What part of the pig is the Iberian feather?
The Iberian pork is characterized by its great variety of cuts, great quality, and unequaled texture and flavor. Within these cuts, the feather is one of the most sought after, not only because it is delicious, but also because it is incredibly exclusive.
What is the Iberian feather?
The secret, the loin, the rib, the sirloin are just some of the cuts of Iberian pork. They are the best-known and most popular in restaurants, butcher shops and kitchens. They are distinguished by their pink or deep red color, they have a large amount of infiltrated and marbled fat, and an unparalleled flavor.
Any cut of Iberian ham is a guarantee of quality. One only has to observe the way in which Iberian pigs are raised: in semi-freedom in pastures and a diet of acorns towards the end of their lives. This means that the specimens of this breed have a good amount of intramuscular fat and great nutritional contributions to health. Apart from having an indisputable flavor.
But if there is a cut of Iberian pig that is truly unknown and, according to experts, the most elegant and fine, it would be the feather. What part of the pig is the Iberian feather, and why is it such an exclusive and elegant cut?
The popularity of the Iberian feather is recent. Not long ago, it was totally unknown. However, more and more butcher shops and restaurants are betting on this cut. You will identify the Iberian feather because it has a triangular shape and it is extracted from the back of the pig’s loin.
The place of extraction of the feather is the same as that of the Iberian prey. That is why it is quite common to confuse both cuts. However, the big difference between the two is not only the shape but also the size. The Iberian prey can weigh more than half a kilo, while the feather weighs only 100 grams. On the other hand, the exclusivity of the Iberian feather, which distinguishes it from most of the Iberian cuts, is that only one feather can be extracted from each specimen.
Characteristics of the Iberian feather
Now that you know what part of the pig is the Iberian feather and why it is so exclusive, it is important to know its characteristics. It is one of the finest cuts and this makes it particularly exquisite. Its 100 grams of weight make the texture of the meat incomparable. In addition, the weight also makes its consistency very tender and pleasant to the palate.
The delicate texture and flavor of the feather is due not only to its size and the Iberian pig's diet, but also to the fact that it is a cut with a perfect balance between lean meat and fat.
On the other hand, the feather, like all cuts of Iberian pork, has great health benefits. The feather is a small cut, but it has high levels of monounsaturated fatty acids, and this is due to the marbled fat present in the cut. Also, thanks to this veined fat, in this small portion of Iberian ham you can find good levels of oleic acid. This acid is the same as the one you get from raw olive oil and avocado. It is a type of acid that has benefits for cardiovascular health.
From this small piece of Iberian pork you can also receive an important contribution of B vitamins, as well as vitamin E and some minerals such as magnesium and zinc, among others. The most surprising thing is that the Iberian pork, having a good balance between fat and lean parts, has a high protein content and low calories and fat.
What is the best way to prepare Iberian feather?
One of the most distinctive characteristics of the Iberian feather, apart from its size, is its juiciness. This makes it a unique and very versatile piece that can be prepared in a wide variety of ways. However, the most advisable is to prepare it grilled or fried. You don't need too much to prepare this delicious cut!
To cook the Iberian feather you will only need a bit of coarse salt and olive oil. It is a cut with a very intense flavor that does not require large amounts of condiments and spices to be exquisite. It will be enough to heat a little extra virgin olive oil in a frying pan, place the meat and add a pinch of coarse salt.
If you are going to prepare the meat on the grill, the most advisable thing is that you do it with indirect heat; that is to say, that you do not place the cut directly on the heat source. To do this you will have to know where the heat point of your grill is and place the meat as far away as possible. The cooking time with indirect heat will be much longer than if you cook the meat on the grill.
On the other hand, Iberian pluma ibérica is also perfect for steaming and even baking. In these cases, always use low-medium heat and let it cook for periods of time between 20-30 minutes.
No matter what method you use to prepare the Iberian pluma, it is important to bear in mind that, like any other cut, it should be taken out of the refrigerator at room temperature two hours before cooking. This way the meat will not be cold inside even after cooking.