To the pork shoulder…and beyond!
Iberico pork, aka Pata Negra, aka Black Foot pork is a specific breed from Spain. It is rarely available in Finland and if you get lucky, you’ll most likely find it in a freezer. I was connected enough to get a fresh cut on Friday morning. Next day it was sold out.
I was not familiar with Iberico pork presa before. Meat was recommended by my local butcher with a great story of freely wandering happy pig munching acorns all day long in meadows of Spanish Iberian Peninsula. How can anyone resist that? Soon two pieces of deep red meat, 1,3lb (600g) each, found their way to my grill.
Presa comes from the shoulder part of a pig. Unlike traditional way of cooking pork well-done, presa was told to be cooked medium rare. I was not sure about this, so I searched for number of articles to cross check the recipe. Finally confirmed guidelines from USDA, fresh pork roast should be cooked to 145 °F (62,8 °C) and allow to rest for at least 3 minutes. This should ensure safe eating.
Meat is nicely marbled and melting point of fat lower than other breeds have. This promises tenderness once cooked. In my opinion, meat was also more dense than pork from the next door.
I was first tempted to smoke the pieces, but then decided not to. Iberico Pork is said to have tender nutty flavor due to its natural diet of eating acorns. I wanted to experience this in full and smoke might have had disturb the taste.
That’s enough for the intro. Get busy now.
If you cook it this way, you cook it my way:
- Trim the meat off silverskin and larger lumps of fat
- Rub black pepper all over. Salt too if you like it. I don’t.
- Heat up your Weber Master Touch with full chimney starter of briquettes
- Place the briquettes on the other half of grill and left the other side free for aluminum pan (indirect grilling)
- Place aluminum pan for any pork juice drippings
- Make sure that inner temp of meat is at least 50°F (10°C) before cooking
- Sear the meat well on both sides
- When the surface is nice brown, place it on the other half for indirect grilling
- Stick in thermometer probe and close the lid
- Take out when inner temp reaches 145 °F (62,8 °C)
- Wrap the meat in aluminum foil and let rest at least 3min.
Carve and serve!