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Thread: Iberico ham

  1. #1
    Craftsman eletos's Avatar
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    Iberico ham

    Mulling over buying a ham for Christmas.

    The Mrs wonít be happy, staunch veggie and no fan of anything looking like meat!

    Prices vary wildly, Iberico is more pricey than Serrano and I have no idea whatís good, bad or indifferent.

    Anyone got any experience with these things?


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  2. #2
    Grand Master Raffe's Avatar
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    There are a number of colour coded labels that determine the quality and price of iberico, they are all made from pata negra porc and the main difference is their diet.

    As a starter, I suppose you will enjoy any of them simply because they are all super delicious.

    I can only recommend taking a whole ham, is a wonderful experience to sit and cut slice after slice with some good wine and cheese.
    Someone who lies about the little things will lie about the big things too.

  3. #3
    Master thegoat's Avatar
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    Stay away from the shop bought Aldi/LIDL things .
    Especially the ones with a stand and knife .
    I just think itís one of those things that are better tasted in Spain .

  4. #4
    Craftsman eletos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raffe View Post
    I can only recommend taking a whole ham, is a wonderful experience to sit and cut slice after slice with some good wine and cheese.
    Sounds delightful. Obviously would need to buy a proper knife and stand for it, and remember to keep it well out of the hounds way!


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  5. #5
    Aldi and Lidl are decent starting points, however be wary that unless you’re having loads of visitors/parties it’s always tricky to fully finish a whole ham leg. My kids are mad ham lovers and I think our best effort was 3/4 of a leg by Easter, having bought the ham at Xmas.
    .

  6. #6
    Master Xantiagib's Avatar
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    if you can buy it de-boned and in smaller manageable pieces you just need a meat slicer or be very good with a knife - will save a lot of trouble

    but if you can get it already cut by the deli and vaccum sealed its just as convenient also

    If you insist on getting a stand and a leg - do some youtube courses on how to cut arround the bones etc.
    its a faf to be honest and it goes mouldy quickly

  7. #7
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    Surprised it goes off quickly & is spoiled. Iíd assumed the shelf life was extremely long given how long they are hung for.

    I love the stuff, but I know I will just be an utter pig if I purchased one. Every year I consider it & have to talk myself out of it.

  8. #8
    Grand Master Raffe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mj2k View Post
    Surprised it goes off quickly & is spoiled. Iíd assumed the shelf life was extremely long given how long they are hung for.

    I love the stuff, but I know I will just be an utter pig if I purchased one. Every year I consider it & have to talk myself out of it.
    If it goes off, there was something fishy about it. If properly maintained, it will last weeks on the bone (get's a bit dry towards the end, but you can always eat faster).
    Someone who lies about the little things will lie about the big things too.

  9. #9
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    Get one of the below for affect and then get some quality ham pre-sliced and vacuum packed. :)

    https://www.props4shows.co.uk/meats_...m/32481_p.html

  10. #10
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    Had some (well a lot) when we had a holiday in Valencia. Like others have said, it is graded based on their diet I believe, with the most expensive being free to roam and mainly eating acorns (I think?!). We had a taster of the super expensive stuff and my god! To use a cliche, it melted in your mouth.

  11. #11
    I've no idea why people rate the stuff so highly. It's like ham-flavoured chewing gum.

  12. #12
    I've had a few over the years, and even though I have quite the selection of knives to choose from, what you cut by hand simply doesn't compare to the wafer thin cuts from a dedicated machine cutter, meaning a rather different experience due to the surface area to volume ratio.

    Nonetheless, I've really enjoyed them as it reveals the differences in taste that different parts of the leg can have. But it is a salt overload!

  13. #13
    Iíve just ordered a couple of the pre-sliced packs from here:

    https://theblackhoof.co.uk/product-c...-iberico-hams/

    One pack for Christmas and one for necessary pre-Christmas testing


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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeJSmith View Post
    Iíve just ordered a couple of the pre-sliced packs from here:

    https://theblackhoof.co.uk/product-c...-iberico-hams/

    One pack for Christmas and one for necessary pre-Christmas testing


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    This place always costs me money!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alpha4 View Post
    I've no idea why people rate the stuff so highly. It's like ham-flavoured chewing gum.
    Tell me you've only eaten the cheap stuff, without telling me you've only eaten the cheap stuff.


    A quick explainer:

    Paleta - front leg, cheaper
    Jamon - back leg, pricier but nicer

    Serrano: Not Iberico pig but (in Spain) it's made the same way. Even the Bodega is a million miles away from UK supermarket Serrano which is almost always chewy and horrible.
    Only real difference is the aging time
    Bodega
    Reserva
    Gran Reserva

    Iberico:
    Jamon Iberico de Bellota 100% (Black) - 100% pure-bred Iberian pigs which roam freely within oak forests on a natural diet of mainly acorns. Meat cured for up to 3 years
    Jamon Iberico de Bellota (Red) - Same as above, but pigs are crossbred, not pure Iberian
    Jamon Iberico de Cebo de Campo (Green) - Pigs are held in pastures instead of oak forest. Can be crossbred or pure Iberians.
    Jamon Iberico de Cebo (White)- Farm-reared pigs fed on grain/pellet. The pigs will be at least 50% Iberian.

