I had a chat today with Chef Josh Galliano of Monarch Restaurant. When I was in Missouri last month, he got a boneless rib-loin, lard and some lardo.
We are putting together a show-and-tell event at Swiss Meats for chefs and media, so I was talking with him today. I got to ask him what he thought of the products he got last month.
He liked the loin. He agreed it was very special. If I recall correctly, he cooked it sous vide and seared it - which is often a big winner.
He liked the lardo a lot, and used it in different ways. He's the sort who'd probably make his own lardo from our raw material. He agreed that our lardo was totally different from all other lardo that he can buy or make. I explained about how we produce that fat, by optimizing breed, feed and age at slaughter.
He used the lard for a bunch of things - sauteing, making pies, frying potatoes.
He preferred our lard to the lard and duck fat mixture he was using to fry potatoes - and given the high cost of duck fat, its cheaper. He agreed that our lard was much better than the other lard he'd been using. He explained though, you can't substitute lard for ALL cooking fats. There are some applications where you'll want to use vegetable oils.
In general, I'm hoping that we can develop a market for our Mangalitsa pork and products in Missouri, because we ought to be able to serve them well via our primary processor.