Ibérico Ham With Texas Twang

Raised in Hill Country, the pork from Texas Iberico relies on southwest flavors, like hickory smoke and chile.


By Florence Fabricant

In 2014 a herd of black Spanish Ibérico pigs, the black variety that forages on acorns, were brought to the United States with government approval. Some of them were sent to Trails End Ranch in Texas Hill Country. Now some of the pork can land on your table. Texas Iberico, a joint project of Ashly Martin, the owner of the ranch, and Tim Harris, the chief executive of La Tienda, the Williamsburg, Va., Spanish market and website founded by his family, is infusing its meats with the distinctive flavors of Texas, not Spain. In addition to dry aging, the hams are also being hickory smoked, giving them intriguing fragrance and flavor. The company also cures loins with prickly pear juice for a sweet aftertaste, seasons coppa with honey and chile, and makes cold-smoked chorizo that has more chile than pimentón in the flavor. The guanciale and bacon are excellent. Fresh meat, like baby back ribs, is also available and cooks to rich succulence.

Texas Iberico, texasiberico.com, tienda.com.

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