How to Slice Spanish Ham (Jamon)
A ham stand (Jamonero) should always be used for supporting ham on the bone whilst slicing with a flexible sharp ham knife. There is a special cutting technique, which comes with practise, to produce fine, wafer thin, slices of meat. (You should be able to see the knife through the ham.) Please ensure that your ham knife is very sharp and take great care when cutting. Do be careful!
1) With the hoof of the ham pointing away from you and the ham secured in the jamonero, remove any hard skin and fat according to how much ham you wish to cut. Keep the fat for protecting the meat later. This can be used to cover any exposed ham when not in use, in order to keep the ham moist.
2) Cut slices along the top of the ham, parallel with the base of the jamonero, with short sawing motions. Try and achieve wafer thin slices for best results, as thicker slices can be chewy.
3) When finished, place any excess fat on the exposed meat or cover with olive oil and cling flim to seal the meat from the air and keep fresh for the next slice.
4) When you have eventually sliced down to the bone, swivel the ham around on the jamonero and start slicing again. Finally, trim down to the bone which can now be cut up into small pieces for stews or for making a rich flavoured stock.
Boneless hams can be sliced with either a sharp knife or with the new slicing machines that are now available. For best results try to slice the ham as thinly as possible.
Spanish jamons contain less moisture than their European counterparts. Considered to be the finest in Andalucia, Spain. Still made in the traditional way, these hams are entirely cured by the warm summer winds and cool winter airs of the Sierra Nevada.