The Iberico pig is well known for it’s meat quality. Iberico pork has lots of flavor and is generally well marbled, full of flavor. Iberico refers to the Iberian peninsula, meaning Spain and Portugal. The pig is most noticeable for its black hooves. When buying Iberico meat there are three grades to choose from (lowest to highest): Cebo, Recebo, Bellota. The pigs’ diet has a lot to do with it. Bellota means acorn, and Bellota pigs get the most amount of acorns in their diet. Iberico pork flavor is rich and fatty, appreciated by many, me included.
There are three Iberico meat cuts that stand out. They are available on all porcine creatures, but not always cut out and sold. Butchering is to a large extent a cultural thing. The different cuts are Secreto, Pluma and Presa.
Pluma Iberico is a cut that is at the (front) end of the loin, by/above the shoulder blade. The muscle is called Rhomboideus, and there are two on each animal, one on each side. Pluma means feather. It is diamond shaped as its Latin name implies. It is rather thin, less than an inch, and is best cooked over direct heat.
0.5 tsp salt
0.5 tsp salt
The Pluma is best grilled hot and fast, and it only needs a bit of salt. Sprinkle salt evenly on the meat. Fire up the grill and get it real hot. Wait for the flames to die down, so you have a nice bed of glowing embers. Grill the Pluma a few minutes on each side, then let it rest a few minutes before slicing it. Watch out for grease fires, not uncommon with a cut like this. It is done when the inner temperature is 133-136° F.