Larding is by no means difficult when once the various details have been grasped. It is most useful to learn, for
Larding may be done with either bacon, ham, tongue, or truffles. Bacon, however, is most generally used. For this purpose it must be firm and free from lean. It is, therefore, most economical to buy the bacon sold expressly for this purpose. It is called "larding bacon," and can be bought for tenpence a pound. This bacon is cured without any saltpetre, for if it were used white meats would be spoilt, the saltpetre in the bacon causing them to be tinged with red.
The needle with which the strip of bacon is drawn through the meat is called a "larding needle." The bacon has to be cut up into strips, and these are called "lar-doons." These lardoons are inserted into the top of the larding needle. They must vary in length and thickness according to what is to be larded; for instance, lardoons intended for a guinea fowl must be longer and thicker than those which would be used to lard small fillets of beef or grenadines of veal.
Fig. 2. Lardoons
Great care is required when cutting the lardoons, as they should all be of the same length and thickness - they should be a trifle smaller than the needle; those cut about two inches long and an eighth of an inch thick are a very useful size.
Having cut the bacon into slices an eighth of an inch thick, cut off the rind, then cut the slices into strips lengthways. A line will be seen running along each slice, and if the lardoons were cut across this line, the top of each would break off.
To Lard a Veal Cutlet or Small Fillet of Beef
Having trimmed the cutlet or fillet into shape, lay it on a threefold piece of kitchen point of the larding-needle - they should be about half an inch apart. Place a lardoon in the needle, and take a stitch through the meat, draw the needle through gently, leaving half the lardoon out at each end. Re-thread the needle with another lardoon, and proceed in the same manner. It will be observed that the second row of stitches does not come directly under the first but between them, so that the piece of meat will present a somewhat chequered appearance when it is finished.
Fig. 3. Showing where the needle is to be put in and drawn out of a fillet of beef or a veal cutlet
All larding should be done in this way, though, needless to say, the number of rows required varies, some surfaces, such as the breast of a guinea-fowl, being larded all over.
When all the larding has been done, take a pair of scissors and carefully cut all the lardoons the same length, leaving about a quarter of an inch at either end.
To bard a bird is to tie over the breast a thin slice of raw fat bacon, in which a few slits have been made to prevent it from curling up when heated.
It is said that one meaning of the word "bard" is a breastplate, and that describes exactly what is placed on the bird - a breastplate of bacon to protect the flesh from the fierce heat of the fire or oven, which might otherwise dry and scorch it.
The slice should be large enough to entirely cover the breast, and it should be kept in place with two pieces of string, as shown in the illustration. About five or ten minutes before the cooking is comp 1 e t e d, the bacon must be removed so as to allow the breast to be well browned.
Fig. 5. How to bard game or poultry