Our Montanegra Iberico Ham comes in sliced packs for ease of use. These slices of tasty Spanish ham are packed with complexity: like an aged Manchego cheese or a glass of fine wine, each bite has many layers of flavour. Iberico ham has very little salt, allowing the levels of taste to take center stage.
WHAT IS IBERICO HAM?
Iberico ham has a deep, rich nutty flavour and comes from the legendary Iberian breed of black pigs known as pata negra pigs. The animals have at least a hectare of wooded pastures called dehesas and are fed on a diet of grass and the best acorns from holm and cork oak trees. This provides the hams distinctive aroma and exquisite taste. It also means that no other cured ham can beat Montanegra Iberico Ham, this is the real thing!
Montanegra Iberico ham is hung to cure for a minimum of three years. As the seasons change from the cold of winter through spring and summer, 40% of the fat melts away, coating the ham in flavour. As the second year passes, the ham undergoes complex changes that produce incredible layers of flavour. The result is a tender and delicious ham, deep red in colour with a very mild saltiness. Iberico Hams are generally classified by the amount of acorns eaten before slaughter.
The official classification allowed is distinguished mainly between Iberico de Bellota which are pigs purely fed on acorns or Iberico de Cebo which are pigs fed on a minor proportion of acorns and a combination of compound feeds approved by the corresponding Denomination of Origin.
At Basco we import hams of Iberian breed from artisan ham and charcuterie specialist Montanegra. Thanks to the knowledge gained during more than 70 years and several generations dedicated to this activity, Montanegra produces Iberico products that are considered to be amongst the best nowadays in Spain. A family business located near Badajoz in 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.
Iberico ham is at its best sliced as thinly as possible using a ham stand
, however, if you are not confident with a knife or do not want to buy a whole leg, this is the best option for you. Montanegra Iberico ham is perfect for parties, tapas or even just to treat yourself, its distinctive rich taste and creamy, melt-in-your-mouth texture is something you will want to eat over and over again!
HOW TO SERVE IBERICO HAM
Iberico ham should be ideally served at a temperature of around 20 degrees celsius. The reason behind this, is because the ham meat has an acid inside called oleic acid which is activated when the ham reaches a temperature of 15 degrees celsius or more. This acid breaks the meat cells making the meat shine and sweat, releasing the full aromas and flavours of the ham.
To serve Montanegra Iberico Ham, open the pack and allow the ham to breathe for 30 minutes, just like a bottle good wine. Serve on a warm plate so the ham reaches the ideal serving temperature and the oleic acid gets activated. Tip - you can run the plate under hot water for a few minutes, pat dry with a towel and lay the slices of ham spreading them evenly. Try our iberico ham with good quality crusty bread and a fine wine such as Marques de Murrieta Rioja Reserva
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.