Iberico presa is a very select cut of Iberian pork. It is characterized by having marbled, intramuscular fat that provides softness and juiciness to the cut. Iberico presa can be grilled, broiled or baked; using very simple or very select ingredients and obtaining unique results.
Why eat iberico presa?
The secret is not the only most demanded cut of Iberian pork, but the presa is too! This is one of the most sought-after pieces of the animal, as only two presa can be extracted from each pig, each weighing between 500 and 600 grams. It is bright red in color, so you can easily identify it in the butcher's shop.
Iberian meat is characterized because it has unique properties due to the animals' diet and breeding conditions. These pigs eat acorns in the final phase and prior to slaughter; the pigs graze freely and this allows them to exercise. In addition, the feed also makes the fat infiltration high and, consequently, the meat exquisite.
The iberico presa cut offers multiple nutritional benefits. It is very rich in oleic acid, the same that you can find in other products such as olive oil and avocado. This type of fat is good for the body, as it helps fight bad cholesterol or LDL; it increases the levels of good cholesterol and has benefits for cardiovascular health.
On the other hand, the iberico presa has good levels of proteins; 200 calories per 100 grams, approximately and a good contribution of vitamins and minerals. You can find vitamins B12 and B6, as well as vitamin E, a natural antioxidant. Finally, iberico presa has essential minerals for the body such as iron, zinc, magnesium and potassium.
How to prepare iberico presa?
The iberico presa cut is very versatile and can be prepared in different ways in the kitchen. The best is to make it in short cooking cycles, such as grilling, where it only needs a few minutes to be ready. The barbecue and the frying pan are also a good option if you want to prepare a barbecue. And if you are looking to surprise your guests at a barbecue, with different cuts of Iberian pork, such as secreto, lagarto and presa, you can succeed; also, of course, accompany it with chorizo criollo, blood sausage and french fries.
Grilling is not the only way in which you can prepare the iberico presa cut. The oven is an alternative if you want to make a different recipe; this is because when the meat is cooked in the oven it is best to leave the piece whole, without filleting. If you want to try with the oven, all you have to do is to put the meat inside, at a temperature of 180º C and leave it there for about an hour. But, it is very important that you sear the meat in the pan before putting it in the oven; this means sealing the meat in a very hot pan or griddle for one minute on each side.
Also, if you prepare the meat in the oven, it is advisable to cover it with aluminum foil.
How is the iberico presa cut?
You have already seen that the iberico presa cut can be prepared in the oven, and the best way to do it is by introducing the whole presa in the tray. But if you want to cook it in the pan, griddle or barbecue, then you need to make a special cut. If you are going to cook it using any of these three methods, then you need to cut the presa into fillets. When grilled, the fillets should be thin, whereas, when barbecued, it is advisable that they are thicker. You can make the cut yourself, going from the flattest part to the back; but you can also ask your butcher to make the cut for you.
One of the most unknown cuts of Iberian pork is the carpaccio cut. Iberico presa can also be eaten raw, as a carpaccio or tartar. Don't be surprised! Iberian meat is of high quality and is subjected to strict sanitary controls. This allows the meat to be consumed raw.
In order to make the cuts for tartar or carpaccio, it is essential that the meat be frozen for three days before consumption. For filleting, if you are going to eat it in carpaccio, it is advisable to go to a butcher who will make the fine cuts in a machine. With carpaccio or tartar you will truly appreciate the soft texture of the meat, as well as its marbled fat. It melts in your mouth!
For the tartar you must dress the meat beforehand. There are different recipes for dressing iberico pork tartare. Soy and Dijon mustard are two of the most common ingredients to use when making this recipe, so be sure to try it! It can also be served with avocado, just like salmon tartare, you won't regret it!