The salting of the ham is another very important process in obtaining a good flavor and a good texture in a good quality iberian ham.
Salt has been used since time immemorial to preserve fresh produce and try to prolong its shelf life. The salt what it does is to extract the water of the meat and making difficult the proliferation of microorganisms capable of decomposing it.
In Sierra de Jabugo we use only natural sea salt without any type of additive, thus guaranteeing a 100% natural process.
The processes of which it costs, for a good salting after the sacrifice and profiling of the hams and shoulders are:
- Know the weight of the ham, it depends on the number of days you will spend buried in salt. The ham master, according to his wisdom will determine. Formerly it was said: “one day in salt per kilo of ham”.
- Bleeding (another important step), which ensures that no blood remains inside the veins and arteries of the pieces. Which the assistants of the ham holders, press and tighten each one of the pieces to eliminate until the last drop and reduce the risk of microbial contamination, that can damage the ham in his later healing.
- The ham will be placed in stainless steel containers or trays with perforations for the exit of liquids, or in a more industrialized way, perfectly placing each of the pieces avoiding touching each other, filling well all the holes, stacked and covered of sea salt. The process takes place in cold rooms with a temperature of about 2 ° C and a relative humidity of approximately 90%.
- After the days that the ham master determines, the hams and shoulders exude the liquids buried in the salt. The salt needs moisture to dissolve a little and facilitate its penetration into the meat. Therefore, before a dry winter, the ham had a sweet taste, but in a wet winter, the ham took much more salt than necessary.
- After the salting days that each ham master decides necessary to find the balance between food safety and the optimum point of salt on the palate, the hams are washed with warm water to eliminate surface salt.
- Salting is accompanied by a resting period called postsalado or settlement, which balances and homogenizes the concentration of salt throughout the piece. To begin the healing process.