When it comes to choosing between Iberian cuts, it's hard to decide. They're all incredibly juicy, flavorful, and unique. And yet many of them have a lot of similarities. So we're diving into one common question about the difference between Ibérico Secreto and Presa, two of star cuts of Iberian pork.
Learn to Distinguish Iberian Pork Cuts
Some of the most prized, juicy cuts of Iberian pork tend to create confusion, especially if you're completely unfamiliar with how pigs are butchered in Spain. Secreto and Presa have a lot in common. They have an ideal balance of lean meat and fat. They are incredibly tender and super juicy, and both are loved and celebrated in Spain and by Ibérico pork fans around the world.
There are, of course, some differences.
What is Iberian Secreto?
It is believed that nobody knew about Secreto for many years because Spanish butchers kept this delicious cut for themselves. Now the secret is out and it has become a coveted cut. The main difference between the Secreto Ibérico and the Presa Ibérica is from where each of these cuts is extracted. The Secreto, for example, is obtained from the flank of the pig shoulder, which makes the meat incredibly juicy with all of its marbling and intramuscular fat.
What is Iberian Presa?
Presa ibérica, or Iberian Presa, is a cut that always weighs the same, between 17 and and 21 ounces. Only two pieces of Presa can be extracted from each pig, which is why it is in great demand. Unlike the Secreto, the Presa is obtained from the top of the animal's back. This is why it has high levels of intramuscular fat and a unique texture.
Presa, however, has a slightly more intense flavor than the Secreto. Regardless, both cuts are typically served with simple sides and need no seasoning other than salt.
How to Prepare Ibérico Secreto and Presa
Secreto and Presa are two gourmet-style cuts you'll love. Neither is better than the other, as both have the perfect balance between fat and lean meat; this makes both cuts juicy and texturally perfect. Here's how to prepare them:
Preparing Iberian Secreto
Iberian Secreto is the king of grills and barbecues. Because of its bold flavor and fat, it doesn't need much to produce exquisite results: just a few minutes on the grill. To grill, season the Secret with salt and place it over direct heat for 1-3 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness. You can also cook it in a sauté pan or griddle over high heat for the same amount of time. Serve Secreto with fried or mashed potatoes, vegetales, or rice dishes.
Preparing Iberian Presa
Presa Ibérica is a slightly more versatile cut than Secreto. It can be prepared in different ways, filleted or cooked whole.
When it is prepared whole, the Presa should be baked or grilled. In addition, the whole cut of Presa should never come into contact with direct heat, as it will likely burn on the outside and remain cold on the inside. Instead, grill Presa over indirect or low heat so it cooks evenly and stays tender. Presa filets, however, can be cooked over direct heat like Secreto.
Presa can also be prepared raw, unlike the Secreto. It can be cut into cubes and mixed with other ingredients to make tartare, or cut into thin slices to make carpaccio.