Chuleta valluna (or lomo de cerdo apanado) is a traditional Colombian dish.
What is chuleta valluna?
Chuleta valluna is typical of the Valle del Cauca department, that is located between the Andean and Pacific regions on the west coast of Colombia. It is a piece of pork loin that is marinated, breaded and fried. It is sometimes accompanied by rice, salad, cassava (yuca), fried slices of plantain or a delicious bean stew.
Ideally, the marinade is prepared the day before to enjoy it at breakfast or at lunch. The meat is very thin, and since the cooking is already initiated with the marinade, it is very fast to cook.
In the region of Valle del Cauca, there are different versions of this dish, some marinate the pork loin before simply dredging it in the breadcrumbs and frying it, others fry it with flour, egg and bread crumbs. In any case, the meat will be juicy and tender inside and the outside will be perfectly golden and crispy.
How to make chuleta valluna
In Colombia, chuleta valluna is invariably served without bone, the piece is flattened by the butcher with a small mallet, which makes the meat softer and thinned just like the famous Viennese schnitzel or veal Milanese .
The marinade for chuleta valluna is particularly tasty as it consists of garlic, scallions, onions and cumin. A spoon of Sazon Goya, a spice blend with dried herbs and salt, is also added to the breadcrumbs. This one brings a slight color to the breadcrumbs and especially a lot of flavor.
This technique is actually not uncommon. In Italy, for example, a mixture of dried oregano is used, and in the southern United States, they add onion and garlic powder. As they already dehydrated, these herbs do not burn when cooked and they perfectly impregnate the fried meat or fish with their flavors.
Colombian chuleta valluna can be prepared as several pieces of pork loin or only one of a larger size that will be shared, depending on the number of people and the size of the frying pan. Nevertheless, a beautiful piece of perfectly crispy and golden meat is always more pleasant to present. To check that the breadcrumbs are perfectly golden, just scratch the surface slightly with the back of a knife.
If the meat is fried to perfection, it’s always a real treat. For this, some prefer two different oils at different temperatures, others only a very brief frying, while others prefer a long fry at a lower temperature. In any case, it is essential to properly absorb the excess oil in paper towel as soon as cooking is complete. Indeed, as it exits the oil, the meat tends to shrink and absorb what is around it, including the excess fat, but also the salt. Many prefer to season with salt at this time. As for the excess oil, it does not bring only cholesterol problems, but it also has a tendency to re-moisten the breadcrumbs and make it softer, so it must be wiped immediately.
From there, the meat should rest a few minutes, just enough time for the juices to circulate perfectly through the meat tissues. This step brings a lot of tenderness to the frying.
As amateurs of anything fried, we really enjoyed this fast, simple and tasty dish.
- 3 lb pork loin
- 3 cloves garlic , chopped
- 2 scallions , finely chopped
- 1 white onion , finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 1½ cup flour
- 1 tablespoon Sazon Goya with saffron (or achiote)
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups bread crumbs
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- Cut the pork loin into 6 slices and place them between two sheets of parchment paper.
- Pound the slices with a mallet until each piece is very thin.
- Place in a large plastic bag and add the scallion, onion, garlic and cumin.
- Seal the bag and make sure the meat is fully covered.
- Marinate the pork for 4 hours or overnight.
- In a deep dish, add the flour and Sazon Goya and mix.
- In a second deep dish, beat the eggs.
- In a third deep dish, pour the breadcrumbs.
- Heat the oil in a large pan at medium heat.
- Remove the pork from the marinade and dry with paper towels.
- Dredge each slice of pork in the flour mixture and Sazon Goya.
- Then dip each of them in the beaten eggs and then cover them generously with breadcrumbs.
- Add the pork slices in hot oil and fry for about 3 minutes on each side.
- If the temperature is too hot, lower the heat a little. The pork should be golden brown and fully cooked inside.
- Drain on paper towels and serve immediately.