Whipped Lardo: How to Make my Holy Grail

Whipped Lardo

Whipped lardo is simply heavenly. A heavenly spread that was my holy grail of recipes. I’d eaten it at an underground restaurant type of meal and it stuck in my mind. Stuck so hard as one of the best bites I’d ever eaten that I scoured the internet, up, down and every which-way, without gaining even the first inkling of any idea how to make the dish. So it was taste and test time. For the last year I’ve made more attempts than I want to count, all equally failed, to recreate this dish.

It had been called ‘Whipped Lardo’ when I ate it, so yes, I began by making my own lardo. Good, yes, but was it making whipped lardo? No. So I kept going, rendering lard and whipping it, curing back fat right and left. Finally I had to give up. There was just no way I could figure it out without just a little hint from its creator.

Fate must have intervened, because a few weeks ago I took up a friend on an offer to attend that same underground restaurant type of meal. The cook was different, but luck would have it that the chef who made the whipped lardo, the wonderful and pretty darn cute Joel Cox, would be joining us in eating the dinner. So, fast forward to the car ride home, I’ve had a few glasses of wine and I finally feel courageous enough to ask “Joel, please tell me how you made that whipped lardo!”

And like a little child trying desperately to watch the beauty of the bubbles while also catching them in their hands, I listened as he told me the secret I had been missing. You grind the fat directly in the meat grinder. No actual lardo used, nor is there actual whipping. He told me the rest of the recipe, though I have to admit to having been so stuck on this part of the recipe that I only vaguely heard ingredients, so I improvised when I made it. He also explained that he had learned this recipe from the great Dario Cecchini, who you may have heard about in the book ‘Heat’ or seen on Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations.

So what is the whipped lardo like? Like butter on overdrive, like meat in cream form, like flavor that is at once so simple and so complex that you must have another bite to figure out which one it is.

Whipped Lardo

1/3 lb of pork back fat or leaf lard (Joel said back fat, I used leaf)
1 small clove of garlic, mashed into a paste
1 teaspoon of Sherry Vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
Salt, pepper, rosemary to taste

Grind the fat through the smallest setting on your meat grinder. Add the garlic and vinegar and begin massaging air into it. As you work with the meat, folding in air using a motion like a back rub or milking a cow, it will get softer and softer. Add in salt and pepper and rosemary and begin to taste. It will need a decent amount of salt to bring out the full flavors, though go more sparsely on the pepper and rosemary for that big pig flavor. When you’re done, spread it on a cracker or piece of bread and enjoy.


  1. Brian Matheson says:

    Shoot, I’ve been trying to whip it all this type as well. Thank you Gnomey!!!!!

  2. Be still my beating heart. (Literally) Have you tried this with Mangalista fat?

  3. thegastrognome says:

    Oh, darlin’, you better believe that that’s what this was made with. Amazing!

  4. Качество друзей тоже надо учитывать. Дональд Трамп, например, на двадцатку потянет.

  5. What marinkina said.

  6. Okay, I’ve gotta ask… where did you get the Mangalista lard? I’ve actually had this from The Man himself. Dario Checchini serves samples of this in his butcher shop in Tuscany to any shopper who happens to walk in. At least he did on the lucky day I was there. I am in awe of you for recreating it!

    • thegastrognome says:

      I got mine at our local farmer’s market-I was back there today and Heath, the owner was serving up his own version, which was not as good.

    • i had the same thing at the same place from the same man and here i am looking for how to recreate it in Hong Kong.

      Amen to the internet.

  7. Отличный пост – слов нет. Спасибо.

  8. Do you cook the fat before using it?

  9. Christina says:


    Newbie to the whole pork part thing, isn’t Lardo a good fat to use in this recipe. How different is lardo vs. back fat. And what the heck is leaf fat?


    • thegastrognome says:

      Lardo is cured back fat, so it didn’t work. Leaf lard is the highest grade of lard, followed by back fat. That is decided by the lack of porky flavor and where they are in the body. I would recommend not using lardo, but either leaf lard or back fat (aka fatback). Hope that helps!

      • Looks incredible! Quick question-just to make sure I’m getting things right: can this approach to making it be done with lard which has already been rendered, or do you have to run a chunk of the non-rendered fat through the grinder with the spices?

  10. Could you define “a decent amount of salt”? Are we talking a TBSP or 2 or what.


  11. I first had this at Mario Batalli’s place in Vegas, OH MY GOD! Thanks I’ll try this one. Mario cures his for several weeks before gringing it.

  12. Carol Bradford says:

    Do send more info on Lardo

    I live in the Boston area, and I’ll bet that Capone’s in Somerville and Cambridge has lardo! (Or he can get it for you)

  13. Oh man, this sounds awesome. I frequently make my own bacon and pancetta, but recently we just had a local hog raised and butchered for us. Aside from all the meat, the best part is I now have a TON of thick back fat! Oh, and jowls! I’m definitely going to make this whipped lardo… and regular lardo… and guanciale. Mhhhh… drooling over here.

    Thanks for the recipe!

  14. Suzanne says:

    So, are you not really “whipping” the fat? Or rendering it? Just straight fat with seasonings, mixed by hand?
    I’ve heard of rendering the fat, cooling it, and then whipping it in a mixer, hence my questions.

    • Well, I guess it’s whipped (sort of?) through the process of grinding, but otherwise, technically it is just ground fat and seasonings, mixed by hand.

      Having tried every variation of what you describe prior to finally asking Joel the process, I’d love to hear what you’ve heard of, as I was unable to make it palatable until this version.

  15. My CSA provider has just butchered some pigs and I can (and will) get lots of fat. This will be on my short list of things to try.

  16. Hi all, just a quick question. Is the fat cured, smoked, or in any way cooked? Or is it just raw fat? Thank you.


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