How to: Carve a Joselito Ham
The Art Of Tasting A Joselito
Before starting to carve a Joselito ham it is very important to become familiar with all of its different parts:
- Maza: the thickest part, meat infiltrated by fine fat veins.
- Babilla: much leaner, thus, slightly drier.
- Codillo: fibrous and intermingled with fine tendons, but very sweet and scented.
- Punta: with a concentration of salt superior to the rest and with a more noticeable aroma.
Moreover, you will need a useful “jamonero” made of wood or metal on which you will place the ham. You will also need two knives.
- Cuchillo de jamón: the classic one. Long, narrow and flexible, with a rounded end and perfectly sharpened in order to cut very thin slices.
- Cuchillo auxiliar: to open the ham and remove the hard crust.
The Carving Step-By-Step
- A complete incision should be made around the “codillo” (knuckle), from where you should start removing the tough crust from the piece.
- You will remove, little by little, the external fat that covers the ham until you arrive at the reddish meat, leaving a layer of fat of approximately a finger-thick.
- The ham will be first carved around the “babilla”, that is to say, the narrowest central part.
- You should always carve uniformly.
- As you get deeper, you should remove the fat from the side part of the ham and keep it for later use to conserve the ham.
- The carving area will be getting wider as you deepen and approach the bone.
- In order to preserve the ham, you should cover the cut with the fat you had reserved. Then cover it with gauze or a cloth; in this way, you will prevent the ham from getting too parched.
- Once you arrive at the bone, you will proceed to turn the ham over and start carving the thickest part, that is, the “maze”.
- With the same fat you used to cover the ham, you will rub the cutting surface when you finish carving. The fat of the ham is the best protection.
- As you approach the bone, the carving will be getting more and more intricate but you can still get much ham from these fine parts.