Presa Iberica with melon ajo blanco

This stunning presa Ibérica recipe shows off this prized variety of pork in all its glory – a rich marinade of soy, sesame and sherry add an umami flavour to the quickly seared meat, which is served with a refreshing melon ajo blanco. Iberian black pigs naturally have bountiful marbling in their meat and feast on acorns in the autumn, which provides a uniquely rich flavour and texture.

First published in 2019
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Ingredients

Metric

Imperial

Presa Ibérica

Marinade

  • 15g of ginger, sliced
  • 150ml of soy sauce
  • 80g of brown sugar
  • 50ml of sesame oil
  • 100ml of mirin
  • 100ml of fino sherry

Melon ajo blanco

Equipment

  • Blender
  • Barbecue or chargrill pan

Method

1
You'll need to start this dish at least one day before serving, as both the pork and the ajo blanco need time to marinate. To begin, add all of the marinade ingredients to a pan and bring to the boil. Cook until the sugar has dissolved and the raw alcohol has evaporated
  • 100ml of fino sherry
  • 15g of ginger, sliced
  • 100ml of mirin
  • 150ml of soy sauce
  • 80g of brown sugar
  • 50ml of sesame oil
2
Using a smoking hot chargrill pan or barbecue, seal the presa all over – you just want to get a nice dark colour on the outside but not cook the meat inside. Angel uses a Josper grill in the kitchen at Barrafina, a professional-grade grill that reaches extremely high temperatures, so get your pan or barbecue as hot as it will go
3
Once evenly browned, allow the meat to cool then submerge in the marinade. Place in the fridge for 24 hours
4
To make the ajo blanco, mix together all the ingredients (except the olive oil) and leave to marinate in the fridge overnight
5
The next day, add the marinated ajo blanco ingredients to a blender and blitz until smooth. With the blender running on a low speed, drizzle in the olive oil to emulsify the mixture. Season to taste and set aside until ready to serve
  • salt
  • 100ml of olive oil, preferably Arbequina
6
When ready to serve, remove the presa from the marinade and use a very sharp knife to cut into as fine slices as you can manage. Allow to come to room temperature
7
Add generous spoonfuls of the ajo blanco to each plate and arrange slices of the presa on top. Spoon over a little more of the marinade and garnish with sorrel, flaked almonds, chopped chives and a little flaky sea salt. Serve immediately
First published in 2019
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As executive chef of London’s lauded Barrafina restaurants, Angel Zapata Martin is a figurehead for authentic Spanish tapas in the UK.

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