    Buy the best you can afford - a Gran Reserva Serrano is the absolute minimum in my view
    Last edited by Scepticalist; 30th November 2022 at 21:05.

  16. #16
    Craftsman eletos's Avatar
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    Some great advice on here. I think on balance a full ham will be too much.

    Quality over quantity any day.


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  17. #17
    Master Sinnlover's Avatar
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    Whilst it is Not Iberico ham, my partner picked this up yesterday. We get one every Xmas.
    Itís not the absolute best but it is more than adequate for the Xmas get togethers we have. Plus is not massive so it does not go to waste.


    If you have never had the full leg before one of these is a good place to start.

  18. #18
    Grand Master learningtofly's Avatar
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    Thinking of pulling the trigger on this bad boy, as a Christmas surprise for my Latina other half. Anyone had it and - if so - care to share what it's like?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by learningtofly View Post
    Thinking of pulling the trigger on this bad boy, as a Christmas surprise for my Latina other half. Anyone had it and - if so - care to share what it's like?
    It's Bellota 100% so you'd be pushed to find a bad one - should taste fabulous.

    It's worth looking at Iberico Chorizo too - totally amazing stuff.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sinnlover View Post
    Whilst it is Not Iberico ham, my partner picked this up yesterday. We get one every Xmas.
    Itís not the absolute best but it is more than adequate for the Xmas get togethers we have. Plus is not massive so it does not go to waste.


    If you have never had the full leg before one of these is a good place to start.
    Looks a bit of fun. Cannot see it online, so am guessing in-store purchases only.

  21. #21
    Grand Master learningtofly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scepticalist View Post
    It's Bellota 100% so you'd be pushed to find a bad one - should taste fabulous.

    It's worth looking at Iberico Chorizo too - totally amazing stuff.

  22. #22
    Master Sinnlover's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mj2k View Post
    Looks a bit of fun. Cannot see it online, so am guessing in-store purchases only.
    It is and they go like hot cakes, if you see one grab it.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sinnlover View Post
    It is and they go like hot cakes, if you see one grab it.
    Bugger - on holiday until the 12th, got no chance.

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by learningtofly View Post
    Thinking of pulling the trigger on this bad boy, as a Christmas surprise for my Latina other half. Anyone had it and - if so - care to share what it's like?
    Thatís what I just bought; should be able to feedback in the next few days as it is on its way.

    If you sign up to their emails youíll get a 10% discount.


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  25. #25
    Grand Master learningtofly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeJSmith View Post
    Thatís what I just bought; should be able to feedback in the next few days as it is on its way.

    If you sign up to their emails youíll get a 10% discount.


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    Thanks on both counts!

  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by learningtofly View Post
    Thanks on both counts!
    It arrived today, so nice and quick delivery.

    The two packs look quite different, but that is expected I guess. Iíve opened the darker one for testing as the other looks more presentable for Xmas.

    Itís great stuff, very intense almost cheese like (in a good way!), very funky. Thereís not a huge amount in a 100g pack, but a little will go along way I think and most people will only have a small amount. Although I say that, it is quite moreish! Need to stop eating it now as Iím meant to be cooking dinner. And it needs a nice cocktail / sherry to go with it!

    I wish now Iíd got one or two of the ones that werenít 36 months aged as a comparator, I suspect that would be more aligned to what I have had before.




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  27. #27
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    Darker tends to be more intense as it's usually dried out a bit more. My wife scoffs those bits first lol.

    If you want a less intense taste but similar tender quality, buy Serrano Gran Reserva (we buy it for parties)

  28. #28
    Iíd normally have the 100% iberico in our local tapas restaurant (Pluma in Amersham is excellent if youíre ever in the area!), but itís not aged like this. The stuff I got is great, just more intense than Iíve had before.


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  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Sinnlover View Post
    Whilst it is Not Iberico ham, my partner picked this up yesterday. We get one every Xmas.
    Itís not the absolute best but it is more than adequate for the Xmas get togethers we have. Plus is not massive so it does not go to waste.
    There is currently (Sunday arvo) one available in the Summertown, Oxford branch of M&S Food.

  30. #30
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    Iberico ham

    Quote Originally Posted by Bravo73 View Post
    There is currently (Sunday arvo) one available in the Summertown, Oxford branch of M&S Food.
    My father picked me one up in Winchester today. There were a couple there.

    PSA for hams lol.
    Last edited by Mj2k; 4th December 2022 at 21:02.

  31. #31
    Master Sinnlover's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mj2k View Post

    PSA for hams lol.
    Result!

  32. #32
    Master John Wall's Avatar
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    We bought one a few Christmasí ago.
    We (I, mainly) managed to get through about half of it before Mrs W had seen it sitting around long enough and gave it to the dogs (held it by either end whilst they took turns nibbling)
    Between finish and bedtime they must have drunk about three huge bows of water between them and we came down to a lake of piss in the kitchen the following morning.

