How to carve an Iberico Bellota Ham.
Step 1: Put the ham in the hamholder with the trotter facing upwards, make sure it is securely held.
For the first cut it is better to use a ham knife with a wide blade.
We will make a first cut to define with the knife the size of the slice we want and then proceed to take out the outward skin of the top of the leg.
Step 2: We will take out the covering fat and the skin, which will be slightly moldy due to the natural curing process.
Once the top part of the ham is clean we will be ready to cut the first slice.
The fat from the first layer of the ham should be preserved, to cover the part of the ham that is later exposed, once we have finished cutting.
Step 3: The cuts should always be made in parallel and maintaining a flat surface.
The slices should have the width of the leg of ham and the length that you wish, though it should not be over 7 or 8 cm. long.
Once you have cut the main part (trotter facing upwards), it is recommended to combine when you serve, slices from the central area, which has always a better external aspect, with those from the smaller areas from the edges ( “punta” and “codillo”).
Step 4: When you reach the hip bone, using a short knife, make a cut around this bone so that the slices will be cleaner in this zone.
If you stop cutting, it is recommended to protect the open area with the slices of fat that you have obtained earlier, so that the fat on the top is always kept fresh.
You can also cover the surface with a humid kitchen cloth or kitchen paper.
Step 5: Once you have finished cutting this area, you should turn around the ham in order to continue carving the other side, named “babilla”.
We will start in the same way we did on the previous side, making a cut on the top near the ankle bone, and cleaning the fat and the skin of the cutting surface.
Step 6: Once again we shall carve slices with the width of the leg of ham and the desired length.
The meat near the bones that cannot be carved in slices, it can be cut in small pieces or gobbets, that can be used for cooking purposes.
The bone of the ham is also a great ingredient for cooking.