This is a membership forum. As a guest, you can click around a bit. View 3 pages for free. If you would like to participate, please join.

[ Lost Username or Password | Pitmaster Club Information, | Join 30 Days Free | Contact Us ]

There are 2 page views remaining.



Meat-Up in Memphis 2021

Join us in Memphis for our Meat-Up! Space is limited to 400, secure your spot by booking early!
Click here for details. (https://amazingribs.com/memphis)
See more
See less

Secreto de Bellota

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts
  • DavePruett
    Club Member
    • Jan 2018
    • 23

    Secreto de Bellota

    A couple of weeks ago I saw a YouTube video in which something called "secreto" (Spanish for "secret") was being grilled. I had never heard of it, so I did some research. Not a lot of information on YouTube or Google. It is a thin cut of pork from the shoulder that comes from the famous acorn-fed, heritage pigs in Spain ("bellota" is Spanish for acorn). In one video, it was pan fried and in a couple of others it was grilled. Seasonings were just S&P. One video added smoked Spanish paprika and said that's how they do it in Spain. Another source said it was like "Wagyu pork"—very well marbled.

    I had to try it and found it for sale at latienda.com, an excellent online source for Spanish products. It is $60 a lb and comes in a 1 lb package,
    Click image for larger version

Name:	_DJP0854.jpg
Views:	139
Size:	638.1 KB
ID:	540616

    There were two pieces in the vacuum-sealed package that arrived frozen.

    Click image for larger version

Name:	_DJP0858.jpg
Views:	10
Size:	770.1 KB
ID:	540618
    They look a lot like the most wildly marbled skirt steaks you have ever seen.

    I did not want to just throw them on the grill, as the thickness varied from about ⅛" to about 1¼". Grilling seemed like a loser unless you like part of your meat burned and part raw.
    Click image for larger version

Name:	_DJP0862.jpg
Views:	10
Size:	438.4 KB
ID:	540617
    The only thing I could think of to handle that kind of variation was sous vide, followed by a quick trip to the grill.

    Now all I had to to was figure out how to season it. I decided to cut each steak in half and try 4 variations.
    Click image for larger version

Name:	_DJP0864.jpg
Views:	8
Size:	1.25 MB
ID:	540620
    Upper left is S&P only. Upper right: S,P,G & smoked paprika. Lower left: S & Meathead's Memphis Dust. Lower right: Killer Hogs The BBQ Rub.

    I gave them a 3 hour dry brine in the refrigerator. Note that I trimmed off some of the excess surface fat before seasoning. One of my concerns was that the fat melted pretty easily, even in my hand as I was trimming. Would it all melt in the sous vide? I usually sous vide pork loin or pork tenderloin to 140℉. I dialed down to 135, thinking I'd get more cooking on the grill. I gave them 45 min in the sous vide.

    The meat looked great coming out of the water bath. Well, as great as any meat looks coming out of sous vide, which is pretty bad, but it had firmed up and felt properly cooked. On to the grill for about 60-90 sec on each side.
    Click image for larger version

Name:	_DJP0867.jpg
Views:	8
Size:	927.4 KB
ID:	540619

    The sections are laid out in the same order as before cooking.

    The verdict: this is an amazing piece of pork! It is, in fact, very much like eating high-grade Japanese Wagyu. It is incredibly rich and has an intense pork flavor. Expensive, but much less expensive than genuine Japanese Wagyu.

    As to the seasonings, they all worked. It's just a matter of what flavor profile you prefer. Not surprisingly, seasoning with just S&P let the pork flavor really shine through. Just the little smoke it picked up from a short time on the grill was all that was needed.

    Added the G and smoked paprika worked great, G was pretty subtle, but the smokiness and subtle sweetness of the paprika added a lot. (This is supposed to be the preferred seasoning in Spain.)

    Not surprisingly, Meathead's Memphis dust added whole new layers of savory complexity. Pork flavor still came through, but on more-or-less equal terms with the flavors of the rub.

    The Killer Hog BBQ Rub was noticeably sweeter, which was not a bad thing with the richness of the pork.

