How to store, cut and serve the Snaffling Pig Serrano Leg of Ham June 4, 2021 15:18

You are absolutely our kind of person as nothing creates a bigger statement than our leg of Serrano Ham.

Welcome to the club....population you and us. 

We've pulled together this little guide on how to store, cut, serve your leg of ham. If you'd rather download a copy please click here

Easy Tiger - A few things before you cause some piggin' damage.

  • Ensure the ham is fixed securely within the holder and is stable.To start, position the leg with the hoof pointing up.
  • To begin cutting, first remove and dispose of the hard yellow rind and fats. Only remove this from the section you intend to eat that day.
  • When cutting, ensure your free hand is always above the cutting edge of the knife and always cut the ham in a downward direction from the hoof to the flank.
  • Once you reach the layer of white fat, this should be kept and used to cover the exposed meat during storage.
  • When slicing the meat, maintain a straight cutting line which is parallel to the piggin' axis of the ham. This line should always be straight and level and never form a U shape.
  • Each slice should be approximately 3-4 cm wide and cut as thinly as possible. It should contain just enough meat for one bite and have a small edging of fat to supplement the flavour.
  • When storing the ham, coat the exposed meat in olive oil and cover using the white fat you previously saved.

The Snaffling Pig Serrano Ham Leg

The Paleta is the front leg of the pig, and has three main zones and each has its own distinct characteristics.

A) The Maza (back of the leg) contains the finest section of meat which is well-marbled and succulent.

B) The Babilla (front of the leg) is opposite the Maza and is much leaner. Therefore the meat tends to be more cured and less juicy.

C) The Jarrete (shin) is the area around the piggin' hoof and the meat is very sweet and aromatic.

What equipment you will need

To professionally slice a ham, you will need:

A) Small knife to cut around the bones.

B) Sturdy knife to remove the outer layers and hard skin.

C) Slender, flexible knife to cut the slices. (INCLUDED IN THE SET)

D) Sturdy ham holder to keep the ham in a stable and fixed position. (INCLUDED IN THE SET)

Getting Started with your Snaffling Pig Serrano Ham Leg

Set the ham holder at a height which is comfortable for your hands and ensure the surface is perfectly flat and stable. Place the ham in the holder with the hoof facing up. To start, you should use a sturdy knife to completely cut around the top of the ham leg in a 360° motion approximately 2 inches below the small bump on the surface (indicating the ankle bone).

Removing the rind on your Snaffling Pig Serrano Ham Leg

The first stage of preparing the ham for slicing is to remove the hard yellow rind. However, only remove rind from the section you will be snaffling that day to prevent the rest of the ham from drying out.

To remove the rind use a sturdy knife cutting down from the hoof to the flank. Always make sure your free hand remains above the cutting edge of the knife and out of the way.

These first strips of dark yellow rind and fat are bitter and should be thrown away. 

After you have removed the outer skin, you will reach lighter strips of white fat which should be kept and used to cover the exposed meat during storage.

When slicing, you should use the long flexible knife to cut across the ham, using only a small amount of pressure - never force the cut.

It is important to always cut the ham downward from the hoof to the flank. The free hand should only be used to remove the slices once cut and you must always keep it above the cutting edge of the knife to avoid injury.

Maintain a straight cutting line which is parallel to the axis of the ham. This line should always be straight and level and never form a U shape.

Each slice should be approximately 3-4cm wide and cut as thin as possible. It should contain just enough meat for one bite and have a small edging of fat to supplement the flavour.

Dealing with the bones on the Snaffling Pig Serrano Ham Leg

The first bone you reach is the elbow, cut around it using the short knife to separate it from the lean meat. This will ensure the slices are cleaner and easier to remove.

As you continue slicing you will expose the shoulder blade (scapula). This large flat bone runs vertically down the inside of the shoulder. Separate this from the lean meat using a vertical cut and then slice meat horizontally from left to right.

The third bone you reach is the upper arm (humerus) which runs diagionally down from the elbow. Once you have reached this bone and have finished slicing the back of the leg, it is time to turn the leg over.

Cutting the front of the leg of the Snaffling Pig Serrano Ham Leg

Rotate the leg 180° and place the hoof facing downward. You can now start cutting the front of the leg (the Babilla).

Follow the earlier steps to remove the rind and white fat layer. The first bone you will reach on this side will be the front of the shoulder. As before, cut around it using the short knife to separate it from the lean meat. You will then quickly reach the shoulder blade and the long bones of the upper arm which should be separated in the same way.

Where you find meat that is difficult to reach and cannot be sliced, try cutting this into cubes. These cubes can be served on their own or used in other cooked dishes.

Storage of your Snaffling Pig Serrano Ham Leg

Once you have finished cutting, it is best to store the ham in a dry, cool and well‑ventilated place. The ideal storage is at room temperature (usually between 18°c and 22°c) and away from direct sunlight.

To prevent the ham from drying out, coat the exposed cut in olive oil and cover using the fat you previously saved.

You can then cover the cutting surface with a cotton cloth or paper towels.

IMPORTANT: Please do not cover the ham with plastic film as this may encourage mould growth.

Additional Information on your Snaffling Pig Serrano Ham Leg

PACKAGING

We deliver our ham vacuum packed to ensure the product reaches you in perfect condition. Once received, the ham should be opened and removed from the packaging as soon as possible. The ham should then be stored at room temperature in a well-ventilated room.

NATURAL MATURATION

Once exposed to air, a bluish-white mould may appear on the surface of the rind. This is completely normal and is part of the natural maturing process. This mould can be wiped off using olive oil and a cloth and does not affect the quality of the product.

GOOD FATS

It is normal for ham to have a large proportion of edible fat. These fats have several beneficial health properties and are essential to the flavour and texture of the ham. Whilst some of this fat can be trimmed, we recommend that each slice of meat served has a small edging of fat to supplement the flavour.

SIGNS OF PIGGIN' QUALITY

When dry curing meat, tiny white crystals can form from amino acids within the muscle. This is simply part of the natural curing process and does not affect the quality of the meat. In fact, this is more common in meat that has been cured over a longer period and can be seen as an indicator of quality.