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How delicious is Jamón ibérico!

 I’m far from being a vegetarian I simply couldn’t cope, although I don’t actually eat meat daily.  I love to eat a whole range of fruit, veg, meat and fish, it makes food so much more exciting to have a selection.  As a child I used to holiday in Spain frequently and we would enjoyed trying various Spanish culinary delights like Iberico ham, deep fried squid, patatas bravas and much more.  The Spanish Interprofessional Iberian Pig Association hosted a blogger event recently showcasing a selection of exceptional quality Iberico ham cut and cooked by culinary experts.  Florencio Sanchidrian, a world class expert in ham cutting has hosted events for everyone from celebrities to politicians, and demonstrated the best techniques to cut Iberico ham. Then Omar Allibhoy – Spanish chef, cookbook author and owner of four Tapas Revolution restaurants  cooked some lovely Spanish dishes using Iberico ham for us to try.

The Ham!

DSC04541DSC04531I knew that there were special techniques for cutting meats and fish but have never really looked into these in the past.  Florencio cut the ham to the music of his accompanying master flamenco guitar player.  Florencio was very much the comedian and although he didn’t speak English his cutting skills and personality shone through as he cut fresh ham for the attending bloggers.

DSC00023Watch out for that knife!!!!DSC04560DSC04570DSC00045Jamón ibérico has a fabulously addictive flavour to it and as an added bonus it is far healthier that many of the other salamis and hams available to buy.  Recognisable by its beautiful ruby red colour dappled with white streaks of flavoursome fat it is prized by top chefs and food lovers around the world.  The meat itself has a sweet and salty flavour but the fat is similar to that of wagu beef as it is intermuscular rather than insulating fat and it is this fat that adds a unique nutty flavour that sets it apart from any other hams.  Regular consumption of jamón ibérico, within a balanced diet, has been shown in numerous studies to have impressive benefits to the body.  The beneficial effect is related to the content of polyphenols and monounsaturated fatty acids in Iberian hams. Polyphenols are potent antioxidants and anti-inflammatories substances at a vascular level (affects blood vessels), provided by the pigs feeding (in greatest proportion in the acorns that the pigs are fed).

Jamón ibérico is rich in protein, vitamins B1, B6, B12, vitamin E and minerals such  copper – essential for bones and cartilages – calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, phosphorus and finally, selenium, attributed to anti-aging properties.  Iberian ham is also known to have one of the most “cardio-healthy” of all animal fats, even healthier than some plant fats – this is due mainly to two factors, the breed of pigs and their diet of acorns, grasses, cereals and vegetables.

 Omar Allibhoy demonstrated 2 recipes at the event but I have managed to also get my hands on a third recipe for an extremely popular dish Tortilla with spinach and Jamon Iberico.

Pea soup with jamón ibérico

DSC00105An amazingly warming, rich and healthy soup in just 20 minutes from start to finish.

 4 tbsp of Spanish extra virgin olive oil

2 slices of rustic bread

1 bay leave

3 garlic cloves

1 Spanish onion

50g of jamón ibérico

1 tea spoon of sweet pimenton

1 tbsp of plain flour

1 tbsp of Sherry vinegar

600ml of chicken stock

500g of frozen green peas

salt and black pepper

 1.         In a medium size sauce pan pour 1 tbsp of the oil and fry over medium heat the bread on both sides and reserve.

2.         Pour the remaining oil and add the finely chopped garlic, onion and jamón ibérico and let it fry for 10 minutes.

3.         Sprinkle the sweet pimenton and the flour and let it toast for 1 minute. Pour the vinegar and form a roux with it.

4.         Bring the heat to its highest and stir constantly while slowly pouring the chicken stock so that the roux dissolves in the stock without forming lumps.

5.         Add the frozen peas, season with salt and pepper and let it boil all together for 6 minutes.

6.         Add the sliced bread and serve with some slices of jamón ibérico on top.

Tortilla with spinach and Jamon Iberico

DSC045272 big size good potatoes for frying (or 3-4 medium size )

1 Spanish onion

3 big potatoes (1kg)

100g of baby spinach

50g of jamón ibérico

8 free range eggs

Salt to season

Spanish olive oil for frying

 1.         Peel, wash and thinly slice the potatoes and Spanish onions in half moon shape slices.

2.         Pour enough olive oil in a deep frying pan to cover all the onion and potatoes (but without them) over a high heat.

3.         Once the oil is hot and when dropping a slice of onion it start frying immediately then you can add all the onion.

4.         Cook it for around 5 minutes until is transparent and then add the sliced potatoes.

5.         Cook them stirring from time to time for at least 15 minutes until they are soft and cooked throughout.

6.         Drain the potatoes from the oil with a colander (keep the oil for other uses) and mix with the egg, baby spinach, thinly chopped jamón ibérico and season with salt.

7.         To make the tortilla place a non-sticking pan over a medium heat and drizzle a bit of olive oil.

8.         Pour the tortilla mix inside the pan and lower the heat to a minimum. After 3 minutes and with the help of a plate (always wider than the pan ) cover the pan and holding it tight with your hand flip the side of the tortilla and slide the ‘one-side-cooked’ tortilla back into the pan for an extra 3 minutes. Note: If it is the first time you flip a tortilla, you better practice with the plate and an empty pan first.

