Abanico ibérico: the meaning of the name of this cut

The abanico iberico is a little known but exquisite cut of pork. It is a cut that delights even the most demanding palates and, best of all, it is easy to prepare. But what is the meaning of its name? Why is it called abanico? What are its properties?

Where does the name abanico iberico come from?

The abanico iberico has this peculiar name because of the part of the pig from which it is extracted. The abanico is a muscle that surrounds the ribs of the pig, but from the outside. It is a very veined cut and this gives it a tender, juicy and, above all, delicious texture. You can prepare it grilled or even in the oven!

This cut weighs about 200 grams and is characterized by its dark red color. When the cut is removed from the pig, it is possible to appreciate the fat and it is advisable not to remove it, as this is what gives the piece its unique flavor.

The abanico iberico, like other cuts of Iberian pork, has many health benefits. For example, it has infiltrated intramuscular fat, which makes the meat tender; but it also helps reduce bad cholesterol in the blood, while increasing good cholesterol (HDL). It is similar to olive oil. The meat is very rich in protein; the protein levels are higher than those of other cuts of beef and white pork. It also has less fat than you might imagine and, of course, they have vitamins B, E and minerals such as potassium, magnesium and zinc.

How is abanico iberico prepared?

Abanico iberico does not need a great deal of preparation, it all depends on what you are looking for! It can be made in a similar way to the Iberian secret; it is also possible to cook the whole piece, but be careful, as it has many fibers. The most advisable thing is to seal the inside on the griddle, before cooking it further. Once the meat is ready, it is best to leave it to rest for a few minutes, fully covered, before cutting it into strips.

Preparation tips

The first thing to do is to choose an appropriate abanico iberico cut. Pay close attention to the color of the meat when you go to buy it. Remember that it must be a deep red, otherwise it would not be Iberian. On the other hand, do not remove the fat it comes with. You can remove some excess fat, but it is advisable not to do so, as this fat is precisely what gives the meat its tender texture and juices.

The abanico iberico weighs approximately 200 grams and is not very thick, so cutting it into fillets can be optional, but it is best to prepare the whole piece. If you are going to fillet it, then look for fillets of more or less the same thickness. You can make the cut yourself or ask the butcher to do it.

On the other hand, remember that any cut of meat must be at room temperature before cooking. To do this, remove the meat from the refrigerator a couple of hours before cooking. If the meat is prepared fresh from the refrigerator, it will be cold on the inside and, even if you cook it, the inside could still be at a low temperature. This is not recommended at all.

Abanico iberico recipe


  • Whole abanico iberico. Depending on the number of diners, you will know how many abanicos you need. Keep in mind that one diner can eat one abanico perfectly.
  • Coarse salt.
  • Extra virgin olive oil.
  • Freshly ground black pepper.
  • Dried herbs. You can add parsley, thyme or oregano. It is optional.


  • The first thing to do is to leave the meat at room temperature for a couple of hours before cooking.
  • Before cooking and while preheating the griddle, oven or frying pan, dry the meat with kitchen paper to remove excess moisture.
  • Preheat the griddle or oven to a high temperature. If grilling the meat, use a drizzle of oil to grease the surface. Use kitchen paper to spread the oil all over the surface; the same applies if you are going to pan-fry the meat. In case of baking the meat in the oven, preheat it to 200ºC.
  • Place the meat on the griddle, frying pan or in the oven. It is important to sear the meat quickly on both sides first and then finish the cooking. For quick searing, just leave the meat for a couple of minutes on each side and turn it over.
  • Once the meat has been seared, reduce the temperature of the griddle.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • If you are going to bake the meat in the oven, it is advisable to pre-sear it on the grill and then place the meat on the oven rack or on a special tray.
  • When the meat is prepared in the oven, it requires a longer cooking time. Reduce the temperature to 180ºC and let it cook for approximately 20 minutes.
  • If you are grilling the meat, once you have seared the meat, cook for five minutes on each side.
  • You will know the meat is ready because the color will change. You can cut a small piece to see the inside. Keep in mind that the cooking time also varies depending on the point of meat you want to achieve. The abanico iberico is recommended to be eaten just cooked, so that it is juicy and tender and you can appreciate all the texture of the meat.
  • Once it is ready, place in a serving dish and cover with aluminum foil.
  • If the meat has been prepared in the oven, once the cooking time has elapsed, remove it from the oven and set it aside, also covering it with aluminum foil. Some people choose to cook the meat directly covered with foil while it is in the oven.

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