Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The distinct aromatic flavour of Iberico ham is great on any given day. Experimenting with many different kinds of meals that have Iberico ham can develop into not only a wonderful hobby but a very satisfied palate too. There are many ways to cook the ham and it all depends on personal taste and available equipment plus ingredients. How you cook the ham also depends on what you serve it with and in what quantities. Iberico ham is perfect for dinner meals, lunch, brunch, and even breakfast.

If you want a perfect meal for a small group of people with Iberico ham as one of the main ingredients, then there are many recipes you can try out at home. Iberico ham with creamy mushroom pasta is one such meal likely to make your whole family coming home early for meals every day. The cream based pasta is a deliciously smooth alternative and superior to the tomato based pasta and thus, it is fitting to use on a fine ham such as Iberico ham.

Making the Homemade Pasta

You can buy pasta and quickly cook it if you are in a hurry. Nevertheless, I find that homemade pasta is somehow tastier and more filling. For that, you will need a food processor and a pasta machine to make the work easier. To make the pasta you will need the following ingredients:

  • Plain Wheat Flour (400g)
  • Large-sized eggs (3)
  • Olive oil (22g)
  • Clean water (50ml)
  • Salt (1/2 teaspoonful)

Begin by putting all these ingredients into the food processor. Quickly blitz it into an even-mixed dough. Place it in a bowl after wrapping in clingwrap to retain the moisture and smoothness. After an hour, divide the dough into four portions. Roll out each of the four dough segments into a rectangular block then use a pasta machine to churn out the thin pasta strips.

Making the Iberico Ham-Based Sauce

For the sauce, you want a great flavour and one that always has my household salivating in anticipation is the Guijielo Ibarian ham produced by Geminiano through their family’s tradition of ham curing passed down through many generations. What you will require for this sauce is:

  • Chopped up slices of Iberico ham (1 packet)
  • Thinly sliced punnet of your favourite mushroom (1 Punnet)
  • Cream (1/2 Cup)
  • Chicken Stock (1/2 Cup)
  • Grated Cheese either Parmesan or Cheddar (200g)
  • Chopped Basil
  • Minced Garlic

Start out by heating up the olive oil then put in the chopped Iberico ham. Stir fry the chopped ham until it browns up and remove it. Heat up some olive oil again and put in the minced garlic. Saute it until you have the fragrant garlic aroma before you add the mushroom. Stir fry the mushroom until it softens then add in the chicken stock followed by the cream. Let the mixture come to a boil then put in some salt and season with pepper. Put in the cheese and let it melt in the boiling mixture.

Putting the Meal Together

Take out the pasta strips and cook them in boiling water until they soften. Stir the pasta in chopped basil and divide into the appropriate serving portions. Top up the pasta with the Iberico ham and the creamy mushroom sauce. Serve the mixture while still hot for an unforgettably delicious meal.

This recipe describes the preparation for a meal suitable for four people with a good appetite. You can proportionally increase the ingredients for bigger numbers when you have guests or reduce when alone. However, the time for preparation will not differ much. It is a quick meal to prepare once you have made the uncooked pasta. Typical timeframes are about 10 to 20 minutes before serving on the dinner table.

Iberico Ham

One of the main ingredients of this meal is the Iberico ham. This is not just any kind of ham. It is a specially-produced traditionally cured gourmet-standard ham favoured by the top chefs around the world. It is produced mostly in Western Spain through a delicate time-consuming curing process that has been formed over many generations and it takes two years and more before it is ready for your table. 

The ham as a natural acorn flavour that comes from the pigs’ feeding of the acorns from the plentiful oak trees that grows in abundance in the luscious Spanish countryside. Due to its high quality, the ham is on the expensive side and if it is too steep for your pocket you can always use alternative types of ham in your recipe though it will not be the same meal.

Iberico ham has a sweet aroma and rich flavour. It is a gourmet meal and you need the best condiments to bring out the best. Creamy mushroom pasta is easy to prepare and the taste of the iberico ham will deliciously stand out.

About The Author:

Aingeru Suarez de Arroyo was born in Salamanca and all his life he has been part of his family’s practice of traditional curing of ham. He now acts as an exporter of the highest quality Jamon Iberico bellota to far off markets in Europe, Asia, and South Pacific.

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