9.         Depending on the size and depth of the pan in relation with the amount of tortilla mix, it will take longer or shorter in being cooked. I recommend to eat the tortilla when still runny in the middle.

Salmorejo with jamón ibérico (for 6 people as a tapa)

DSC00104Salmorejo is not a drink, is a dip.  It comes from the Andalucia region and it is served, as opposed to gazpacho, all year around.

 750g of ripe tomatoes

3 boiled eggs

1 garlic clove

150g of white bread

25cl of Spanish extra virgin olive oil

3 tbsp of Sherry vinegar

50g of jamón ibérico de bellota

Salt and pepper

 1.         Start by soaking in water the bread cut in cubes without the crust.

2.         Squeeze the water from the bread, chop the tomatoes, cut the egg in half and blend all of the ingredients (except the ham and 1 egg) in a glass blender until you have obtain a thick and smooth texture. Taste the seasoning and rectify if necessary.

3.         Serve with chopped boiled egg and slices of jamón ibérico. Dip chunks of good bread and enjoy.

We also tried these bread sticks wrapped in ibérico ham.

DSC04528These croquetas were delicious and full of flavour.

DSC00001DSC00006This was a great event and we all left feeling nicely full having feasted on some delicious food.

Have fun making the recipes!

This is NOT a sponsored post.

This Post Has 44 Comments

  1. Oh wow there is so many things on this post that I just want to tuck into now! Delicious! x

    1. I was a lovely event, the ham was delicious!

  2. Sounds like a great event, and the recipes sound amazing, I really need to try some of these x

  3. My husband loves this ham I’m definitely going to try one of your recipes.

  4. I really want the food in the recipes, right now! lol

  5. it all looks so tasty

  6. I am a vegetarian so tried not to look at the pictures. LOL. But my husband is a big meat eater and would love all of these

  7. This sounds and looks lovely! I really want to try some 🙂

    1. I love this ham and I am very pleased it is healthy in moderation.

  8. Mmm everything looks so delicious! Bet you had a fab time x

    1. The food was great, I might make the omelette myself although with a few tweeks.

  9. Wow looks like you had a wonderful time and that ham is huge

    1. It was lovely ham and the flavour was fantastic.

  10. Some of these dishes look quite simple but very delicious.

    1. They are very easy to make which is handy.

  11. Oh wow these tasty treats look absolutely delicious xxx

  12. Wow so much food here. They all look so yummy.

  13. Some of these ideas look delicious. I would adore to try the Tortilla with spinach and Jamon Iberico – maybe a Christmas idea?!

    1. It would work very well as nibbles for guests whilst chatting and waiting for the main meal.

  14. Oh, the Jamon looks delicious and all the different food options. It looks like an awesome event with all the snacks offered.

    1. I doubt anyone left hungry after all that food!

  15. I’m actually a vegetarian but my husband isn’t and I think he would love this!

    1. I think he would. I could never be vegi having tried this.

  16. Wow this must have been such a fun event to attend!
    My boyfriend would have loved this, they are selling an iberico ham in ASDA for Christmas and he is going on that we it’s such good value and such a fab flavour etc. I think we will end up getting it to be honest!
    X X

    1. You should, I might go get some from there too!!!!

  17. I always adored the chicken or ham croquettes in Barcelona so i learnt to make them back home. They are time consuming but so delicious.

    1. They are fiddly to make but worth the effort.

  18. wow! the soup looks delicious and quite healthy actually ! thanks for the inspiration!

    Dominika

    1. It was all full of flavour and interesting to see the uses for the ham.

    1. I didn’t know until I was invited to the event.

  19. This looks like a great event. I’m a huge fan of Spanish food, and especially the Jamón ibérico. The recipes sound lovely. The soup is going to be the first thing I make

    1. I loooove Spanish food and this ham was really good.

  20. Looks like it was a fab event. I’m so so hungry now! That looks delicious! thinking of making a ham sandwich, that’s as close as i will get to that yummyness haha.

    1. Try and find local stockist and try it. It’s far healthier than other hams.

  21. oh that looks delicious and it looks like you had a brilliant time

    1. It was great. I need to get some ham in now for home.

  22. I’m just sitting at 5pm reading this and not only is my stomach growling, I’m positively salivating! What a fab event, I’d have been in Ham heaven. I’m looking at all the recipes and just wanting them all NOW! The soup looks absolutely delicious.

    1. It was all great but that ham was fabulous all by itself.

      1. I bet it was incredible, there’s always something very special about eating authentic food I think. I certainly would have quite happily tucked into that ham on it’s own.

  23. The ham looks fantastic. I’ve seen it, and thought about trying it. It’s something I’ll be getting now.

    1. It is gorgeous and can be used in a range of dishes too.

  24. Oh making my mouth water by just reading this
    Great ideas and so versatile

    1. It’s very tasty and lovely on it’s own too!

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