Abanico Iberico Pork with optional Peppercorn Sauce

Albanico Iberico is a recent discovery for me. Abanico Iberico is the part that wraps the ribs from the outside. It is a thin piece of Iberian pork, rich in fat, streaky marbling, which makes it perfect for pan cooking, grilling or cooking on the barbecue, giving you a tasty, juicy and crispy piece of pork. The name of this cut of meat comes from its form, which looks like a Spanish hand fan.
A very important bit of advice when it comes to cooking 
Abanico Iberico is not to take the fat away, because it is what gives the flavour to the dish,in fact if you were to remove trhe fat there would not be much of substance left.. The sauce is made in the same pan you cook the pork, ensuring all the roasting flavours are kept. Our free range iberican pork supplier Feito No Zambujal was flagging it up on their facebook page and I thought I would order some and give it a try. My first attempt was disappointing but the second time round it produced  a result. It is not an easy cut to work with due to its high fat content but with a very hot frying pan and the addition of butter when you turn it gives a very tasty and succulent piece of meat.

    Pan fried Abanico Iberico
    2 pieces of Abanico Iberico, weighing around 400g
    2 garlic cloves, slightly crushed with the skins on
    A small bunch of fresh thyme
    1 tbsp olive oil
    2 tbsp unsalted butter
    Salt and pepper

    For the peppercorn sauce:
    2 banana shallots, finely chopped
    1 garlic clove, finely chopped
    1 tbsp green peppercorns in brine, slightly crushed
    1 tsp black peppercorns, crushed
    2 sprigs of fresh thyme, picked and finely chopped
    100ml Spanish brandy
    150ml Chicken stock
    50ml whipping cream

    Rub the pieces of abanico iberico with one tbsp of the oil, add some seasoning, then cook in a hot frying pan for about 2 minutes on each side for medium rare or for 3 minutes for medium. When you turn the pork, add the garlic cloves, fresh thyme and one tablespoon of butter and spoon the foaming butter all over until it is nicely coated. Remove from the pan, place the abanico, garlic and herbs in a warm plate, cover with foil and rest for 5 minutes.

     A quick and tasty main course using Abanico Iberico pork is to serve it with a fiery peppercorn sauce that will impress anyone.
    To make the peppercorn sauce, use the same pan you have cooked the pork in but drain the cooking oil and let the pan cool down before you handle it. Add one tablespoon of butter and fry the chopped shallots, garlic, crushed peppercorns and thyme gently, making sure you scrape all the caramelisation from cooking pork which is stuck to the pan. Add the Spanish brandy, bring to the boil, flambé and reduce by half. Add the chicken stock and reduce by half again until the sauce is nice and syrupy. Check for seasoning, add a few dashes of Worcester sauce and on a low heat, add the whipping cream mixing well until you have a glossy creamy sauce. Heat through, but don't allow the peppercorn sauce to boil.
    To serve, slice your abanico iberico and place on a warm plate, spooning the peppercorn sauce and serving with your choice of vegetables and potatoes.


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