The presa is one of the most highly sought-after cuts of the Iberian pig. This is due to the sublime consistency of the meat, but also because of the distinctive flavour of Iberian pork. The cut can be prepared in several different ways and be accompanied by a variety of garnishes.
Want more info on presa? Check out our Ultimate Guide: How to Cook Presa Ibérica.
Everything you need to know about the Iberian presa
You might well ask, what is presa and why is it so delicious? Presa iberica is a cut of pork that is characterised by its intramuscular and marbled fat, which makes the meat very juicy and tender. Thanks to its unique flavour, presa iberica can be prepared in different ways - from grilled to baked. Its flavour is memorable and is certain to appeal to even the most demanding of diners.
Along with the secreto, the presa is one of the most popular pieces of Iberian pork, as it is considered the most exquisite. The cut is taken from the end of the animal's back. From each pig it is possible to obtain two pieces of presa of approximately 500 or 600 grams. You will know it is an Iberian cut because the inside of the meat is a distinctive bright red.
Iberian pork, in any of its cuts, offers incomparable meat. This is due to the acorn-based diet that the pigs receive. In addition, the animals can run free in the pasture, which allows them to exercise and, consequently, the animal has intramuscular fat that can infiltrate.
Moreover, Iberian presa meat has high nutritional values, so it is advisable to consider adding it to a balanced diet. Presa iberica also has good levels of oleic acid, similar to those found in avocados and olive oil. Thanks to these fats, it is possible to reduce cholesterol levels in the blood and it can help with cardiovascular diseases.
On the other hand, Iberian pork also has a respectable protein content: 21 grams for 14 grams of fat - perfect for fitness buffs who are looking for a high-protein diet! In addition, as far as calories are concerned, for every 100 grams you will find only around 200 calories. As a result of these properties, Iberian presa can easily be included in the diet of any athlete - or indeed anyone who wants to look after their figure. Lastly, the presa has a high intake of B vitamins, such as B12 and B6, and also good levels of vitamin E, a powerful natural antioxidant. As regards vital minerals, you can find potassium, iron, magnesium and zinc in abundance in a presa.
How do you prepare Iberian presa?
Preparing Iberian presa is not very scientific as this cut of pork can be grilled, with unique results. However, it is best to cook it in very short batches, and the simpler the recipe, the better. Generally, pork is grilled, barbecued or fried. However, if you grill the pork, then it is best to slice it very thinly. In contrast, if it is barbecued you can make thicker cuts.
It is advisable to have the butcher make the cuts for you if you are not very skilled with a knife. Bear in mind that if the fillets are more or less the same size, then the cooking time will be uniform. But can the Iberian pork be cooked whole? This is certainly possible, but only in the oven and the cooking time will be longer.
To bake the presa in the oven, in addition to placing the entire cut on the tray, keep in mind that it will need to be cooked for approximately one hour at a temperature of 180 ºC. Never cook the presa at a higher temperature! In the oven, a presa should preferably be cooked on a relatively low heat.
What is presa en tartar?
Did you know that pork can even be consumed raw? Well, one of the cuts of Iberian pork that can be eaten in this way is the presa. Many select restaurants use this cut, and the results are unique! It is also possible to prepare a recipe for Iberian pork tartare or carpaccio at home yourself as long as you follow the recommendations.
Although presa iberica is very popular in the catering trade due to the possibility of its raw consumption, many households are still unaware of this. As it is a high-quality cut that undergoes rigorous health controls, eating it raw is entirely viable and safe. However, to do this, you must keep a careful eye on it to prevent the meat from going bad. It must be frozen for at least three days before the day of consumption!
Afterwards, the meat must be filleted into incredibly thin cuts, as if it were ham. The filleting of the presa is intended for eating it in carpaccio. However, if you prefer to make a tartar, you don't need a machine, as the cuts in this recipe are not uniform. And why is the Iberian presa eaten raw? It is because, in any of its preparations, it is easy to appreciate the delicate texture and the streaky fat of the cut, which simply melts in the mouth! If you want to prepare it in tartar, all you need to do is find a suitable seasoning recipe to enhance the flavour of the meat.