Spain probably has some of the best Hams in the world. Known locally as Jamón (pronounced “Hammon”) it is sold in nearly every tapas bars, local restaurants and eateries.
There are many different types of Jamón available, though the acorn fed “Jamón Ibérico de Bellota” is without question the “King of Jamón”.
Some of the best Jamóns are cured for more than two years, and their flavour unrivalled.
What we are concentrating on is the fat.
This is no normal pork fat, it has a delicious nutty aroma, and when thinly sliced, just melts in the mouth. It is taken from the thickest part of the Jamón, which acts as protection for the wonderful ham during the curing process.
When preparing the Jamón, a large wedge of fat is normally sliced off and reused to cover the exposed part of the meat to stop it from drying out.
We used paper-thin slices of fat to cover our Marinated Sardines.
Just before serving, we go over the fat with a blow torch, set on low, so that the heat just melts the fat and doesn’t burn it.
Using the fat with fish is a great idea, it lends a special taste, a kind of marriage between land and sea.
Another dish which featured the fat was our Tuna Sashimi with Gazpacho.
This time Tuna Sashimi was wrapped in a thin layer of fat and Coriander and Basil Oil is drizzled around the plate, when the dish arrives to the table, our Service staff pour around some Gazpacho. It is a refreshing dish, and the slightly garlicky Gazpacho and Oils blend well, and the Tuna and fat is soft and very easy to eat. Shallot Oil Toast Crumbs give it a crunchy texture.
It is not really a Soup, or a Sashimi, but we will definitely be making more… 🙂