Why do we offer frozen meat ?
Iberian pigs fed on acorns and pasture grasses are slaughtered in the months of January, February and March, when the acorn-harvesting season, also called “montanera“, ends. During those three months “País de Quercus” packs and deep-freezes (minus 41 °C) all the meat of the season so you can enjoy it all year round without any loss of quality.
Do you know the difference between an iberian pig and an iberian acorn-fed pig ?
An Iberian pig can be fed all its life with grains and legumes (that pork is called simply “Iberian pig” or “cebo Iberian pig” ) or can be fed during its last three months of life with acorns, during the “montanera“ (period between November and March when the acorns fall from holm- oaks). During that time, an Iberian pig completely changes its fatty acid profile and becomes a walking olive; the percentage of oleic acid rises to near the levels of olive oil. The Iberian breed and life in freedom are the architects of this miracle that gives us the “dehesa”.
Recently, it has been shown that fats high in monounsaturated fatty acids have a beneficial effect on cholesterol in blood, leading to increased rate of HDL (“good cholesterol”) and reducing the rate of atherogenic LDL . Well, the iberian acorn-fed pork meats contains over 60 % oleic acid (monounsaturated) . Only olive oil , between animal and vegetable fats in our usual table, have a higher content of oleic acid. The total proportion of unsaturated fatty acids in the fat of the cured products from Iberian pigs is greater than 70 %, which makes it the most “ heart-healthy “ of all known animal fats and even some healthy vegetable.
IN THE KITCHEN
How to properly thaw “Meats from the Dehesa”?
For meat to suffer as little as possible in the process of thawing, and not adversely affect its flavor and tenderness when cooked, it is best to keep vacuum-packed meat in the refrigerator at least 24 hours to make the process as slow as possible . Once thawed, remove the piece from the vacuum bag, and leave it to air for at least 15 minutes before cooking.
The right cut for cooking dehesa meats
To display all the meat’s tenderness , cuts of any part of Iberian acorn-fed pig meat should be made perpendicular to the muscle fiber itself. There are parts like the secret that, having a fan shape, should be specially treated and cuts should be made at at least three different angles, always perpendicular to the apex of the fan.
Salt before or after roasting
Normally all meats are salted after cooking so they do not dehydrate in the cooking process . Some parts of the Iberian acorn pork as the “secreto”or “presa” possess such intrinsic degree of hydration that allow be salted before or during cooking because the intramuscular fat allows the piece after cooking is totally hydrated.Normally all meats are salted after cooking so they do not dehydrate in the cooking process. Some pieces of Iberian acorn pork such as the “secreto”or “presa” possess so much intrinsic hydration that it allows them to be salted before or during cooking, because the intramuscular fat does not allow them to dehydrate.
- An Iberian pig gains about 1 kilogram every day eating acorns and dehesa grass.
- The Iberian pig begins its season in “montanera” at 90-95 kilos and is slaughtered weighing 155-160 kilos three months later.
- Each Iberian pig needs at least 20,000 square meters of dehesa (two football fields) to gain those 60-70 kilos.
- An acorn-fed pig has a lifespan of approximately 18 months. A white pig from intensive production (99% of the pork market) lives about 9 months .
- The Iberian pigs peel each acorn they eat.