    Sous vide is definitely a great choice for the main cook. I think even a 10th Degree Black Belt Jedi Grill Master would have a hard time dealing with the tremendous variation in thickness. Maybe a very low, slow smoke?

    If anyone has more experience and knowledge of this cut, I'd love to hear it. It is definitely a luxury, but I will order it again once in a while. I'd only serve 2-4 oz as an appetizer because of the richness, then maybe some awesome BBQ beef.
    Attached Files
  • treesmacker
    Club Member
    • May 2018
    • 824
    • Grants Pass OR
      • Rec Tec Trailblazer RT-340
      • O-Grill 600 Portable Grill with O-Dock
      • Cuisinart 360 Griddle
      • Ooni Fyra (coming soon)

    Great info. Looks delicious. I'd have a hard time paying $60 a pound for any cut of meat, just like I wouldn't pay $100 for a bottle of wine. Just can't imagine, since so many lower cost wines and meats are sooo good why i would pay so much. If I win the lottery, maybe. Though, I appreciate you trying this and sharing! Thanks! Great pics!


    • DavePruett
      DavePruett commented
      Editing a comment
      I get you! $60 a pound is a budget buster for non-millionaires. Japanese Wagyu starts around $300/lb and can go over $1000. I have had small bites in restaurants and it's amazing, but I won't be ordering a steak anytime soon. Like you say—after the lottery!
  • Donw
    Club Member
    • Jul 2017
    • 2721

    Thank you for the write up. Always learning something new and different here.


    • RonB
      Club Member
      • Apr 2016
      • 12137
      • Near Richmond VA
      • Weber Performer Deluxe
        Pizza insert
        Smokenator 1000
        Cookshack Smokette Elite
        2 Thermapens
        lots of probes.

      That sounds great.


      • BriggsBBQ
        Former Member
        • Feb 2016
        • 301
        • Dallas

        Interesting.....I sent a note to my friend from Barcelona to see if he knows more about what part of the shoulder this comes from. I am wondering if this is thin slices of raw money muscle from a pork butt/shoulder. If not I think I need to try doing that on my next pork shoulder cook. Do the think money muscle on the griddle and then slow and low the rest for pulled pork.


        • DavePruett
          DavePruett commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks! Let me know what you learn. The few descriptions I could find on exactly where the secret is cut from ranged form unclear to contradictory, but I am pretty sure it is from the shoulder.
      • Troutman
        Club Member
        • Aug 2017
        • 7109
        • Republic of Texallence

          22" Weber Kettle - Red Premium Limited Edition
          6 Burner Weber Summit Gasser
          22" and 18" Weber WSM Smoker
          18” Jumbo Joe
          36" double door Lyfe Tyme offset stick burner (SOLD !)
          Pitts & Spitts Pellet Pro 2436
          Classic Thermopen
          Thermoworks SMOKE
          Fireboard Pro with Pit Viper fan
          Grill Grates
          SNS for the 22" Weber kettle
          A-MAZE-N Smoker 12" Tube & Tray
          Weber stainless veggie basket
          Weber stainless fish basket
          Weber stainless rib rack
          Phat Mat cooking mats
          Barbestar BBQ Cooking Gloves
          For Beef (brisket, beef ribs, large clods/roasts) = 100% mesquite, oak or hickory
          For Chicken & other fowl = competition blend, cherry/oak/hickory
          For Turkey = 100% hickory or competition blend
          For Pork Shoulder = mesquite, oak or hickory
          For Pork Chops or Ribs = 100% applewood
          SOUS VIDE
          Anova Immersion Circulator 900 watt & 12 & 18 quart Rubbermaid containers with hinged sous vide lids
          Generic Calphalon non-stick cookware set of pots and pans
          12" & 14" All-Clad Stainless skillets
          Cast Iron 12" skillet by Victoria
          La Creuset Cast Iron 7 quart Dutch Oven - Yellow Round
          La Creuset Cast Iron 7 quart Dutch Oven - Cherry Oval
          Old Revere Wear Copper & Stainless Pots (handed down)

          JA Henckels 15 piece Stainless Knife Set
          Victorinox 12" Fibrox Pro Slicing Knive
          Victorinox 6" Curved Boning Knife
          Set of Dalstrong Japanese Steak Knives

        Really good write up and great research, two thumbs up . Have never tried Spanish pork, I've heard the acorn fed are excellent (I know some of our European members rave about it). Having said that, you lost me at $60/lb. Maybe some day I'll treat myself but in the mean time it's American pig for your's truly.


