& COOKING ARTICLE
Hams - choosing your ham stand
Orce Serrano Hams
are a few factors to take into consideration when choosing
your ham stand; these can include design, functionality
and price. All ham stands will accommodate full bone-in
hams. For heavier, larger hams a bigger stand is better
though to help maintain stability when carving.
most common design of ham stand is the basic "jamonero",
found in most kitchens all over Spain. These models
vary in appearance but are generally made from pine
and have a two point clamping system - a spike on the
base and a large screw at the top for securing the top
of the leg nearest the hoof.
up the range ham stands tend to become larger in size
with wider bases and three, five and even seven point
clamping systems. These larger, heavier stands secure
the ham differently. Most have a threaded bolt through
a double neck system which, when the ham is placed in
the stand clamps the leg from both sides, the neck of
the stand moves inwards and outwards and is a more effective
way of securely holding a ham in place.
the top of the range there are "rotating"
ham stands, favoured by professional ham carvers and
chefs throughout Spain. These models are much larger
and significantly heaver with metal fixtures and the
all important rotating head. The main advantage to this
range is stability and the fact that when turning the
ham you do not need to remove it from the stand. The
top part of the leg is tightly secured in the rotation
system so when one side is exhausted the base of the
ham can be elevated and "turned". These stands
are very substantial, decorative and make superb kitchen
the hams they secure a ham stand will last a very long
time so in effect could be a one time purchase. As a
general rule choose a larger stand for larger hams,
in the case of Iberico hams which are different in shape
to that of the Serrano ham a larger stand is essential.
An Iberian leg comes from a different breed of hog producing
a more slender ham which in most cases is longer than
a Serrano ham so a larger design of stand will be required.
about angles . . .
models of ham stand hold the leg on its side (almost
flat) allowing carving from left to right or vice versa.
You can also carve the ham by placing the ham and stand
directly in front of you slicing away from you (never
towards!) There are no hard and fast rules so find a
carving position you are most comfortable with.
larger models the ham is sometimes sitting higher, hoof
elevated so the ham sits at around a forty five degree
angle. This is true in most cases with rotating ham
stands and a favoured way in Spain to carve a ham.
stands can be wall mounted; this is quite common in
restaurants and tapas bars where the ham is almost always
carved behind the bar in full view of the public. The
ham is clamped in an almost vertical position and does
require some practice carving if you are used to other
designs. The benefit of these wall mounted ham stands
is that they significantly save on space.
the stand is to be used often, try and choose a larger
model, these will both last longer and are more secure
for heavier hams.
Iberico hams a larger model will also be required -
Iberico hams are longer than Serrano hams.
- the smaller front leg, quite happy in a smaller stand
as they are shorter and weigh much less than the full
Copyright 2008 Orce Serrano Hams - www.orceserranohams.com
21 January 2008
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