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SLICING GUIDE

Hand-Slicing a Fundación Serrano Ham

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SLICING GUIDE

Serrano Ham bearing the counterseal of the Fundación del Jamón Serrano is selected after undergoing a strict quality control process, which guarantees that the quality of the product will be far superior to that of other products.

To ensure that an excellent product is consumed in optimum conditions and does not lose quality due to improper handling or a less-than optimum use, we recommend a certain end care of the product which will avoid deterioration in quality and will allow a full taste sensation on the palate.

To achieve this, we should follow a set of general guidelines which will help avoid spoiling such a delicate product.

RECOMMENDATION: HAND SLICE YOUR SERRANO HAM

We recommend slicing Fundación Serrano Ham by hand in order to better preserve its characteristic flavors. Well-sharpened knives should be used, taking great care to avoid accidents. If we wish to machine-slice the product, we must first remove the bone.

MATERIALS:

To hand-slice a Fundación Serrano Ham, we need the following materials, which should be in perfect condition:

  • Ham stand, ham holder, or "jamonero"
  • A boning knife: short, strong knife with a sharp tip
  • A wide-blade knife
  • A ham knife with a long, thin, flexible blade

It is important to cut very fine slices without eliminating all of the outer fat, as this enhances the oily texture and flavor of the product. It is also recommendable to use a sharpening knife or knife steel, which we will use to sharpen and clean the knife when we are ready to make a new cut.

STEPS:

1. Place the Serrano ham with the Fundación counterseal in the ham stand with the hoof facing downwards. Using the wide-blade knife, make a deep cut in the shank. From this cut, remove the outer rind and extra fat from the part of the ham you are going to consume immediately. When this part is "clean", begin to cut thin slices using the ham knife.

We should only remove the rind and excess fat from the entire Serrano ham if we plan to consume the whole piece in one day. Otherwise, the product will dry out, in which case it is better to clean it bit by bit.

2. Serrano ham should be carved into small, thin slices, removing the rind from the side area immediately before slicing. Cuts should be made as horizontal as possible, until we reach the hip bone.

If we are not going to slice the entire Serrano ham in one day, we should protect it against oxidation and excessive drying. To avoid these problems, we should brush the exposed part of the cured meat with olive oil and then place a piece of transparent film over it, avoiding contact with the air and protecting the piece. This system is preferable to the traditional method of protecting the piece with pieces of its own fat, as this is effective for a short time only.

3. Turn the Serrano ham over so that the hoof is facing upwards. Remove the rind and excess fat as before, and begin slicing. The cut should be made horizontally until reaching the hip bone. From here, slices will be smaller and will be cut directly from the bone, but always horizontally.

The boning knife can be used to cut around the bone, making it easier to make a clean cut.

4. Once the bone has been cleaned it can be used for flavorful broths and stews. Cutting it at home is quite difficult; a better option is to go to your local butcher, who will cut it using a special machine.

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