Ibérico Pork in the Neighborhood

The New York Times


April 17, 2012

Florence Fabricant

Call it the other red meat. Uncured cuts of pork from Spanish Ibérico pigs, the same ones that forage for acorns and become some of the finest hams on the planet, are now being sold online in the United States, by Wagshal’s in Washington; La Tienda in Williamsburg, Va.; and Nicky USA in Portland, Ore. Need I say grilling season? The fresh meat is red, beeflike and marbled. Seared medium rare, then sliced, it is silky-tender, with a mildly earthy flavor. It is not as buttery as Wagyu beef, so you are not sated after two bites.

The new Web sources allow home cooks to buy skirt steaks, tenderloins, shoulder steaks and end-loin steaks called pluma, mostly in one-pound portions. Some purveyors also carry cheeks and racks of ribs. The pluma is delicious brushed with Japanese ponzu, a soy-based sauce, before grilling, then sliced and served over a salad of Asian greens. Fajitas made with the skirt steaks are worthy of fine dining.

And for those who prefer to have someone else do the cooking, Chris DeLuna, the chef at La Fonda del Sol in Midtown Manhattan, last week started serving Ibérico skirt steaks, sliced tenderloins and rib-eye chops, some garnished with green sauces.

Ibérico de Bellota pork is shipped frozen in various cuts, including skirt steaks, end loins, tenderloins and shoulders, from tienda.com; $28 to $58. At La Fonda del Sol, 200 Park Avenue (Vanderbilt Avenue at 44th Street), (212) 867-6767, the skirt steak is $14 as a tapa; as an entree, the tenderloin is $32 and the rib-eye is $34.

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