Knowing how to start cutting an Iberian shoulder is a determining factor, because only by slicing the right Ham is one of the star products of the Spanish gastronomy, a... thickness, thin enough to melt and thick enough to notice the nuances, you can enjoy a first-class product.
In Enrique Tomás we care for each piece and pamper them all equally so that they have a unique flavour; however, our work is of no use if then you cannot take advantage of all their flavour by tasting it properly. If you have no idea how to cut a ham shoulder, you can buy this product already sliced but if, on the contrary, you want to carve it yourself, this is what you have to take into account.
What you need to carve an Iberian ham shoulder
Not just any knife can be used to cut the ham shoulder, but you will need a long and flexible ham knife. Next to this one, there are two other indispensable knives: the one strong and wide to debark the piece, and the one much shorter to debone. In addition to these, you have to have two more essential products: the knife sharpener and, of course, the ham holder. If you have access to a pair of tweezers, it will be perfect but, don’t worry if you don’t have them because they are not indispensable.
So, once you have all the elements, you just have to place the ham shoulder on the ham holder and Enrique Tomás will explain you how to do it.
How to start cutting an Iberian ham shoulder-Paleta
In bars, restaurants and specialised shops, the Iberian ham shoulders (paleta) are quickly finished and placed on the ham stand with the hoof upwards in order to first cut the tender meat from the “maza” side. However, at home we do not have to follow the same steps.
The first thing to know is that the ham shoulders have three parts:
- Maza: the juiciest part
- Contramaza: a more dry-cured area
- Babilla or Jarrete (shank): where the meat is more fibrous and has sweeter nuances
So how do you start cutting an Iberian ham shoulder? It depends on what you’re going to use it for. If you are going to share the ham shoulder with your friends or family, it is convenient to place the hoof upwards, as it is done in restaurant because, as your piece will be finished quite quickly, you will be able to serve first the juicy ham of the shoulder and then the rest. On the other hand, if you are going to enjoy the ham shoulder at home and you are few members, it will be better to put it hoof downwards, because in this way you will serve first the more dry When we talk about curing in gastronomy we are talking about... ham and the “contramaza” side will remain perfect until you are ready to taste it.
Discover the different types of Iberian ham shoulder-Paleta of Enrique Tomás:
However, what we have just explained to you is only a recommendation. Even if you are few people at home and you want to enjoy the meat of the tender “maza” first, go ahead. Yet, you would better eat about 150 grams per day to avoid that the “contramaza” dries off to soon or you make sure you have one of our stores close enough to take the ham piece for slicing; then you will be able to bring us the piece without any problem so that we can debone it and vacuum pack for you to use at your early convenience.
It should be borne in mind that this preservation process delays the expiration date of the food because, by removing the oxygen from the package, they do not get damaged so quickly. We vacuum pack per units of 80 grams but if you bring us your ham piece, regardless of whether you bought it in Enrique Tomás or not, we will slice and pack it the way you want.
Vacuum packed in the proper way can last up to 90 days, so if you store them in a dry place with no sunlight with a temperature between 17 and 23ºC, like a storeroom, they will be perfect when you are ready to eat them. Don’t think it twice and enjoy your whole or sliced ham shoulder as soon as possible!