Two of the most versatile and select cuts of the secreto ibérico are the pluma and the presa ibérica. These cuts are gourmet and are characterized by their unique and incomparable flavor. Preparing recipes with these two pieces of Iberian pork is very easy and you will be able to surprise your guests. Get to work!
What is the Iberian feather?
For a long time it has been thought that the sirloin and the secreto were the most delicate cuts of Iberian pork. But in recent years, pluma and presa (feather and prey) have gained special importance and have become very popular. The reason? They are quite unknown cuts, very select, versatile and with a unique flavor.
The Iberian pluma is a cut from the Iberian pig, which weighs around 100 grams. What makes the feather so coveted is that only one feather can be extracted from each pork. It is a very select cut! The feather has an elongated appearance and is usually prepared whole.
Preparing the Iberian feather is not rocket science. Like most of the cuts of this animal, it will be enough to pass it through the griddle, frying pan or grill, when it is very hot and over high heat. It does not require a great elaboration; you will only need a pinch of coarse salt, your favorite aromatic herbs and a drizzle of olive oil to enhance the flavor.
What is Iberian prey?
Two cuts can be extracted from the Iberian pig, as well as the secreto. This cut is elongated and rounded, unlike the feather, which is narrower. In addition, it weighs about half a kilo, and the prey can weigh up to 600 grams.
The processing of the prey is more versatile than that of the feather. Unlike the feather, the prey needs to be cooked over low heat and, if it is grilled or barbecued, it is best to use an indirect heat source. The Iberian prey on the grill needs to be previously seared in the pan; to do so, you should add a drizzle of olive oil and place the prey over high heat for a couple of minutes on each side. This way, you will prevent the cooking juices from escaping.
On the other hand, the prey can also be cooked in the oven or even in a pot, as a stew. In these two cases, it will be necessary to cook it for a longer time (about 20-30 minutes).
Raw Iberian feather and Iberian prey
These two cuts are similar in more ways than just their delicious taste: they can be eaten raw. The Iberian pig is a breed of pork that follows strict quality controls, which is why, in recent years, the feather and prey have been prepared raw. Their texture is very tender and ideal!
However, in order to be consumed raw, it is necessary to freeze the meat for at least three days before consumption and follow a thorough defrosting process. This way you will avoid cross-contamination.
The feather and prey can be prepared as a tartar or carpaccio. Tartar is a very popular recipe in the most innovative restaurants and in these cases, the feather and the prey are cut into small pieces and mixed with a wide variety of ingredients; it is possible to find it with beet, which is a vegetable that gives it a very particular flavor. It can even be mixed with avocado! The dressing is key to a good tartar and, as these two cuts are so versatile, they go well with Worcestershire sauce, soy, vinegar, oil, among others. You can also accompany it with mustard sauce and honey, the taste will surprise you!
Carpaccio is somewhat easier and simpler, but it also requires some skill. Carpaccio consists of thin slices of meat, the same thickness as ham. That's why you need to be very skilled with a knife or run the meat through a ham slicer. You will only need to dress it with an oil vinaigrette, aromatic herbs and cover with cheese flakes.
No matter which method you choose, it is important that the meat is always removed from the refrigerator before cooking. In this way, the meat will be at room temperature and will not be crispy and cooked on the outside, but cold and undercooked on the inside.
In addition, in the case of the prey, it is essential to handle it with kitchen tongs. If you prick the meat with a fork, it is possible that the cooking juices will escape and the cut will be somewhat dry.
Benefits of Iberian ham
Ibérico is a breed of pork that is not only characterized by its exquisite flavor, but also by its many nutritional properties. It is perfect to follow a healthy diet! The vast majority of Iberian cuts, such as the prey and the feather, are distinguished by having a balance between fat and lean parts that make them unique. The cuts have a lot of juiciness and texture, but also a high protein input.
The Iberian pig, due to its diet and breeding, is an animal that has large amounts of intramuscular fat infiltrated. This means that it has oleic acid properties similar to those of olive oil or avocado; its meat is also rich in antioxidants, B vitamins and a wide variety of minerals, such as zinc and magnesium.