The Abanico Ibérico is a lesser known but exquisite cut of pork. It's a cut that everyone from Spain to the USA absolutely loves when they first taste it. And best of all, it's super easy to prepare.
But what's the meaning of its name? Why is it called Abanico? We're giving you the scoop on Abanico and offering some juicy (literally) insider tips and recipes.
Where does the name Abanico Ibérico come from?
The Abanico Iberico has this peculiar name because of where it comes from on the Ibérico pig. The Abanico is a muscle that surrounds the ribs of the pig, but sits on the outside. It's a very marbled cut and this gives it a tender, juicy and delicious texture.
This cut weighs about 200 grams (about 7 ounces) and is characterized by its dark red color. When the cut is removed from the pig, you can see its incredible fat, which gives it its amazing flavor.
How should I prepare Abanico Ibérico?
Abanico Iberico doesn't need much to shine, as it's full of flavor. Just a sprinkling of salt is enough, but you can always add other herbs, sauces, and spices as you see fit.
You can cook the cut whole or slice into filets. You can sear it in a pan or grill it. It all depends on what you're looking fire. As you'll see below, we like to use both techniques of pan-searing first to lock in the juices and then letting it finish on the grill over indirect heat to give it that charcoaled, grill flavor. Regardless, once it's done cooking, we always recommend letting it sit a few minutes to lock in the juices.
More Tips for Preparing Abancio
- Always buy high-quality Ibérico Abanico pork. Pay close attention to the color of the meat, and remember that it must be a deep red color with lots of delicious fat. If not, it's probably not Iberian pork.
- You can always trim some of the excess fat before cooking, but don't remove too much. This delicious fat is precisely what gives the meat its tender texture and juices.
- Abanico isn't a huge cut, so we recommend cooking it whole rather than filleting it. But if you do prefer to filet, make sure to cut into pieces of the same thickness. You can do it yourself at home or ask your butcher to do it for you.
- You want the meat to be at room temperature before cooking. To do this, remove the meat from the refrigerator a couple of hours before cooking. This helps the meat cooking evenly and prevents an accidental cold interior.
Abanico Ibérico Recipe
This baseline recipe is flexible with however many diners you've got coming for dinner, and whatever flavors you want to add. Keep in mind that one diner can perfectly eat one Abanico.
- 1 18-25 oz. Campo Grande Ibérico Abanico
- Coarse salt
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Dried herbs of choice, like parsley, thyme, or oregano
- Let the meat come to room temperature a couple hours before you're ready to start cooking.
- Dry the meat with paper towels to remove any excess moisture.
- Preheat the griddle or oven to a high temperature. In case of baking the meat in the oven, preheat it to 400ºF. If grilling the meat, use a drizzle of oil to grease the surface. Use paper towels to spread the oil all over the surface. If you are going to pan-fry the meat, drizzle oil into the pan.
- 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 you cook the meat in the oven, keep in mind that it will take longer to cook. Reduce the temperature to 350ºF 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 also cut a small piece to see the inside. Keep in mind that the cooking time also varies depending on how you prefer your meat cooked. We recommend you eat the Abanico Ibérico medium-rare or medium so you can appreciate all the textures and flavors of the meat.
- Once it is cooked and ready, place it on a serving dish and cover with aluminum foil until you're ready to serve.