Presa Pork from Portugal
Pork was never a meat that particularly inspired me. Other than the crackling, I have found pork to be the most frequently disappointing of the Sunday roasts.
All this was before I moved to Portugal and before I discovered Porco Preto (black pork), also sometimes known as porco iberico.
This is not ordinary, dull pork with a tiny window between food-poisoning-red and tough-and-gristly grey. This is something special, and something that I’ve started eating regularly.
A particularly favoured cut is presa, which, from a quick online research, I have learned comes from the shoulder loin.
Presa was recommended to us after we mentioned to a friend that we enjoyed a particularly tender marbled cut known as secreto, which here is often served on the pink side and richly salted.
Presa takes tender pork to the next level. In fact, if you were to blindfold someone and ask them to try it, they would probably think they were eating beef steak rather than pork.
We’ve found it’s best served simply grilled with plenty of seasoning. In recent times, we’ve accompanied it with chargrilled apples seasoned with salt, pepper and a little brown sugar. It’s basically pork and apple sauce but so much better.
If you haven’t already, make it your business to cook some presa. You’ll find it in Spain too.