Serrano ham

Our Serrano hams are either named for their locality, such as Teruel PDO, or according to their producer, e.g. Monroyo. Shop our delicious whole Serrano ham legs or sliced varieties direct for delivery to your door.

Serrano ham

Our Serrano hams are either named for their locality, such as Teruel PDO, or according to their producer, e.g. Monroyo. Shop our delicious whole Serrano ham legs or sliced varieties direct for delivery to your door.

What Sets Serrano Ham Apart

Serrano ham primarily comes from white pigs, which are a common breed found worldwide. These pigs are usually Landrace, Large White, Duroc, or Pietrain breeds and are bred for mass production. In contrast, Iberian ham comes from the black Iberian pig, also known as the pata negra or black-foot pig. These pigs are native to southern and southwestern Spain and their meat is highly prized for its exceptional flavour and marbling.

One of the key factors that distinguish Serrano ham is the diet of the pigs. Iberian pigs destined for the best jam贸n ib茅rico are often finished on a diet rich in acorns, which contributes to the meat's smooth texture, distinctive colour, and intense flavour. On the other hand, white pigs raised for Serrano ham are typically fed a grain-based diet. The acorn diet of Iberian pigs adds a unique richness and complexity to the taste of the ham.

The process of making Serrano ham involves salting and air-drying the ham leg. The legs are trimmed, cleaned, and then covered in salt for at least two weeks. This initial salting removes moisture from the meat and aids in the preservation process. After the salt is rinsed off, the legs are left to air-dry for a minimum of four to six weeks, allowing the flavours to develop and intensify. The longer the curing process, the more complex the flavour profile of the ham.

Within the realm of Serrano ham, there are different classifications based on the duration of the curing process.

  1. De Bodega refers to hams cured between 1 and 12 months, offering a milder flavour and softer texture.
  2. Reserva hams are cured for 12 to 15 months, resulting in a more pronounced flavour and firmer texture.
  3. Gran Reserva hams, cured for longer than 15 months, showcase the pinnacle of Serrano ham, with a complex flavour profile and rich, melt-in-your-mouth texture.

Whilst Serrano lacks the prestige of Ib茅rico, it doesn鈥檛 disappoint in flavour. Jam贸n Serrano should be sweet, rich and salty; it should be fresh and intense on the palate. When compared to Ib茅rico Ham, Serrano is much more robust and chews for much longer- this is what creates the intensity of flavour.

Appreciating Jam贸n Serrano

When selecting Serrano ham, one visual indicator of quality is the presence of the hoof. Authentic Serrano ham is sold and hand-sliced with the black foot visible, serving as evidence of its pedigree. The hoof is a quick and reliable way to identify the quality and authenticity of the ham. Whether you're enjoying Serrano ham at a restaurant or purchasing it for home consumption, look for the distinctive hoof, which signifies a genuine product.

Compared to its counterpart, Iberian ham, Serrano ham offers a milder flavour and firmer texture. The meat is slightly less marbled, but still succulent and packed with savoury notes. The curing process enhances the natural flavours of the meat, resulting in a well-balanced taste profile that is enjoyed by both connoisseurs and those new to Serrano ham. Its versatility makes it a reliable choice for a wide range of culinary applications.

One of the advantages of Serrano ham is its accessibility and affordability. While Iberian ham, especially the acorn-fed varieties, can be quite expensive, Serrano ham offers a more budget-friendly option without compromising on quality or taste. Serrano ham is widely available in supermarkets, specialty stores, and online retailers, making it easier for enthusiasts to enjoy this Spanish delicacy without breaking the bank.

The Art of Eating Serrano Ham

To fully enjoy the flavours and textures of Serrano ham, proper slicing and serving techniques are essential. Serrano ham is typically enjoyed in thin slices, allowing the meat to melt on the palate. The slices should be cut against the grain, ensuring a tender and succulent bite. Serving Serrano ham at room temperature allows the flavours to shine, so be sure to take it out of the refrigerator well in advance.

