotherway to keep lean meat or fowl from drying out during roasting. Cover the meat or bird with thin sheets or slices of fatback, salt pork, or bacon and tie securely at intervals with kitchen string. Or have your butcher do it. Because the bard is discarded after cooking, this method adds less fat than larding.