        • DavePruett
          DavePruett commented
          Editing a comment
          I have mostly had the jamón (ham), which is an entirely different thing even though it's from the same pigs. I don't remember ever having a fresh cut of meat from them. I hear you on the $60! Even if it were $10, however, it would still be kind of a rare treat because it is so very rich.
      • EdF
        Club Member
        • Jul 2016
        • 3186
        • Atlantic Highlands, NJ
        • Uuni Pro (new kid in town)
          Karubeque C-60
          Large BGE since 2002 + plate setter + pizza stone + upper grid + stainless paella pan for drippings (the best!)
          TEC Cherokee FR since 2014 (portable infrared grill - does a mighty sear)
          Polyscience Sous Vide Pro since 2012 (wasn't much else available in those days)
          Thermapen Air
          ThermaQ (or its predecessor)
          Thermoworks Hi temp IR
          BBQ Dragon & Chimney of Insanity
          Various other stuff

        Nice writeup. Thanks! I think Henrik has made this recently.


        • Henrik
          Founding Member - Moderator Emeritus
          • Jul 2014
          • 4070
          • Stockholm, Sweden

          It's a great cut, I've done it many times now. One of my favorite pork cuts. I prefer salt only. And I grill it hot and fast. Very hot. Either that, or a griddle. I prefer salt only, as I really want that pork flavor to come through. It is amazing.

          As for the various thickness, don't worry. You'll be fine. I usually serve this very roughly chopped up on a sandwich with sliced nectarines/peaches and coriander. That is a great combo. Pork loves fruits/citrus, and the nectarine/pork combo blows me away every time.


          • DavePruett
            DavePruett commented
            Editing a comment
            I hear you on the salt only. The pork flavor on the S&P only piece was incredible. Definitely all you really need. Other seasonings would be a matter of personal taste. I love the look of your recipe! I hav recently seen (very expensive) Wagyu sandwiches showing up. I like the idea of having the bread to soak up the juices and cut some of the richness and the same would apply to Secreto.

          • Henrik
            Henrik commented
            Editing a comment
            Yep, to each his own. It's always fun to experiment with flavors!
        • Henrik
          Founding Member - Moderator Emeritus
          • Jul 2014
          • 4070
          • Stockholm, Sweden

          Here's my recipe:



          • BriggsBBQ
            BriggsBBQ commented
            Editing a comment
            I just saw some on the site for 53 per lb. It is a lot for meat but good for a special occasion and not as expensive as Wagyu.

          • ItsAllGoneToTheDogs
            ItsAllGoneToTheDogs commented
            Editing a comment
            Henrik, I suspect it's only expensive because small import quantities. After living in the UK I discovered how much I enjoy lamb steaks (not just rack or chops, which are more readily available and not TOO expensive) and Halloumi cheese. Both are extremely expensive. Halloumi the size of a card deck is about $2 in the UK, up to $23 in the US!

          • treesmacker
            treesmacker commented
            Editing a comment



        Meat-Up in Memphis 2021

        Join us in Memphis for our Meat-Up! Space is limited to 400, secure your spot by booking early!
        Click here for details. (https://amazingribs.com/memphis)
        See more
        See less
        Meat-Up in Memphis

        T-Shirts & More T-Shirts & More
        Order men's and women's T-Shirts, Sweatshirts, Aprons, Mugs, Caps, Tote Bags, Flasks, and more, all imprinted with the Pitmaster Club logo. There's even a spiral bound journal where you can make notes on your cooks.

