What is Iberian pork pluma?

Do you know what pork pluma is? This cut of Iberian pork is highly prized by the most demanding of palates, as it is a unique type of meat that is widely used in fine cuisine. Fortunately, it is very easy to prepare!

Everything you need to know about the Iberian pluma 

More and more Iberian cuts are appearing which, until not so long ago, were purely reserved for making sausages or for restaurant kitchens. Nowadays, however, anyone can buy any of these select, delicatessen products. Among the most popular of these cuts is the pluma, a highly demanded cut because only one pluma of approximately 100 grams can be extracted from each pig. As you can see, this makes it a unique cut.

In Spanish gastronomy, it is often said that "everything is eaten from the pig" and, without doubt, the pluma is no exception. Yet the fact is that the pluma, along with the lizard and the prey, is one of the least well known cuts of Iberian pork. But it is, without a doubt, the finest and most exquisite cut. It offers a very smooth texture, provided it is properly prepared. 

The pluma is triangular in shape and is extracted from the back of the animal's back. Be careful, as it is not only the pluma that is removed from this area, but also the prey. This means that the two cuts are often confused, so pay attention. The pluma, as you have already seen, weighs approximately 100 grams and only one pluma can be removed from each pig, unlike the prey. There, two prey are taken from each pig and each weighs just over half a kilo (500-600 grams). 

Why is Iberian pluma so popular?

Now that you know what pork pluma is, you should find out more about its characteristics, which make it one of the most coveted cuts. To begin with, it is the most sought-after part because its cut is very fine and its texture is incomparably tender and smooth. The sensation on the palate is simply unmatched. Perhaps the only cut that can be compared to the pluma is the prey, which can be eaten raw.

On the other hand, the pluma is ideal for people who take care of themselves and follow a balanced diet to keep in shape or gain muscle mass. This is because pluma provides a perfect balance between fat and lean. Moreover, it also provides good levels of protein. As for the nutritional information for the pluma, you should know that it has a significant amount of monounsaturated fatty acids, precisely because of the infiltrated veined fat. An Iberian pluma can provide the same oleic acid benefits that you would find in raw olive oil.

Be careful when choosing pork pluma. Only Iberian pigs have these nutritional characteristics because of the type of food they are fed and the healthy outdoor lifestyle they enjoy. You'll know it's Iberico because the meat has a vibrant colour; other pigs have pale meat.

What is the best way to prepare pluma de cerdo?

Iberian pluma, like many other cuts from this type of animal, does not require very elaborate recipes for its preparation. However, as it is a very juicy cut, it has great versatility and can be incorporated into multiple types of cooking. 

Generally, the pluma is grilled or broiled. All it needs in these cases is a little coarse salt and pepper, as well as olive oil, and your guests will be delighted! Remember to serve simple garnishes, as the meat already has a very intense flavour and does not need too much added to it. 

But it is also possible to prepare the pluma in the oven, so long as it is at a low temperature and cooked for much longer than if it is grilled or broiled. You can even prepare this meat in tartar, as Iberian prey is also prepared. Remember though that if you want to prepare it in tartar the meat must be frozen for three days before consumption. 

Finally, if you wish to prepare it in the oven, grill or griddle, don't forget to take the meat out of the fridge at least two hours before cooking to leave it at room temperature. Allowing the meat to warm up will ensure that, after cooking, the meat will not be cold on the inside and will be cooked properly.

Grilled pork pluma recipe

Ingredients

  • One pork pluma.
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Olive oil.

Preparation

  • Once the meat is at room temperature, place some oil in a frying pan. If you have a griddle, then spread a little oil over the surface of the griddle.
  • When the surface is hot, add the pork pluma, previously seasoned with salt and pepper.
  • Leave to cook for three minutes and, with the help of tongs or a spatula, turn the meat. Never use a fork, as this will cause the juices from the pluma to escape and the meat to dry out.
  • The heat should be medium high.
  • You will know the meat is ready because it will shrink slightly.
  • Remove and serve on a plate. Garnish with roasted or steamed vegetables; you can also serve mashed or fried potatoes as a side dish and various salads and rice dishes.

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