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How to prepare one of the most tasty cuts of meat in Spain

Iberico Secreto 141227 AWThe cut of meat on the left is called Secreto Iberico, or the Spanish secret. The secret is, that although this meat derives from humble cuts of the Iberican pig, it contains the most delicate marbling of fat.

In Spain the Iberican pig is a black breed that comes in various grades, mostly depending on how long it has grazed on acorns.

The cut know as Secreto Iberico either comes from the front of the leg or behind the shoulder. Both cuts have a similar type of fat that has a low melting temperature that almost melts in the mouth. The trick then in cooking this cut is to make sure the fat and meat juices stay inside the meat.

Because of this the meat is best cooked quickly at a high temperature. Unlike a beef stake however, if the cut is thick, and a quick cooking method is employed, Secreto Iberico that is not reasonably well cooked inside is not particularly tasty - rather than being full of tasty meat juices, what you would get is a running fat which is rather unpleasant. Because of this I generally slice a thick cut of secreto into thinner slices, so that none are more than one centimeter thick.

Season with salt and pepper then get the pan really hot, then fry off the meat, in a good layer of olive oil no more than 60 seconds per side before turning. After a few turns, when the meat starts to sear, strain off the meat and excess oil.

Keeping the heat on at a medium, add about a tablespoon of HP sauce then a couple of measures of whiskey - stir together and when they come to the boil, reduce the heat, add back the meat and cover. This can sit for several minutes until ready to serve. This is a simple dish that goes well with french fries and seasonal vegetables.




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