        Cool Embroidered Shirt Cool Embroidered Shirt
        This beautifully embroidered shirt is the same one Meathead wears in public and on TV. It's wash and wear and doesn't need ironing (really!), but it is a soft cottonlike feel. Choice of four colors and both men's and women's.

        Click here for more info.

        Support ARC

        Many merchants pay us a small referral fee when you click our links and purchase from them. On Amazon it works on everything from grills to diapers, they never tell us what you bought, and it has zero impact on the price you pay, but has a major impact on our ability to improve this site! And remember, we only recommend products we love. If you like AmazingRibs.com, please save this link and use it every time you go to Amazon.


        BBQ Stars


        These are not ads or paid placements. These Are Some Of Our Favorite Tools And Toys.

        These are products we have tested, won our top awards, and are highly recommend. Click here to read how we test, about our medals, and what they mean.

        Use our links when you buy things

        Many merchants pay us a small referral fee when you click our links and purchase from them. On Amazon it works on everything from grills to diapers, they never tell us what you bought, it has zero impact on the price you pay, but has a major impact on our ability to improve this site! If you like AmazingRibs.com, please save this link and use it every time you go to Amazon




        Surely you know somebody who loves outdoor cooking who deserves a gift for the holidays, birthday, anniversary, or just for being wonderful. There he is, right in the mirror! Here are our selections of best ideas, all Platinum or Gold Medalists, listed by price.

        Click here to see our list of Gold Medal Gifts

        Digital Thermometers Are Your Most Valuable Tool And Here's A Great Buy!

        maverick PT55 thermometer

        A good digital thermometer keeps you from serving dry overcooked food or dangerously undercooked food. They are much faster and much more accurate than dial thermometers. YOU NEED ONE!

        Click here for more info on the Maverick PT-55 Waterproof Instant-Read Thermometer Review shown above. It may be the best value in a thermometer out there

        If you have a Weber Kettle, you need the Slow 'N' Sear

        slow n sear

        The Slow 'N' Sear turns your grill into a first class smoker and also creates an extremely hot sear zone you can use to create steakhouse steaks.

        Click here for our article on this breakthrough tool

        Bring The Heat With Broil King Signet's Dual Tube Burners

        the good one grill

        The Broil King Signet 320 is a modestly priced, 3-burner gas grill that packs a lot of value and power under the hood. Broil King's proprietary, dual-tube burners get hot fast and are able to achieve high, searing temps that rival most comparatively priced gas grills. The quality cast aluminum housing carries a Limited Lifetime Warranty.

        Click here to read our complete review

        The Good-One Is A Superb Grill And A Superb Smoker All In One

        the good one grill

        The Good-One Open Range is a charcoal grill with an offset smoke chamber attached. It is dramatically different from a traditional offset smoker. The grill sits low in front and doubles as a firebox for the smoke chamber which is spliced on above and behind so it can work like a horizontal offset smoker only better. By placing the heat source behind and under the smokebox instead of off to the side, Open Range produces even temperature from left to right, something almost impossible to achieve with a standard barrel shaped offset.

        Click here to read our complete review

        Pit Barrel Cooker Smoker

        Griddle And Deep Fryer All In One

        The flat top does the burgers and the fryer does the fries. Use the griddle for bacon, eggs, and home fries. Or pancakes, fajitas, grilled cheese, you name it. Why stink up the house deep frying and spatter all over? Do your fried chicken and calamari outside. Blackstone's Rangetop Combo With Deep Fryer does it all. Plus it has a built in cutting board, garbage bag holder, and paper towel holder. An additional work table on the left side provides plenty of counter space.

        Click here to read our detailed review and to order

        Pit Barrel Cooker Smoker

        The Pit Barrel Cooker May Be Too Easy

        The PBC has a rabid cult following for good reason. It is absolutely positively without a doubt the best bargain on a smoker in the world. Period. This baby will cook circles around the cheap offset sideways barrel smokers in the hardware stores because temperature control is so much easier. Best of all, it is only $299 delivered to your door!

        Click here to read our detailed review and the raves from people who own them

        The Undisputed Champion!


