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Jul 27, 2007 10:45 PM

Secret De Iberico????

Hi guys. Last year in BCN, went to Noti and had Secreto de Iberico (sic), and it was probably the most delicious piece of pork I have ever eaten.. Does anyone know the precise cut used for this dish and any other restaurants where they may serve it.

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  1. The cut is called "secreto" and it comes from the Iberian pig (cerdo ibérico), near the front leg. It is served all over Madrid in tapas bars to restaurants... You might also look for the cuts pluma ibérica and presa ibérica.

    9 Replies
    1. re: butterfly

      Thank you for this information! Everywhere I went in Spain, I kept wondering what the "secret" was. It was usually too expensive for me to try it out, although I probably should have.

        1. re: butterfly

          Thank you Butterfly, great help. I translated the Spanish to English on your link and it says the following:

          SECRET IBERICO. Piece with much intermuscular fat, is integrated behind paletilla and underneath the bacon. "the armpit or crosspiece" is considered the secret of more quality. A true one manjar that one undoes in the mouth

          FYI, I translated this on an amazing website which translates whole pieces of text: in several languages. I then looked up Paletilla and it says it is the shoulder.

          Ekomega, if you come across it again, try it, it was amazing. Butterfly, I look forward to trying the other cuts you mentioned.

          1. re: Aroina

            What it should say is that the part of the secreto that is of the highest quality is the part that is located under the arm beneath the layer of fat (usually called secreto extra, I believe). La palatilla is the meat surrounding the upper part of the front leg (though often the whole front leg is sold as paletilla--particularly when salt-cured).

            > A true one manjar that one undoes in the mouth.

            Ha--A real delicacy that melts in your mouth.

            1. re: Aroina

              Aroina, how was it served? Sliced thin? Any accompaniments? Would love to hear a description, as my mouth is watering as i think about jamon iberico (which is not available here in Canada as far as i can tell). I love that stuff, and this link has gotten me thinking about gorging on that stuff in Spain! As a trip to Spain is not in the works in the near future, I'll have to live vicariously through this board....

              1. re: moh

                All meat from the iberian pig is delicious (not so mention the other products like jamón, paletilla, lomo, chorizo, salchichon, morcilla, etc.). You can buy it at any market and find it in many restaurants.

                Secreto ibérico is usually served a la plancha (grilled) or a la brasa (cooked over coals) or roasted. For such a high quality ingredient, in my opinion, a simple preparation is best. I had a memorable version at Nunc est bibendum (in Madrid on Cava Alta 13) as brochetas (kebabs).

                1. re: butterfly

                  Thank you Butterfly. I agree, a simple preparation is best for a quality ingredient. When I had it last year, it was I believe either grilled or lightly pan fried. It was extremely tender and for Moh's query, I would say it has a wonderful taste which is rich without being too rich, and intensity of flavour, delicious texture.

                  I love the Iberican Jamon and Chorizo. I will try some of the other cuts and sausages as well.

                  Thank you Butterfly for the Nunc est Bibendum suggestion.

                  1. re: Aroina

                    Since we were talking about secreto here, I ordered it last night at a little neighborhood joint. It certainly wasn't the sort of top quality cut that you would get at a temple of gastronomy, but it was delicious nonetheless. Cut into little strips, grilled, then tossed over fried potatoes and pimientos de padrón (Gallego style). The juices from the meat drip into the potatoes. Don't even think about trimming off the fat--that's the best part. 10 euros ($13.60).

                    Places like this are a dime a dozen, but I'll post the info for it here, since it is close to the Reina Sofía and not terribly far from the Prado:

                    O'Pazo de Lugo
                    c/Argumosa, 28

                    You can stand at the bar and order beer and get free tapas or grab one of the tables in the bar. There's also a dining room in the back, but the menu may be different back there (a common trait in many bar/restaurants). They also have pulpo (octopus), big salads (the one with cheese and pine nuts is particularly good--though might be too oily for some), vegetables "a la plancha," clams, and other gallego favorites. They have another restaurant a few blocks away in Lavapies:

                    c/Valencia, 4

                    Again, nothing fancy at all, just everyday food (which, in my opinion, is pretty exceptional in Madrid).

                    1. re: butterfly

                      Do you have any recommendations on places--and they don't need to be temples of gastronomy, either--for ordering this in Barcelona? I'd be much obliged: I will have plenty of time there to seek this out, and, after reading all this, I intend to do it!