Cured Meats

by wjw on May 20, 2024

I’ve been at the Truchas Peaks Place the last week, at the Rio Hondo workshop with a group of my friends. For our first meal I provided a 16-pound Serrano ham complete with carving stand. The ham had been shipped from Iberia after spending 14 months curing in a Spanish cave.

Here’s what it looked like with the layer of fat removed and showing signs of my inexpert carving. I had bought a special Serrano-carving knife when in Spain a few years ago, but hadn’t had a chance to use it till now, and there was a steep learning curve.

That first meal was a Deusy. The main dish was sliced ham and Spanish chorizo with olives and Manchego and Iberico cheese. Side dishes included asparagus wrapped in ham, shrimp in a chorizo garlic sauce, and for dessert melon with slices of ham and a balsamic reduction. Served with a couple bottles of an unoaked Spanish white.

I’d been looking for an occasion to do this for years, but consuming an entire ham would have required a very large group of diners— and indeed despite the big dinner and slices being carved for meals and snacks over the next week, we managed to consume only about half the edible bits. The rest is now in a box in my living room, and I plan to tackle it tomorrow. Some ham for ourselves, some for friends, some put in storage for another day.

And maybe the bone for soup. Mustn’t waste.

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