20 Dec2010

Jamon Serrano Reserva

by Marketman

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Marketman received this wonderful ham stand three Christmases ago, and it has been displayed as a piece of “food art” in a kitchen cabinet… Delicious hams with their hooves still on are typically prohibitively expensive, so when I serendipitously ran across a rather nice looking Jamon Serrano Reserva at S&L Fine Foods recently, at a very reasonable price, I finally decided to make good use of our ham stand. The jamon will sit out for a month or so, and we shall slice small portions of this wonderful ham all throughout the holiday season. Visitors can slice some off the bone on their own if they wish…

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I wrote a previous post on Jamon Serrano, here, which you can refer to to see pictures of the thinly sliced ham. A little ham goes a really long way so I wonder just how long this ham will last. Trimmings and other odds and ends can be saved to be added to soups, etc. If you have friends over for pica-pica and drinks, this impressive looking, but totally functional ham stand combined with the wonderful fat and flavor of a properly made serrano is a sight to behold… :)

 

COMMENTS:

  1. Roddy says:

    Looks excellent. Don’t you need to somehow keep it chilled? Or you just leave it out? No problems with humidity?
    I recall the legs hanging from the ceiling rafters in the jamon museos of Madrid…complete with little inverted ‘umbrellas’ to catch the dripping fat.

    Have a fat Christmas.

    Dec 20, 2010 | 9:19 pm

     
  2. Junb says:

    Wow my dream Ham Serrano and iberico :)

    Dec 20, 2010 | 10:07 pm

     
  3. NYCMama says:

    A little ham does go a long way! I buy jamon serrano by the lb here in NY, and I actually buy ONE POUND. Most folks buy 1/4 lb at a time. I usually manage to get the same poor guy behind the counter to slice my ham, and he always can’t believe I really want ONE POUND. Sliced really thin, a pound is a lot, and it takes a while to slice! I always have some in the fridge, because the kids make themselves sandwiches when they come home from school. The favorite bread to use? Pan de sal: Toasted open faced, with a few slices of jamon serrano, this tides them over until I manage to get dinner done hours later. Iberico is finally available in NY, but I still can’t get myself to buy it at those prices. Serrano is fine enough!
    Merry Christmas Marketman and family!

    Dec 20, 2010 | 11:37 pm

     
  4. kim e says:

    wow jamon serrano! that thing will prolly last more than a month in our household of 3 :)

    Dec 20, 2010 | 11:49 pm

     
  5. tonceq says:

    And i get to taste my first slice of Jamon Serrano ever this December! I’m so excited!

    Cool ham stand MM! but is it just me or does the ham stand look foreboding somehow? but that’s just me i guess… :)

    Dec 20, 2010 | 11:56 pm

     
  6. wisdom tooth says:

    As my Clifty ham is soaking away for 2 days now, I read this post on Serrano hams. Yummmy and very gourmet-looking on the ham stand. So MM, you do n’t need to soak these Spanish/Italian hams? There are no prepations/rituals before slicing? Will try it next Christmas:) Again, Merry Christmas to all!!

    Dec 21, 2010 | 12:36 am

     
  7. millet says:

    it’s right up there on my wish list! lucky you, MM!

    i’d be carrying around a small, sharp knife so i could take a wee swipe everytime i pass the sideboard. but then again, with a ham like that, all roads would lead to the sideboard..all the time!

    Dec 21, 2010 | 1:33 am

     
  8. Scramoodles says:

    Ah, if only i’d be lucky enough to slice myself some of that ham ;)

    Dec 21, 2010 | 3:03 am

     
  9. charlie says:

    We just came back from Surfas here in LA and got a couple of pounds of Jamon Iberico, they did not have any Jamon Serrano this year. Our Filipino tradition of Ham, QDB and fruit salad during Christmas. My daughter in law was curious about this Filipino tradition. Not too sure how this came about but I just grew up with this food memories.

    Dec 21, 2010 | 4:36 am

     
  10. Tigerlady10 says:

    Am curious as to what is “a very reasonable price” for the Serrano whole leg of ham? Reasonable price by Filipino standard of living? Over here we buy them by 100 grams, 200 grams, and not by the kilo as they are quite expensive. Enjoy your ham and happy holidays!

    Dec 21, 2010 | 5:03 am

     
  11. joyce says:

    love! that ham is a carnivore’s dream and a vegetarian’s nightmare all rolled into one! i remember the time when i was talking to a friend and excitedly told her about sisig being one of the most well known dishes from my home town only to belatedly realize she had been vegetarian for more than 2 decades, hehe.

