Hand-made ham and sausages
For us, the elaboration process is a ritual that requires zeal and patience. In the same way that a stew tastes infinitely better if it is simmered than in an express pot, a ham or any other cured sausage tastes much better if it is cured over time in natural dryers.
Today there are many processes that are accelerated and mechanized thanks to technology, however, we flee from everything that is industrial, from everything that accelerates the curing of hams, we flee from standardization and the unsustainable growth of the production. For us, each piece of cured sausage, each blade and each Iberian ham must have its own identity and mature as long as they need.
First, let the meat stand for 24 hours to settle and temper the meat before starting with all the manual selection of pieces.
The campaigns of Iberian pigs, Iberian acorn pigs and 50% Iberian pigs are made at different times because the age and weight of the animals for slaughter varies in each of them. In each of these campaigns, the selection is based on the weight of the pieces to be salted during the time each one needs.
The change (salty and post-salted)
The salting process is done as shown in the photo. The paletas (shoulders) and hams are placed in a row and are throwing shovels of salt on top. The time they spend submerged in salt is 1 day / kg of weight, turning them half way through the process. Once salted, are washed and left to rest for 4 days.
Una vez salados, se lavan y dejan en reposo durante 4 días.
Finally, are embola to round the area of the base and are left ready for hanging in natural dryers.
The taste (natural dryers)
The first 100 of this phase are the most dangerous for hams and shoulders because their meat is still very tender and raw and is not very resistant to bacteria. To protect the pieces, the first thing we do is cover them with a layer of oil and natural butter and hang them in a natural dryer, provided a temperature between 3 and 6º and 75% of humidity can be maintained during these first 3 months.
The time spent in natural drying is fundamental for the flavor and maturation of our sausages, hams and shoulders. Throughout it, we will have hung and unhooked between 8 and 10 times each ham and shoulder to check its maturation and cover it with a new layer of natural fat that helps the piece to be preserved in the best conditions. For us, it is key to control the temperature and humidity of the drying rooms every day for curing. Every day, we open and close blinds and windows of the dryers so that the dry cold of our climate does its job and cures the sausage.
At the end of this stage, the hams will have spent a minimum of 25 months in natural drying and up to 30 if they are pure acorn.
The curing time varies depending on the pieces:
- Iberian longaniza: 1 month
- Iberian chorizo and salchichón: 4 months
- Iberian Morcón: 6 to 7 months
- Iberian shoulder: from 15 to 18 months
- Iberian ham: from 25 to 36 months