Since it became popular some years ago, the secreto ibérico has been a favorite of many diners. It is a cut of the breed of pork that is distinguished for having a very juicy texture and a very delicate flavor. The best thing about the secreto ibérico is that it is easy to prepare.
The benefits of the Iberian secreto
Iberian pork is a delicacy that delights all diners. But not all Iberian cuts are the same. While the loin, the rib and the sirloin are the best known, the secreto, the pluma or the presa are the ones that have gone unnoticed for the longest time. The secreto, however, made its appearance in butcher's shops and restaurant menus a few years ago and became very popular. The reason? Its exquisite flavor and unique texture.
From each Iberian pig it is possible to extract two secrets weighing between 250 and 310 grams. This makes the cut, which is also known as "cruceta" or "lomito", very select. The Iberian secreto is obtained from the upper end of the flank and it is necessary to make a horizontal cut to extract it. It is said that this is the origin of its peculiar name.
Why is the secreto ibérico so delicious? This is because it has a streak of marbled fat that is due to the type of breeding and feeding of Iberian pigs. In addition, it is a meal with many nutritional properties that are perfect for health. This cut has a balanced lean and fat meat, which means that, although the secret is juicy, it is not excessively caloric and fatty.
On the other hand, it has organoleptic properties similar to those of olive oil and avocado; it has good levels of protein, derived from the exercise that the Iberian pigs do in the pastures. And, on top of that, this cut has a good supply of vitamins and minerals, a delicacy for the palate and health!
How to make the best of the Iberian secreto?
Contrary to what you might think, the Iberian secret is a very easy cut to prepare. It does not require a great elaboration, since the cut, in itself, already has everything you need to obtain an exquisite dish.
It is very important, however, to follow a series of tips to prepare the secret so that it is cooked to perfection. The first thing to do is to bring the meat to room temperature before cooking; to do this, you should take it out of the refrigerator a couple of hours before cooking and remove the wrapping so that the cut can breathe. If these steps are omitted, the meat will have a tender texture and will be cold inside.
Additionally, the Iberian secret must be cooked at high temperatures. To do this, you must heat the griddle or grill sufficiently before placing the meat on it. A couple of minutes on each side will be enough to seal the meat and preserve its juices. It is important to handle the meat with kitchen tongs when turning it, never use a fork!
Cooking time depends largely on the thickness of the cut, as well as the desired doneness. Two minutes on each side will be more than enough for the cut to be ready.
Grilled Iberian secreto
The secreto a la parrilla is a very easy recipe to make and the results will be spectacular. Keep in mind that the barbecue should be very hot, but it is recommended that the charcoal is white and the embers are about to be extinguished before placing the meat on it.
- A kilo of Iberian secret.
- Coarse or flaked salt.
- Freshly ground black pepper (optional).
- Extra virgin olive oil.
- The first thing to do is to take the meat out of the refrigerator two hours before cooking.
- When the meat is at room temperature, turn the grill on high heat.
- Place the grate about 15 centimeters away from the fire. It is advisable to place a barbecue tray underneath the grate. This way you will be able to collect the cooking juices.
- Once the grill is very hot, place the secreto ibérico.
- Let the meat cook for two minutes on that side and only when you turn it over, add coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper. You can also add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. The pepper and oil are only to add flavor, but are not essential.
- Once the meat is ready, remove and serve.
Reinventing the Iberian secret
The secreto ibérico is such a versatile cut that it can be accompanied by different garnishes. The most traditional is to serve the cut with french fries and salad; it is the most common way to find it in restaurants. But it is not exclusive, as it is a cut that combines perfectly with many flavors.
You can cut it in small filets and serve it on toast with different accompaniments, such as goat cheese and caramelized onion; or brie cheese and red fruit or tomato jam. It can also be served with different sauces such as blue cheese sauce, mushroom sauce, onion sauce, beer and honey sauce and even barbecue sauce.