How to cut Spanish ham
12/12/2016 — Published by Bego
To enjoy a good ham, it is advisable to start by cutting properly the pieces of ham. This will ensure that we enjoy both the taste and the texture of an excellent pata negra ham.
The first thing that we are going to need is a stand, usually a wooden structure with the support of the ham by the part of the hoof.
Special knives are essential for a proper cut. Three knives will be needed: A wide blade knife to prepare and clean the ham, another elongated one with a narrow and flexible blade and that has to be well sharpened (known as a ham knife), which will be used to extract the slices, and a short and strong third that will be used in the hip area.
Let's see in a few simple steps how we should place the ham and how to apply its cut before we begin to delight this great gastronomic pleasure.
The first thing to keep in mind is the placement of the ham on the stand or jamonero. The hoof should be placed upwards and ensure a good fixation, which will allow us to cut the ham comfortably. If we are going to eat all the meat in one go, we need to remove all the superior crust and the external bacon, peeling the ham. If not, it will be cut little by little as it is needed.
Use the wide knife to remove the crust and the outer bacon. After this deep cut, begin to extract slices with the ham knife, being this the thickest part of the piece. You should combine the cut of the slices of the central part with those of the tip and the elbow (closest to the hoof).
Fine and small slices are the aim, and these should be as thin as possible. The cut must be done evenly, either towards the hoof or down. To avoid cutting, the knife should cut in the opposite direction to the position of the person cutting the ham.
When you reach the hip bone, which is the inclined and opposite part of the hoof, you should make an incisive cut using the lace around the bone, so that the slices come out clean. The meat attached to the bone will be cut into strips and squares.
When the ham has been completed (central area of the ham), the ham must be turned, with the hoof looking down, repeating the previous operation until the bone is reached. This part is harder so the cut will be done with a little more difficulty.
Do not forget that the ham must be cut before consumption and not cut it in advance and store it in the refrigerator, as it is advised to eat it at natural temperature so that it does not lose intensity in its flavor.