How to cut your Jamón

How to cut your Jamón

Firstly place the ham in the stand (jamonero) most commonly with the hoof up to start.

Now make a deep cut in to the cana (shank) and then remove the layer of fat from the top and the sides until the meat is exposed, If you plan to consume the entire ham in a day or two, you can remove the skin and fat completely. If not, it is better only to to remove the skin and outer fat layer from the area to be sliced that day

Using the correct long bladed ham knife cut small, very thin slices, including some of the marbled fat making sure the cutting surface is kept horizontal. Slice downwards with your free hand behind the knife to avoid accidents.

Ham should be consumed at room temperature, when it will have a lustrous appearance. When too cold, the fat will appear opaque. Any ham that is cut should be consumed immediately, or covered in plastic wrap, to avoid prolonged exposure of the ham to air. In addition, each time you slice the ham, you should protect the cut area with butcher paper, a cloth moistened with olive oil, or with a bit of the trimmed skin and fat layer, so that the cut area remains fresh. To further protect the ham, you may cover it with a clean dish towel.

Bellota Tip

The meat nearest the bone is difficult to slice well, and can be cut into small chunks for use in soups and stews and stocks. The ham bone itself is also excellent for flavouring stocks, soups and stews, and may be cut and frozen for later use.