Montanegra Iberico de Bellota is the ultimate of its kind. Cured for over one year, this shoulder ham (paleta iberica) comes from acorn-fed free range Iberico pork, only found in the Extremadura region of Spain. The rich acorn diet and outdoor exercise marble the meat, for a succulent ham that melts in your mouth.
The word bellota literally means acorn, a key ingredient to the ultimate ham. If you see a paleta or jamon advertised as simply Iberico, without the bellota designation, it is not free range and did not enjoty the sweet acorns of the dehesa rangelands.
Paleta is the cured front shoulder ham. Because it is smaller, it cures much more quickly and has less time to age than a larger jamon (about a year, vs. two to four years for a ham). Our Montanegra Iberico Bellota Shoulder weighs between 5 to 6Kg making it the perfect party feature. The size also makes this shoulder ideal for home consumption when you dont want a larger ham to carve.
The paletas come from an ancient breed of pig, Cerdo Iberico which has been roaming the woodland meadows of western Spain feeding on acorns for thousands of years. Each fall the breeders set aside a select group of juvenile pigs allowing them to roam the dehesa woodlands for up to a year. There they feast upon acorns which are falling in abundance from the holm oak and cork trees. They gorge themselves, putting on at least two pounds of weight each day until they are the picture of a happy fat pig!
The result is that the Paleta Iberico de Bellota is marbled with rich golden fat full of the flavour of the Iberico pigs favourite food, bellota acorns, along with wild herbs and grasses.
Sliced thinly, Iberico ham glistens at room temperature and provides an unparalleled rich nutty flavour and tender texture.
Because whole hams continue to cure until you cut into them, you can hang it for up to 12 months before its first use where it will only get better with time.
At Basco, each ham we send is accompanied by care and handling instructions as well as ham carving tips. A Ham Holder Stand and Ham Carving Kife are necessary accessories in order carve Spanish ham properly.
Store your ham in a cool, dry place. No cooking required. Average Weight 5-6Kg. Product includes Free Delivery.
Thanks to the knowledge gained during more than 70 years and several generations dedicated to this activity, Montanegra produces Ibérico products that are considered to be amongst the best nowadays in Spain. A family business located in the D.O. ‘Dehesa de Extremadura’ in the Southwest of Spain. Its geographical location is one of the best areas of oak trees in the region, making the maximum use of the pasture for the breeding of Black Iberian Pigs.
About 75% of the production is Montanegra’s own cattle, leaving 25% to other Dehesas. Montanegra has an important level of ownership in the main abattoir of the province of Badajoz, therefore having larger control over this process. The drying rooms in Nogales have a capacity of 150,000 hams; the drying rooms in Higuera La Real have approximate capacity for 500,000 hams. The premises located in the South of Badajoz are ideal for the curing process due to the microclimate of the area.
The quality of Montanegra’s hams has recently been recognised by winning a 3 star Great Taste Award in 2013 for their Jamón Ibérico de Bellota D.O. elevating their ham products to some of the best in the UK.