Many opt for boneless ham for various reasons: because it's more convenient to handle, due to the ease of slicing and storing... That's why at Enrique Tomás, we've decided to create an article covering everything you need to know about boneless ham.
We'll start with your purchase since buying boneless ham is a very smart decision for many reasons, and we'll explain why. Then, we'll move on to something equally important: knowing how to properly store boneless ham. When done correctly, you ensure that the meat doesn't go rancid, which would affect its flavor.
If you want to learn about the proper conditions for storage, pay attention—Enrique Tomás explains everything you need to know.
The Enrique Tomás Boneless Ham
Our boneless hams are half pieces from an Enrique Tomás ham or shoulder. So whether it's Gran Reserva, fattened, or a boneless Iberian ham, it doesn't matter! If you want to buy ham or shoulder with us, we assure you that it's of the same quality as a whole or sliced piece.
We have a specialist in the ham boning technique who is responsible for doing it manually, without the intervention of any machine at any point. The only tool used is a boning knife, in such a way that the piece remains intact but without the bone and its corresponding hoof.
A true art!
Processing Boneless Ham Pieces
The processing at Enrique Tomás involves simply cutting the pieces in half and vacuum-sealing them for sale. This may sound very straightforward, but it's not always done that way elsewhere. In fact, these boneless pieces often consist of different loose parts from various pieces, which are then combined into a compact block. They are then frozen to hold them together and make them appear as though they came from a single piece. Upon thawing, it appears as a half ham or shoulder. Additionally, in this type of processing, lower-quality parts are often used. However, this is not the case at Enrique Tomás, because we respect everything from the pig and its ham pieces to the consumer. That's why we offer only quality pieces at the best price.
Why Buy Boneless Hams?
Based on experience, they are mainly used for bars or restaurants that have their own slicer. There are also large families that have an electric slicer at home and often purchase this format. However, the most common practice is that, after buying a shoulder or ham, we usually go to our trusted butcher at the market or neighborhood store and ask them to slice it the way we like, whether thin or slightly thicker, etc.
On the other hand, in other places like France, Germany, and other Nordic countries like Finland or Sweden, there is more of a tradition of buying boneless pieces. We believe one of the reasons is that, obviously, Iberian ham is not easy to find in these countries, and they don't have the habit of shopping at local stores; instead, they go to large supermarkets where products are mostly packaged and ready to go.
Hence, most households have their own slicer. The format is somewhat subjective and chosen based on individual needs. Quality is the most important factor. A boneless piece has to be as good as a whole piece, except without the bone. However, it dries out quicker if not consumed within a reasonable time. This is especially true after removing it from the vacuum-sealed packaging.
We explain it in more detail below.
Enrique Tomás Boneless Iberian Fattened Ham Half Piece
How to Store Unopened Boneless Ham
As mentioned earlier, boneless hams are all those legs that, as their name suggests, have had the bone removed and are in high demand among those who have a slicer at home.
The first thing to consider if you have a piece like this is that the bone helps preserve the ham. So, if you buy a boneless fattened Iberian ham or a boneless acorn-fed Iberian ham, it will last less than a whole one, and you'll need to consume it sooner.
For instance, a seven-kilogram Iberian leg should be consumed within a maximum of two weeks once opened during the summer. In winter, this period can extend to three weeks.
When it comes to boneless ham, the time for consumption is significantly reduced. So, in this case, it's particularly important to eat a little bit every day.
If you've purchased it vacuum-sealed and won't be eating it yet, keep in mind that you can store it unopened for up to three months. Simply store it in a dark, dry pantry with an average temperature of 17 to 21°C (62 to 70°F).
If you don't have a pantry, you can also store it in a kitchen cupboard, but make sure it's not too close to a heat source like the oven.By the way, if you need to know how to open a ham or how to start slicing an Iberian shoulder, you can find it in these very useful articles on our blog.
How to Store Opened Boneless Ham
As we've seen, if we store the ham unopened, there's no need to put it in the fridge and take up space there. However, the same doesn't apply once we've started consuming our Iberian ham.
As soon as you take it out of the package, the piece will come into contact with oxygen again, and therefore, the preservation process will be compromised. But don't worry! This doesn 't mean you have to devour it; you just need to eat it as soon as possible. Have a little every day, then store it in an airtight container and put it in the refrigerator.
If you can't finish it and you're not sure what to do with the firm ham, you can either prepare it in cubes to integrate into various recipes, like in lentils with ham and chorizo or in creamy Iberian ham croquettes, or you can invite your close family and friends over for a meal.
If you prepare authentic Iberian dishes, some Sevillian breadsticks, or a bit of toasted bread with olive oil and a good wine that pairs well with ham or beer, you'll see how everyone will be delighted! Therefore, how to store boneless ham? The best place to keep the ham is in your stomach—eat it as soon as possible!Thanks to the advice from Enrique Tomás, you're now an expert on boneless ham. And now that you know everything about these delicious pieces, all that's left is to try them. Take a look at all the delicious products in our online store.