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How to Carve Spanish Iberico Ham

Follow these step by step instructions on how to slice a leg of ham. But above all, be very careful not to cut yourself.

First position the ham on the stand with the hoof pointing upwards. Make sure it is well attached. If the ham is to be consumed on the same day, trim it completely, removing all the skin and the external fat. Otherwise trim and shape the ham as you cut it.

Remember to keep your hands behind the knife as it cuts, or protect the hand holding the ham with a cloth.

It is very important to slice the ham very thinly.
The slices should be transparent, and if you do not have a good knife especially designed for cutting ham, you will not be able to cut it properly ( it has to be a long, thin, very sharp-edged knife ). Knowing how to cut the ham properly is considered so important that it is said to make a tremendous difference to its taste.

Position the ham on the stand with the hoof pointing downwards and "peel" it, removing the surface skin and fat with the knife. If only part of the ham is to be consumed, only "peel" the part where you are going to cut the slices from. This will ensure that the rest of the ham will not become too dry.

Once the ham has been "peeled"
you can begin to cut away
the slices.

Today, ham is still the best
aperitif with which to begin
a banquet.

The thin veins of fat in the ham
are its sign of identity
par excellence.

The ham should be positioned
at an angle on its stand,
and should never be machine cut.

Only manually can all
the subtleties of the leg
of ham be captured .

The ideal temperature f
or cutting is around 12 °C

 

From the moment cutting
begins to when the ham
is trimmed  to its bone there are
a series of stages which require
the skilled use of the knife.

It is very important to leave
a little fat on the slices .
 

 

- Ham should not be eaten chilled ( it loses its flavour ), or kept in refrigerators.
- Cutting should begin with the hoof facing downwards because it is the hardest part. When it is finished, the other side is started.
- The surface skin is removed little by little to avoid drying.
- The cut area should always be protected by fat or kitchen roll moistened with olive oil.
- You should never cut more ham than is going to be consumed.