The quality of a shoulder is not only related to the pig it comes from or the curing process but also affected by the conditions in which you keep it.
At Enrique Tomás, concerned about your cured ham always being delicious, we're going to explain how to store an Iberian shoulder at home, whether it's opened or unopened.
How to Store an Unopened Iberian Shoulder
Before asking about the preservation of ham, you need to ask yourself how to start an Iberian shoulder. The first thing to consider is that only in drying rooms are the exact conditions of light, temperature, and humidity that each shoulder needs present, and it's almost impossible to reproduce the same environment at home. However, if you've been gifted a whole shoulder and you're wondering how to store an unopened Iberian shoulder, don't worry because by following our advice, you'll be able to keep it in good condition for a few days.
Once you have your piece at home, you have to start by removing the netting that surrounds it because if you store it with it, it can develop mold. The leg needs to breathe, and for that, you have to hang it in a dry place away from abrupt temperature changes. For example, the kitchen is not an optimal place to store your Iberian shoulder because the heat from the stove can affect its meat. Some of the places where you can hang it are the pantry, the storeroom, or even the garage, as long as it's private.
Once you've placed the piece in the location you've chosen, hanging it by the hoof, you won't have to pay more attention to it because it doesn't need to be greased since the fat that surrounds each shoulder protects it and keeps it tender.
Store the shoulder in a dry place without abrupt temperature changes
What to Do to Preserve an Opened Iberian Shoulder
After admiring your shoulder for a few days, it's understandable that you can't resist and want to start enjoying it. Let's do it!
The first step is to make sure you have the shoulder in a ham holder and cut slices according to your preference. As we often say at Enrique Tomás, "keep slicing," meaning it's recommended that you cut a few slices of the shoulder every day. You can even invite friends and family to share this feast. If you don't keep up, you might not even get to taste it!
However, if you haven't managed to finish it, you might be concerned about how to store an opened Iberian shoulder. Don't worry; at Enrique Tomás, we're here to help you.
Steps to Take
The first thing to consider is that the same applies as with the whole shoulder: you must avoid exposure to temperature changes or any heat source at all costs. In this case, the kitchen is the most common place, but you have to keep it as far away from the oven or the stove as possible. Likewise, it's advisable not to place it near a window where direct sunlight could reach it.
- To prevent the meat from drying out, the first thing you need to do is not remove more fat than necessary since, as we explained earlier, it acts as a protector and helps the piece stay in good condition longer.
- So, once you cut the fat, you have to dispose of it because it's not suitable for covering the shoulder for a straightforward reason: if it turns rancid and you put it next to the shoulder, its flavor could affect it and make its nuances and aromas disappear.
- The best way to cover the leg is to use a clean, lint-free cotton cloth or transparent film. It's always essential to know how to cover a ham so that it doesn't dry out to improve its fat preservation.
- However, even if you use the cloth, you won't be able to prevent the outer layer from drying out, but that's okay. If this happens, all you need to do is cut it and use it to prepare different dishes, such as creamy Iberian ham croquettes. At Enrique Tomás, we always advocate for using every part of the pig, from nose to tail, so we don't waste anything.
As you can see, preserving an Iberian shoulder properly is not that difficult; you just need to pay attention to various factors that, if you have under control, will help your cured meat maintain all its flavors and nuances. Follow our advice, and you'll see!
So now you know that if you have a shoulder at home, it's best to eat it quickly! But if you don't want to have this worry, don't forget that you can always buy any of our sliced packs, the best ham in the world sliced by machine or knife by our professionals.
Which one do you choose?