Accompaniments: Enhancing the Experience

Serrano ham pairs beautifully with a variety of accompaniments that complement its flavours and add depth to the tasting experience. Traditional accompaniments include crusty bread, ripe tomatoes, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. You can also explore pairing Serrano ham with different cheeses, such as Manchego or Mah贸n, for a delightful combination of flavours. Wine, both red and white, is a popular choice to accompany Serrano ham, as it enhances the overall sensory experience.

Traditional Recipes: Celebrating Serrano Ham

Serrano ham is not only enjoyed on its own but also shines as a star ingredient in various traditional Spanish recipes. From tapas to main dishes, Serrano ham adds depth and complexity to the culinary creations. Classic recipes such as pan con tomate (bread with tomato) and patatas bravas (spicy potatoes) are elevated with the addition of Serrano ham. Explore the rich culinary heritage of Spain and discover new ways to incorporate Serrano ham into your favourite recipes.

Storing Serrano Ham

To ensure the longevity and quality of your Serrano ham, proper storage is crucial. The ham should be stored in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Ideally, it should be kept in a ham holder or a special ham bag that allows for proper air circulation. It's important to protect the exposed part of the ham with a slice of fat or plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out.

While freezing Serrano ham is not recommended, it is possible to freeze it for short periods if necessary. Wrap the ham tightly in plastic wrap and then place it in a freezer-safe bag or container. When thawing, allow the ham to defrost slowly in the refrigerator to preserve its flavour and texture. Keep in mind that freezing may slightly alter the taste and texture of the ham, so it's best to consume it fresh whenever possible.

To extend the shelf life of your Serrano ham, vacuum sealing is an excellent option. Vacuum-sealed hams can be stored in the refrigerator for several months without compromising their quality. The absence of air prevents oxidation and helps maintain the ham's flavour and texture. However, once the vacuum seal is broken, it's advisable to consume the ham within a few weeks for the best taste experience.

Cutting Serrano Ham

To properly cut Serrano ham, you'll need a few essential tools. A sharp, long-bladed knife, known as a jamonero, is crucial for precise slicing. The knife should have a flexible blade that allows for smooth and controlled movements. A ham holder or jamonero is also essential, as it securely holds the ham in place while you slice. Additionally, a sharpening steel is useful for maintaining the sharpness of your knife.

Cutting Serrano ham requires skill and practice, but with the right technique, anyone can become proficient. Start by securing the ham in the holder, ensuring stability and safety. Begin slicing from the opposite end of the hoof, cutting thin slices against the grain. The angle of the knife should be slightly tilted, allowing the slices to be cut smoothly. Take your time and adjust the thickness of the slices according to your preference.

To achieve the perfect slice of Serrano ham, keep these tips and tricks in mind. First, make sure your knife is sharp, as a dull blade can tear the meat. Always slice with a smooth, fluid motion to ensure clean cuts. Adjust the thickness of the slices based on your personal preference, but aim for thin slices to fully appreciate the texture and flavours. Finally, practice makes perfect, so don't be discouraged if your first slices aren't flawless.

Serrano Ham: A Versatile Ingredient

In Spain, Serrano ham is a staple in tapas and sandwiches, adding a burst of flavour and texture to these classic dishes. The simplicity of pan con tomate topped with Serrano ham is a testament to the quality of the ingredients. Similarly, a bocadillo de jam贸n serrano (Serrano ham sandwich) is a satisfying combination of crusty bread, thinly sliced ham, and perhaps a drizzle of olive oil or a touch of garlic.

While Serrano ham is undeniably delicious on its own or in traditional Spanish dishes, it also lends itself to culinary exploration. Incorporate Serrano ham into pasta dishes, salads, or even pizzas for a delightful twist. The saltiness and umami flavours of Serrano ham can elevate a variety of recipes, adding depth and complexity to your culinary creations. Don't be afraid to experiment and discover new ways to enjoy this versatile ingredient.

Serrano ham's exceptional flavour and versatility have made it a sought-after ingredient in cuisines beyond Spain. In fusion dishes, Serrano ham can provide a unique twist, adding a touch of Spanish flair to international flavours. Whether it's wrapped around melon in a refreshing summer salad or paired with figs and goat cheese in a savoury tart, Serrano ham brings an element of sophistication and depth to any culinary masterpiece.