Before knowing where to start the Iberian shoulder or how to place it to cut it better,we are going to explain the parts that make up the shoulder; in this way we will know the product better and we will be able to manage it better.
The iberian shoulder
The shoulder is made up of six parts:
Hoof: this is the foot of the pig. There was a popular belief that if the hoof was black, it meant that it was an Iberian piece, but this is not always the case; there are other breeds that have black hooves.
Shank: this is the thin part located after the hoof and usually serves as a support point when cutting. We can look at this area to differentiate the Iberian pig from the white pig, as in the Iberian pig the shank is usually very thin and stylised and in the white pig it is usually thick and not stylised.
Knuckle: this is the part where the slices begin to be cut.
Hock: this part is located between the cushion and the fore cushion. It is a very tasty area and is usually diced.
Cushion: This is the part with the greatest amount of lean and fat of the whole piece, as it has a greater amount of fat infiltrated, it is the juiciest. This is the part from which the highest yield is obtained.
Fore cushion: This is the opposite of the cushion , it is narrower, has less meat and is closer to the bone and the flavour of its slices is more cured and the colour is usually darker.
In the next post, we will explain how to start an Iberian shoulder.
See you soon!