Evidently, I am supposed to stop using white plates for my pictures. I only found this out once the meal was plated but at least in this case, my resident photographer did a really nice job. I am hoping that once she receives her Christmas present, I will never have to take a photograph again!
Regardless of what you may think...this is not steak...but look at that marbling...look at how red the meat is...you might mistaken it for a dry aged steak. This is Iberico de Bellota pork...the premier pork of Spain. These free range pigs have been feasting on acorns for a significant period of their lives...they are to pork what Waygu is to beef. Even better, these little piggies snacked in the countryside near Cordoba and I have been there twice so they are like family to me.
No, you won't find this from your butcher. So far, I can only find this through La Tienda.com...which is a wonderful story in and of itself. A Navy Chaplain was stationed a significant amount of his career in Spain and he and his family fell in love with the country....can't say that I blame them. He comes back to the States, retires near Williamsburg, VA and starts is own mail-order company specializing in all food Spanish. Jamie purchased a Paella kit from them almost 10 years ago as a Christmas present and I have been a convert ever since. I think they were instrumental in getting the government to even allow Iberico into the U.S. Bless you.
Recently, they started selling Iberico steaks...this was a little over a pound. It is so well marbled and really only needs salt and pepper. Since I couldn't get to the grill, I cooked it over medium-high heat in a Lodge...it was a pretty thick cut of meat so it took about 15 minutes or so. I seared it on both sides and then flipped it every few minutes. Before serving, let it stand about five minutes, covered in foil. Cut it thinly...do not worry that it looks red...it will be red. But you can tell if it is cooked to the proper temperature.
It isn't cheap but it is delicious and is worthy of Christmas cooking. We served it (again) with sautéed spinach and fried some beautiful fingerling potatoes (with bacon). Let the pork fest begin!