Googling “barding” results in a variety of results: the action of being a bard, or the medieval practice of clothing a horse in armor, for instance, but that’s not what we’re going for here. In the culinary world, barding means clothing a substantial piece of meat in fatty strips of meat before cooking in order to give it more flavor. 

When you think about it, it’s just another version of armoring a horse — with much tastier results. Meaty armor is constructed using raw pieces of fatback, or any kind of meat rich in fat, and wrapped around larger pieces of meat before it’s cooked. The meat and its armor of fat cook together to further embed flavor. This is commonly done with lean meats or cuts that tend to dry out, like poultry or tenderloins, but can be applied to any kind of protein, fruit or vegetable. 

Use today’s Word of the Day: Chicken Saltimbocca