        The Thermoworks Thermapen MK4 is considered by the pros, and our team, to be the single best instant read thermometer. Don't accept cheap substitutes.  Click here to read our test results and comprehensive review and why it won our Platinum Medal .

        Compact Powerful Sear Machine For Your Next Tailgater


        Char-Broil's Grill2Go x200 is a super-portable, fun little sizzler made of heavy, rust-proof cast aluminum. The lid snaps shut. Grab the handle and you're off to the party! Char-Broil's TRU-Infrared design produces searing heat while reducing fuel consumption. A 16 ounce LP gas canister is enough to keep you flipping burgers for hours.

        Click here to read our detailed review and to order

        The Cool Kettle With The Hinged Hood We Always Wanted

        NK-22-Ck Grill

        Their NK22CK-C Charcoal Kettle Grill puts a few spins on the familiar kettle design. In fact, the hinged lid with a handle on the front, spins in a rotary motion 180 degrees. It's hard to beat a Weber kettle, but Napoleon holds its own and adds some unique features to make the NK22CK-C a viable alternative.

        Click here for more about what makes this grill special


        G&F Suede Welder's Gloves

        Heat Resistant Gloves With Extra Long Sleeves Hold The Hot Stuff

        If you're using oven mitts at the grill, it's time to trade up. Say hello to these suede welder's gloves. They're heat resistant enough to handle hot grill grates, and flexible enough to handle tongs. The extra long sleeves even let you reach deep into the firebox to move hot logs without getting burned. Our Fave.

        Click here to read our detailed review

        Click here to order from Amazon

        GrillGrates Take Gas Grills To The Infrared Zone

        grill grates

        GrillGrates(TM) amplify heat, prevent flareups, make flipping foods easier, keep small foods from committing suicide, kill hotspots, are easier to clean, flip over to make a fine griddle, and can be easily removed and moved from one grill to another. You can even throw wood chips, pellets, or sawdust between the rails and deliver a quick burst of smoke to whatever is above. Every gas grill needs them.

        Click here for more about what makes these grates so special

        PK 360 grill

        Is This Superb Charcoal Grill A Kamado Killer?

        The PK-360, with 360 square inches of cooking space, this rust free, cast aluminum charcoal grill is durable and easy to use. Four-way venting means it's easy to set up for two zone cooking with more control than single vent Kamado grills. It is much easier to set up for 2-zone cooking than any round kamado. Beautifully designed and completely portable. Meathead says it is his preferrred grill.

        Click here to read our detailed review of the PK 360

        Click here to order it direct from PK and get a special deal for AmazingRibs.com readers only

        kareubequ bbq smoker

        Our Favorite Backyard Smoker

        The amazing Karubecue is the most innovative smoker in the world. The quality of meat from this machine is astonishing. At its crux is a patented firebox that burns logs above the cooking chamber and sucks heat and extremely clean blue smoke into the thermostat controlled oven. It is our favorite smoker, period.

        Click here for our review of this superb smoker

        Masterbuilt MPS 340/G ThermoTemp XL Propane Smoker

        masterbuilt gas smoker

        The First Propane Smoker With A Thermostat Makes This Baby Foolproof

        Set ThermoTemp's dial from 175° to 350°F and the thermostat inside will adjust the burner just like an indoor kitchen oven. All you need to do is add wood to the tray above the burner to start smokin'.

        Click here to read our detailed review

        Fireboard: The Ultimate Top Of The Line BBQ Thermometer

        fireboard bbq thermometer

        With the ability to monitor up to six temperatures simultaneously with either Bluetooth or Wifi on your mobile phone, tablet, or computer, Fireboard is the best digital thermometer we’ve tested.

        Click here to read our detailed review

        Finally, A Great Portable Pellet Smoker

        Green Mountain Davey Crockett Grill

        Green Mountain's portable Davy Crockett Pellet Smoker is one mean tailgating and picnic machine. But it's also gaining popularity with people who want to add a small, set it and forget it pellet smoker to their backyard arsenal. And with their WiFi capabilities you can control and monitor Davy Crocket from your smart phone or laptop.

        Click here to read our detailed review and to order