Which is better: Secreto ibérico or Presa ibérica?

Which is better: Secreto ibérico or Presa ibérica?

When it comes to choosing between Iberian cuts, it's hard to decide, since they're all incredibly delicious! It may even seem to you that the vast majority of them have many similarities between them. Many people want to know which is better,  secreto ibérico or presa ibérica?

Iberian pork cuts: learn to distinguish them

Secret, sirloin, prey, feather, lizard, these are cuts of meat that look the same, but they are not! These are the most similar cuts of Iberian pork, and yet they are very different. They are similar because they have the ideal balance between lean meat and fat. They  have a soft, tender and very juicy texture. In addition, they are prepared on the grill and if they are cut into steaks, it will be difficult for you to notice the differences.

They have nothing to do with the loin or ribs, which are distinguished, the former, for being dry and the latter, for having bones. The juicier cuts of Iberian pork tend to create confusion among diners. How can you distinguish between them?

Probably the cuts that generate the most confusion are the secret and the prey. The former is a very popular and well-known cut among lovers of haute cuisine; the latter is somewhat unknown, but delicious.

What is the Iberian secret?

It is believed that the secret is so-called because for many years butchers hid this delicious cut for themselves, but today it is very popular. The main difference between the secreto ibérico and the presa ibérica is where each of these cuts is extracted from. The secret, for example, is obtained from the flank of the shoulder (axillae), and this makes the meat incredibly juicy with its nice marbling of infiltrated fat.

What is presa ibérica?

Presa ibérica is a cut that always weighs the same, between 500 and 600 grams. Unlike the secret, the prey is obtained from the top of the animal's back. This is why it has high levels of intramuscular fat and a unique texture. This is why the secreto and the presa are often confused.

However, you will also know that they are very different cuts because the prey has a more intense flavor than the secreto. Generally, the secreto is served alone with potatoes and is already delicious, but it tastes better if you add some sauce on top; the pluma does not need any sauce: its flavor is already very intense.

On the other hand, only two pieces of prey can be extracted from each pig, which is why it is in great demand.

How to prepare the "secreto" and "presa"

The secreto and the presa ibérica are two gourmet cuts that you will love. Neither is better than the other, as both have the perfect balance between fat and lean meat; this makes both cuts juicy and with a unique texture. However, if you want to know which one to use, you need to know how each of these cuts are prepared. 

Iberian secret: always grilled

The Iberian secret is the king of grills and barbecues. It is an exquisite cut and, contrary to popular belief, it does not need a great elaboration to obtain a delicious recipe. This cut is usually cooked as a steak. It is the presentation form par excellence of this dish.

Consequently, to prepare it you only need to fillet the meat and place it in a very hot frying pan or griddle, with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of coarse salt. You will need nothing else! The Iberian secret steaks will be ready in four minutes. However, the exact time depends on the thickness, and  you may need one or two minutes of cooking on each side.

Of course, it is important that the pan or griddle is very hot before placing the meat. The secret is served with fried potatoes, mashed potatoes and vegetable or rice garnishes.

Iberian prey: a very versatile cut

. Presa ibérica is a much more versatile cut than secreto, it can be prepared in different ways. If it is filleted, then yes, it can be grilled or even pan-fried.

When it is prepared whole, the prey should be baked or barbecued, accompanied by other side dishes such as a bed of potatoes. In addition, when the cut is made whole, the prey should never come into contact with direct heat, as the cooking juices would be lost and it should be prepared over low heat and for much longer than the secret. The result is that although both meats are juicy, the presa will always be juicier.

Finally, the presa can also be  prepared raw, unlike the secreto. Being a meat that is offered in a single piece, it can be cut into cubes and mixed with other ingredients to make tartar; or cut into thin slices to make carpaccio.

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