Keeping Jamon Iberico [split from LA]
(Note: This thread was split from the LA board at: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8732... -- The Chowhound Team)
Makes perfect sense.... Places that are selling it retail often have to build in their costs of doing business and probably need to make the slices thin for more reasons than that's the fashionable way to eat it....
I'd love to know how one keeps such a ham, especially if they are just slicing it paper thin. How long would the ham last before it starts to deteriorate? The ham you buy at delis is full of preservatives, but you still need to use the package in about seven days before it starts to get funky.... Do you refrigerate the whole thing? Or hang it in your cellar, if you are fortunate enough to have one?
Cover with a mildly moist cheesecloth in a dry, airy room, at room temp. By the time it reaches the consumer, a properly prepared jamon has already been curing by hanging in a room exposed to the elements for over 3 years already.
Though a jamon has never lasted this long at our house in Madrid (it's just too darned yummy), it supposedly can last at least 4-5 weeks at room temperature (providing it's covered as described above when not being accessed) once the slicing begins.
I understand it has been aging for years at the point of retail sale. I just wondered once you slice into it, how long does it realistically last. So you're saying about 4-5 weeks.... Not bad I guess, but if you're using the fancy pants slicer and slicing it wafer thin, then it must be jamon for breakfast, lunch & dinner, plus the few times you feel generous enough to share it for a party or two.... ;-))
Puede lavar el jamón antes de empezarlo. Sin timidez, incluso con agua caliente. Una vez seco al aire, puede darle una capa de aceite de oliva para una mejor conservación. Evite la humedad. Mantenerlo en lugar seco y aireado cubierto con un paño de algodón, no de plástico. Conserve la tira ancha de tocino fresco para tapar el corte y mantenerlo más sabroso y no se preocupe más. Así se conservará perfectamente a las temperaturas normales de una casa.
You can wash the ham before usage, even with hot water. Once it's dry, you can "paint" it with a layer of olive oil to improve conservation. Avoid humidity. Keep it in a dry and airy place, covered not with plastic but with cotton cloth. Use a wide slice of fresh bacon to cover the cut, and that's it. It'll keep ok at a house's normal temperature.