    Dec 21, 2010 | 6:46 am

     
  12. Marketman says:

    Tigerlady10, this whole jamon serrano, roughly 6 kilos or 12.5 pounds with bone in, or roughly 8-9 pounds of meat, cost $110 from my wholesaler, and it retails in Manila from roughly $250-450, depending on the store. I saw one at $450 yesterday in a snazzy mall and pointed it out to the Teen and whispered our acquisition price, as though we had just hit the jackpot. Hahaha. Considering the number of people this will feed, it actually DOES NOT come out to being such an extravagance in the overall holiday scheme of things. I will say, however, that this was the LAST ham of the year available from the vendor. In the U.S., this ham would easily range from $300 and upwards… The stand, a gift from several years ago, was much cheaper by comparison.

    Dec 21, 2010 | 7:47 am

     
  13. Marketman says:

    Roddy, while our local temperature and humidity is high, I think the ham will be fine for a month or so… will probably just have to scrape off any mold if it forms. The cut sections are covered up with reserved fat from earlier slicings so that the ham doesn’t dry out too much. It’s a spanish tradition to just have one of these lying around for up to two months, and folks just come and slice off what they want… Jamons like this sit out on the counter at Terry’s delicatessen on Pasong Tamo for several weeks at a time…

    Dec 21, 2010 | 7:53 am

     
  14. Betchay says:

    MM, I’m sure you’re going to cover it up with plastic sheets or aluminum foil??? Wala bang ipis, daga or langgam sa inyo? :). The contraption scares me!—–looks like one from the torture chambers!Ha!ha!ha!

    Dec 21, 2010 | 8:04 am

     
  15. Marketman says:

    Betchay, I made a “cover” of a natural breathable cotton material like heavy cacha (it is visible in second photo above) that is draped over the ham at night and tucked in under the edges of the clamp, precisely because of potential ipis issues. But I think the salt and length of the curing time somehow turns off many other bugs… In the case of the gingerbread village, it stays exposed all the time. For some strange reason, maybe the spices, etc., ANTS and ROACHES do NOT go near the gingerbread creations… :)

    Dec 21, 2010 | 8:20 am

     
  16. Bubut says:

    the roaches and ants are afraid of the pigs, boars, dog and scarecrow at the Nipahut /gingerbread house…Merry Christmas MM and family!

    Dec 21, 2010 | 8:53 am

     
  17. atbnorge says:

    Aw, nakaka-miss ang sopas na luto ni Lola Nena mula sa natirang hamon sa Pasko…

    I usually postpone buying a leg of ham during the holidays thinking that the price is lower in January. But when the groceries here do drop the price, I no longer want to buy the ham. It evokes a special sentiment that it must really be accompanied by the spirit of the season.

    Dec 21, 2010 | 9:03 am

     
  18. sister says:

    At Despana yesterday a whole hamon Serrano was on offer for $299. Two persons and a ham equals eternity, right?

    Dec 21, 2010 | 12:55 pm

     
  19. Norma says:

    How does hamon serrano compares in taste with ham like prociuto, iberico, chinese ham, etc. Ham like that with bone-in complete with hoof (chinese ham) used to be plenty in Manila in the 70’s and earlier years. The increased cost and longer curing time, have gradually drove it out of the market. Together with the queso de bola, they were the popular gift of choice, during those days. I remember we used to have them hanging on our kitchen wall during Christmas time, and they last till Chinese New Year and even till Valentine’s day.

    Dec 21, 2010 | 6:18 pm

     
  20. panache says:

    I just want to wish you Mr MM and your family a Happy Christmas and a Peaceful New Year

    Dec 21, 2010 | 8:28 pm

     
  21. lee says:

    if i can have that contraption in my kitchen, I will need three. One for the leg of ham and the other two for my hands to lock me up and prevent me from ham overdose.

    Dec 21, 2010 | 10:41 pm

     
  22. rita says:

    that ham looks good! i have a ‘jamonera,’ that we got from madrid, but haven’t used it yet. i’m sure, one day i will.

    Dec 21, 2010 | 10:52 pm

     
  23. Kaye says:

    @ Norma, jamon iberico or pata negra is even better than parma or san daniele. There is no comparison. The best I ever had was jamon iberico de bellota (the best quality) from the market in Seville, as it’s very near Huelva (one of the main producers). The pigs just eat acorns.
    The ham just literally melts in your mouth. Perfect with a bit of manchego, on top of a slice of brioche with a drizzle of olive oil. Muy rico! As my Spanish friends say, “Es sagrado.”

    Since I am off to Barcelona for New Year’s, I will definitely have lots of jamon there. The price of regular jamon iberico (not the best one) here in London is £10/100g. In Seville, the best one (de bellota) was 75 euros/kg. Huge difference.

    Dec 22, 2010 | 3:02 am

     
  24. Betchay says:

    MM, aren’t you glad the BUGS don’t have gourmet taste? :)

    Dec 22, 2010 | 7:26 am

     
  25. Roddy Abaya says:

    I have another question MM….what is the knife of choice in carving, slicing, tearing into this porcine wonder?