  33. #33

    Iberico ham

    I think there is another thread on this, from earlier in the year.
    I made some knife and holder recommendations.

    Truth is, if you have no idea what you are doing, buy the pre-sliced. You must have a holder, and you really need the right knife aaaaand the technique.

    It is half as much the cut as the quality that contributes to the taste. It needs to be thin thin.

    All the other comments on acorn-fed, black foot (pata negra) are all correct.
    As are the ones to avoid Lidl/Aldi etc!!

    A good slice of good jamůn serrano is very difficult to better. Amazing stuff.

    I am lucky enough to get a few legs a year from Spain, as the Mrs is from AndalucŪa and her parents keep us supplied.



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    Last edited by notenoughwrists; 8th December 2022 at 18:52.

  34. #34
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    That has me salivating, looks amazing!!

  35. #35
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    Well itís certainly a skill to carve isnít it!

    Mine has lots of dips & divots already.

    Not enjoying the process of carving towards you. I can see sharp knife and belly meeting in some seppuku like moment after a few shandies.

  36. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by Mj2k View Post
    Well it’s certainly a skill to carve isn’t it!

    Mine has lots of dips & divots already.

    Not enjoying the process of carving towards you. I can see sharp knife and belly meeting in some seppuku like moment after a few shandies.
    The safest solution is to carve away from you, and there shouldn't be anyone else nearby anyway as the ham must be claimed as yours and yours alone!

    Seriously though, whilst cutting towards you is often more controlled, if you slip even with a blunt tip it's very easy to take a good slice out of yourself. Gripping the bone with one hand also means you need to be really careful that you're not in the cutting arc if the knife skips during the cut.

    Throw booze into the mix, as is often the case around Christmas, and it can be a pretty messy situation. My advice is to cut plenty prior to boozing (knowing full well though that this just means it gets eaten more rapidly, and a slightly woozy return to the ham is inevitable later on in proceedings).

    Maybe a spoke shave or draw knife is the best solution...

  37. #37

    Iberico ham

    If you cut more on the 45 degree, so offset yourself and cut sort of toward under your armpit - but a sharp knife should not need any pulling down toward you anyway.
    You want to be slicing across and the knife only moves down as the cut progresses down.
    If there is any chance of a slip that would bring the knife snatching toward you, then you are not slicing properly.

    Cutting away from you is good but you really need the ham a little lower than you and angled down - if it is sat on the worktop you cannot really cut away from you (well)

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  38. #38
    Master Sinnlover's Avatar
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    A good sharp thin blade, preferably quite long and let the knife do the work.
    It takes a bit of practice but you will get the knack
    Last edited by Sinnlover; 19th December 2022 at 19:07.

  39. #39
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    Thanks gents. I have ditched the traditional knife (lol) it cam with and tried my flexible global boning knife.

    Already made a big difference to the cutting, and I have evened it off quite nicely whilst enjoying the ham. My wife could eat this all day, she just consumes it. Iím glad Iím the one at home with it everyday!

    The stance change has also made me feel a little more comfort with the technique but I remain a long way away from being an expert.

    But what more fun can be had than learning to carve the ham when even a short slice tastes amazing. Toying with keeping the stand & upgrading the meat for next year already!

    Packaging said 30days, experts say 60-90 which Iím heading towards, as I know how much safety retailers put in their guidance & work on the worst case scenario of Billy not much brain buying one without storing well.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by hughtrimble View Post
    The safest solution is to carve away from you, and there shouldn't be anyone else nearby anyway as the ham must be claimed as yours and yours alone!
    Took it into the kitchen for a cheeky slice or two. Realised I must have been stood there grazing slowly for a good 10mins when my calendar pinged a 5min warning for an upcoming call. Oops.

  41. #41
    Grand Master ryanb741's Avatar
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    Looks sooooo good. Jealous!

  42. #42
    Master Sinnlover's Avatar
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    So nearly a week in to 2023, am I the only one who is beginning to resemble a lump of fatty dried meat?
    I am still going and am about 2/3 through. Every year I get Ďcuredí of my love of good ham for at least 6 months following the Xmas binge!

  43. #43
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sinnlover View Post
    So nearly a week in to 2023, am I the only one who is beginning to resemble a lump of fatty dried meat?
    I am still going and am about 2/3 through. Every year I get Ďcuredí of my love of good ham for at least 6 months following the Xmas binge!
    Was thinking similar last night when I couldnít face the ham!

  44. #44
    Master Possu's Avatar
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    You are not alone. My wife and other daughter donít care for the stuff so itís up to me and the eight-year-old to see to it. As delicious as it is, Iím bloody glad I decided a ham was too expensive and bought a shoulder instead. A good couple of kilograms less meat to battle with.

  45. #45
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    Due to a visit to the in-laws in Barcelona, we have more ham now than before Christmas. First world problems eh?

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