For those in the know, a certain porcine cut has quietly been flying out the door at T&G for some time now. But the word is obviously getting out there, for just recently we had a run on our supply and had to take it offline for one whole day.
Much to people’s dismay (you should have seen the inbox last week!)
The meat in question here is Iberico Pluma, which is sourced from Iberian Black Pigs raised in the Spanish peninsula of the very same name, and the cut itself comes from the loin.
Translating as ‘feather’ due to its shape, this tender pork steak is highly treasured for its inherent marbling and fat content, which in turns delivers a rich, buttery softness once cooked.
It can also be served slightly pink in the middle, dispelling a commonly held myth about pork and making sure that it is cooked to well-done. Or as chewy as f…a flipping very chewy thing.
The golden rule really is so long as the quality and provenance of pork is of a high standard, you should feel confident with cooking it under.
Given that this is a Spanish speciality, for this recipe, we’ve gone for a simple accompaniment using sherry, onions and herbs to add just a touch of sharp acidity to contrast and cut through the sweet, fatty meat. Some patatas a lo pobre and a fresh green salad wouldn’t go amiss here either.
If you are opting to grill the meat on the hob and in a pan, rather than say over charcoal or wood, make sure you tip some of those juices into the mix afterwards.
Waste not, want not. And all that.
Ingredients - serves 4
1.5kg Iberico Pluma
75g unsalted butter
2 large red onions, halved and thinly sliced
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
300ml Oloroso Sherry
100ml sherry vinegar
Maldon sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to season
Lemon juice, to season
First, create the sherry and onion sauce by placing a pan over a medium heat and adding the butter. Once the butter has melted and begins to foam, add the onions and a pinch of salt and fry off for about 10 minutes, stirring all the time.
Next, add the thyme and bay leaves and stir through for another 2 minutes to infuse, and then add the sherry vinegar. Cook the vinegar right down, until the onions become syrupy and then pour over the Oloroso and add the raisins. Reduce by half and taste for seasoning, and put aside to keep warm.
To cook your Pluma, season the steaks generously with sea and black pepper and place down either over a hot charcoal grill, or hot grill pan on the hob. You do want to get some intensity of heat going on here.
Cook on either side on the grill, turning frequently to develop a good crust, for about 4-6 minutes, or until the internal temperature is 60°C.
Rest for 5 minutes.
To serve and share, slice up the Pluma onto a platter and then dress with a squeeze of lemon juice over the pork and season with some sea salt and pepper.
Finish by spooning over the onion and Oloroso sauce over the top, before encouraging everyone to dig in.