    Dec 22, 2010 | 8:01 am

     
  26. Marketman says:

    Roddy, it is a very thin, very long knife. It bends gently as you saw back and forth on the ham. Think of a long bread knife without serration and thinner steel. :)

    Dec 22, 2010 | 8:25 am

     
  27. marilen says:

    Have not worked my way yet to ham heaven, have had parma, san daniele and serrano – but not jamon iberico, the holy grail. For Christmas dinner, we will be having the orig Smithfield ham from Virginia. The love affair with pork again featured in the last issue of New York magazine – articles on the different ‘heritage’ breeds, on the best dishes, both carry-outs and high end restaurants, everything eaten but the oink!
    Blessed Christmas to everyone!

    Dec 22, 2010 | 9:06 pm

     
  28. josephine says:

    Around the corner from where I live in Paris is a wonderful shop called Bellota Bellota which specialises in pata negra hams labelled by region. The ones I like best come from Extremadura. The slicers all seem to have gone to some sort of ham university and each little package comes with a kind of signed diploma with the slicer’s certification of training and descriptions of the ham and its provenance. The prices are prohibitively expensive and my very matakaw teenage son has to restrain himself, knowing that eating each translucent slice is like swallowing a 5 euro note. I could never buy a whole one since it’s that or buy a bigger apartment and I think the latter would be a better investment. Happy Christmas to you MM and family and all your faithful fans. Looking forward to more of your adventures, especially the porky ones, in 2011!

    Dec 23, 2010 | 12:01 am

     
  29. Nick says:

    Kia Ora from Auckland, New Zealand. I came across your blog while looking for puto bumbong recipes/steamers and saw the photo of jamon serrano. It reminded me of the Christmas while growing up in Angeles City Pampanga. That got me salivating so googled for the nearest shop that sells imported jamon. Bought a small pack of ARROYO brand cured ham and ate about 200gm within 10 minutes of opening the pack. Yum! The lady at the shop sells 7-8 kg serrano boned in ham at NZD28 per kg just arrived from Spain. FX NZD=P32. They also have the stand for sale. Wicked. Masayang Pasku kekongan.

    Dec 24, 2010 | 12:46 pm

     
  30. quiapo says:

    In Sydney, Australia, Jamon Serrano is $80 a kilo, while top quality Iberico is $280 a kilo. Domestic versions made locally start at $35 a kilo. MM’s ham stand is a deluxe version which has a swivel to allow changes of angle without the need to reposition the ham.
    Buen provecho, MM.

    Dec 26, 2010 | 5:16 am

     
  31. quiapo says:

    At such prices it is a testament to the quality of the ham that it is still so popular. My
    daughter attended a wedding in the north of Spain where the groom, a restauranteur, carried a pata negra under his arm from table to table, dispensing generous amounts to his delighted guests.

    Dec 26, 2010 | 5:36 am

     
  32. norma says:

    Kaye, thanks for the comparison. Obviously, I am a newbie on the different kinds of ham and cheese. I am learning a lot from this website. Mr. MM and readers, thank you for sharing your knowledge and experiences.

    Dec 26, 2010 | 9:53 pm

     
  33. tricia sm says:

    My mother gifted us a jamon serrano this xmas. It has been amazing. What has been difficult is slicing the ham. The ham stand you have would help a lot. We will have to acquire one for the next holiday season. Any tips on where to start slicing? We were searching on-line but there was not a lot of helpful hints. When my husband first sliced, we hit bone so we clearly started on the wrong side.

    Dec 28, 2010 | 3:01 am

     
  34. Marketman says:

    tricia, for home consumption, the experts suggest you start on the narrower end of the ham, as it is shown in the photo above, with hoof facing down in the holder. You have to carve in an arc in the middle of the narrow end. Then, when you hit the bone, turn the leg over. The reason for this I gather is that the narrow end dries out faster so it’s best to consume if first. The wider end of the leg, with hoof facing the ceiling, is more impressive and usually moister and ideal for the most special of occasions, so save that for your most important party/dinner of the season. I designed a thick breathable cloth to drape over the ham, and it sits out in the dining room for about a month in total before the bits and bones go into other cooked dishes.

    Dec 28, 2010 | 4:40 pm

     
  35. AM says:

    WHAT A FIND!!! I was just surfing the net and found your site…your site could be the “Martha Stewart” of the the Philippines. Being Pilipino, you brought back memories of things we used to eat at my Mamang’s house during the holidays. Ohhh, how I miss those days…
    Thank you…you helped me think of those memories, again. I am now a fan and will tag your site as a “favorite”.

    Dec 31, 2010 | 5:49 am

     
  36. Michael says:

    A friend’s getting married in NY. Do you know where I can hire a skilled slicer to slice jamon at a reception?

    Jan 14, 2011 | 10:59 pm

     
  37. Marketman says:

    Michael, sorry, I have no idea where you might find a serrano slicer in NY. A good Spanish restaurant maybe… or a specialty food shop like a Spanish prvoedore…

    Jan 15, 2011 | 1:25 pm

     
 

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