Do you have a ham at home and don't know where to start eating it? The first step is to clearly know how to position the ham in the ham holder so that cutting it (and enjoying it) is as simple as possible.
In the world of gastronomy, hams are placed in the ham holder with the hoof facing upwards to first cut the meat from the thigh, which is juicier and more tender. However, as it's evident, a ham doesn't last the same as in a restaurant as it does at home, and therefore it doesn't necessarily need to be started the same way.
That's why at Enrique Tomás, we clarify the situation for you so that you discover the right way to do it and thus enjoy your ham to the fullest.
Placing the Ham in the Ham Holder for Home Consumption
The first thing you need to do is to buy a quality ham. To do this, it's best to visit a specialized store or a gourmet supermarket. Once you have your Gran Reserva or Iberian Bellota leg, start immediately so that you can fully enjoy the pleasure of tasting it.
How Many People Are in Your Household?
As soon as you get home, remove the white cloth cover it comes wrapped in and place it in the ham holder. But how do you do it? The first thing to consider is how many people are in your household. Families consisting of two or three members won't eat the ham as quickly as a larger family, so it's recommended to place the hoof upwards and start cutting the ham from the thigh. This way, since the thigh is the juiciest and most flavorful part, everyone can enjoy it before it dries out.
Once you've consumed the desired amount of ham, you can go to a specialized store like Enrique Tomás to slice the remaining meat and vacuum pack it for convenient enjoyment later on.
For Special Occasions
However, when you acquire a ham for a special event with many people attending or to enjoy with a large group of family and friends, it's ideal to place it in the ham holder with the hoof facing downward to start with the "babilla," the more cured part of the ham. This part, being slightly drier, should preferably be consumed earlier to ensure a more pleasant flavor.
Since there are many mouths to feed, the "babilla" will be finished quickly, and by the time you reach the thigh, this part will still be tender and delicious. You can eat to your heart's content!
And remember, if you have a whole piece of good ham at home, don't keep it all to yourself; share it with friends and family so that everyone can enjoy the pleasure of an exclusive gourmet product from our land.
Types of Ham Holders
There are various types based on their design and price. Prices typically range from >10 euros to <100 euros. The most important thing is that they are secure and that the ham or shoulder are securely held and don't move, as unstable support can affect the cutting process and pose greater risks for the cutter.
The critical point is that the ham holder should fit the specific ham you have. Not all ham holders are suitable for cutting every type of ham or shoulder; it depends on their weight and size. Therefore, when acquiring one, consider the weight range that particular ham holder covers.
Enrique Tomás Ham Holders
Professional Ham Holder - Luxury Mode
An easy-to-use ham holder designed for home use. The "Luxury Mode" ham board from Enrique Tomás not only allows you to comfortably slice ham at home but also has practical movable wooden arms on the base, adjustable to securely hold the piece of ham or shoulder.
Premium Rotating Ham Holder
Nothing like a good Professional Ham Holder to enjoy the art of slicing ham. With this rotating ham support, you can make the most of your piece of ham or shoulder thanks to its rotating handle, adjustable to all sizes. With an elegant dual-tone lacquered base, this ham support is ideal for both home and professional use. This is the type of ham board that the ham experts at Enrique Tomás use to obtain the best ham slices, because the best ham deserves the best ham holder.
And How Do I Slice It?
At Enrique Tomás, we offer cutting courses where we teach how to slice ham. For example, you need to know that you should cut it in the opposite direction of the hoof and follow our rule: ensure that each slice has the exact thickness.
When slicing, you should intuit the shape of the knife. If the knife is not visible, the slice will be too thick, while if the knife is very noticeable, the result will be a very thin slice that won't allow you to fully appreciate the flavor. The result should be a piece of ham that, when placed on your tongue, the cured oil melts on the palate, allowing you to enjoy all the nuances.
So, by cutting gradually, you'll eventually reach the bone. To get the most out of the leg, you need to continue cutting the meat around the bone with the knife. You'll obtain luxurious shavings! When you can't cut any more, it's time to turn the ham around.
Just as you previously removed the fat from the "babilla" or the thigh, depending on where you started, you must do the same with the opposite side. Once sliced, extract any remaining ham as shavings or chunks and enjoy them with a bit of bread and oil. Irresistible!
For more information on how to slice and the utensils to use at each step, check out our guide: "How to Slice Ham", along with a short explanatory video.
Other Tips and Recommendations
There are three aspects to consider when placing the ham in the ham holder and slicing it:
- Hold the knife firmly in one hand and grip the ham by the hoof with the other. Ham knives are very sharp and can be dangerous, as they need to be well sharpened. Keep them out of children's reach.
- Slicing the ham is crucial to fully enjoy the cured flavor. As ham experts, we know that slices shouldn't be too thick or too thin; they should have the exact thickness. Remember, the knife should be felt behind the slice.
- Once you start slicing the ham at home, it's obvious you won't cut it all at once. Therefore, protect it from the outside properly. Experts recommend covering the ham with a lint-free cloth to shield it from air, which could cause the meat to oxidize.
Now you know what to do to place the ham in the ham holder and cut it correctly and safely. Has all this reading made you hungry? Don't hesitate to try the best pieces at Enrique Tomás and buy Iberian ham.