Presa Ibérico with Mojo Verde
Adapted from José Andrés and Ramón Martinez, Jaleo, Washington, D.C.
José Andrés’s Jaleo is the epicenter of the Spanish tapas boom in the U.S. Andrés and Jaleo’s culinary director, Ramón Martínez, reworked this tapas-style dish to be served as an entrée for two.
If your romantic mood is adventure, this is the meal for you. First, it’s a bit of a quest to find presa Ibérico de Bellota, an uncured cut from between the shoulder and the loin of black-footed Ibérico de Bellota pigs. (Try Tienda or order a pork shoulder steak in advance from a specialty butcher.) But once you pull it together, you’ll be transported. This is the perfect meal over which to make plans for travels to come.
- 3 garlic cloves
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup well-packed cilantro leaves or parsley leaves, chopped
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Sherry vinegar
- ½–¾ pound presa Ibérico de Bellota or pork shoulder steak
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (if cooking indoors)
- 4–5 fresh rosemary sprigs
- Flaky sea salt, like Maldon, to taste
- Confit piquillo peppers (recipe below)
- Pan con tomate (recipe below)
To make mojo verde, use mortar and pestle to grind garlic and salt into smooth paste. Add cilantro/parsley and cumin seeds, and continue to grind. Slowly pour in olive oil while grinding. Add Sherry vinegar and 1 teaspoon cold water. Combine well. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
If using grill, set to high heat. Add rosemary sprigs to fire, and cook presa Ibérico de Bellota for 4–5 minutes on each side, or until internal temperature is 130˚F for medium-rare. Rest meat for 5 minutes, then sprinkle with flaky sea salt.
If cooking indoors, heat oven to 450˚F. In large cast-iron pan on stovetop over high heat, warm 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. Sear presa for approximately 2 minutes on each side. Place rosemary sprigs on presa, and transfer pan to oven. Cook for 5–7 minutes, or until internal temperature is 130˚F for medium-rare. Rest meat for 5 minutes, then sprinkle with flaky sea salt.
Divide presa between two plates. Serve with mojo verde, peppers and pan con tomate. Serves 2.
Heat oven to 250˚F. Put 5 piquillo peppers (fresh or canned), 1 teaspoon sugar and 2 tablespoons cold water in blender, and purée. Cover bottom of 8-inch ceramic baking dish with purée. Place 20 piquillo peppers (or remainder of can) atop purée in single layer. Season with salt, and add 2 smashed cloves garlic. Pour 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil on top to submerge peppers. Cover with lid or aluminum foil.
Bake for 1½–2 hours, or until soft. Remove from oven, and let peppers cool to room temperature. This can be done 24 hours in advance. Use tongs to remove peppers from oil, and serve. Save leftover oil for other uses, if you like.
Cut 1 large, ripe tomato in half, and grate cut sides on box grater. Discard skins. Add 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil to tomato. Season with kosher salt, to taste. Toast or grill 2 slices bread, like baguette or ciabatta. Spoon tomato over toast, then drizzle with more olive oil, if desired. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt, like Maldon.
Jordi Paronella, sommelier at Jaleo, recommends the Bodegas Ontañon 2010 Reserva from Rioja, Spain. “[The year] 2010 was an excellent vintage for the Reserva. It goes really well with the presa Ibérico. Oak aging brings out some spice notes that will perfectly complement the rosemary smoke and the brightness of the mojo verde, as well as some of the smokiness from the piquillos. There is a touch of Graciano in the blend, which adds some acidity to cut the fattiness of the pork.”