One of the most exquisite and little known cuts of Iberian pork is the pluma iberica. It is a product of great quality, with an incomparable texture and flavor and, in addition, very versatile. You can prepare it in countless recipes.
The benefits of Iberian pork
Iberian pork is one of the most coveted meats among the most select palates. The Iberian pig is a type of animal that is characterized by its variety of cuts, parts and, above all, its flavor and texture. You can buy many Iberian sausages such as ham, salami, loin, bacon, etc.; but it is also possible to buy the cuts of meat and prepare them in different dishes. Here we find the ‘secret’, the ‘lizard’, the ‘pluma’, the ‘fan’, among others.
What makes Iberian pork so good is the diet of these animals, which is usually based on acorns. In addition, the animals usually live in freedom in the pastures, so they are on the move. The diet, as well as the physical activity, allows the Iberian pigs to develop intramuscular fat. This fat is what gives Iberian pork its exceptional flavor.
Learn all about pluma iberica
The pluma ibérica is one of the least known cuts of pork, as is the fan. The most popular pork cuts are the secreto, the loin, and the ribs, but there are other cuts that are just as delicious! You should know that the tenderloin and the secret are not the most exclusive and delicate parts of this animal, but the pluma is one of the finest and most exquisite cuts that exist. This cut is triangular in shape and is extracted from the back of the loin; it is located next to the Iberian presa. That is why it is quite common to confuse the presa and the pluma, but be careful, they are not the same.
The presa is much heavier, weighing up to 500-600 grams, while the pluma barely reaches 100 grams, which is why it is so exclusive and limited in the market! In addition, the pluma ibérica is in great demand because its texture is soft and tender; although all Iberian pork possesses these qualities, the pluma iberica is even finer and more delicate, as it is a rather small and concentrated cut. It has a perfect balance between fat and lean meat!
Properties of pluma ibérica
Pluma ibérica, like other cuts of pork, is characterized by having a high amount of monounsaturated fatty acids; this is due to the infiltrated fat of this cut. Therefore, the pluma has high levels of oleic acid, i.e., the same properties as olive oil, so it is good for health.
On the other hand, pluma ibérica has B vitamins, minerals such as zinc and potassium, as well as proteins, so it is compatible with a balanced diet. Do not hesitate to eat it! Finally, pluma ibérica, due to its properties, contributes to reducing the levels of bad cholesterol in the blood, while it boosts the levels of good cholesterol.
How to cook pluma ibérica?
Pluma ibérica is very versatile and can be prepared in countless recipes. Since it is very small, you can obtain two fillets or a maximum of three fillets from each pluma. To do this, it is advisable to ask the butcher to cut them, if you are not very skilled with a knife; it can also be cut into strips and prepared on the grill, or in a pan. It doesn't need much! Just add a pinch of coarse salt and it will be enough.
You can also cook the pluma iberica in the oven at a temperature between 180 and 200ºC, and for a longer time, because the secret of the baked pluma iberica is a more or less low and stable temperature, for a long time (about 20-30 minutes). It is advisable, in case of baking, to cover it completely with aluminum foil so that it retains the heat. Do not forget that, when handling the pluma iberica, you should use tongs or kitchen tongs to prevent the cooking juices from escaping when you prick the meat with a fork.
Another way to eat pluma ibérica is in tartar or carpaccio, for which you must follow the sanitary recommendations for the consumption of raw meat. That is to say, the pluma must be frozen for at least three days before cooking. In the case of carpaccio, have the pluma cut into very thin slices by the butcher.
Finally, as it is a very noble meat, it combines well with any ingredient and seasoning you want to use. If it is grilled, salt and pepper will be enough. For stews and more elaborate recipes, then do not hesitate to mix sweet flavors such as red fruits, figs and honey; also add mustard, citrus fruits such as lemon and even liqueurs such as red wine or white wine.