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Patta Negra Ribs

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    Patta Negra Ribs

    I have searched but I haven’t seen anyone else posting on Patta Negra ribs before. So apologies if I’m covering already charted territory or otherwise overstepping my bounds. If I am, it’s because I think the Patta Negra rib is worthy of a following.

    About a year ago, I had the opportunity to smoke 100 pounds of meat for a work gathering. My partner in crime for the gathering contributed 10 bags of ribs from the “Patta Negra” or “black hoof” pig. That night may have been my best cook ever — although I remember the ribs being excellent, they blended into an otherwise amazing evening.

    The Patta Negra, also called the Iberian pig, is the breed of Spanish pig that is used for Iberico ham. I’m no expert but I understand that because of the breed and how the pigs are raised (a.k.a., with a diet of lots of acorns), their meat, and in particular their fat, has a nutty taste to it.

    I finally had the opportunity to smoke Patta Negra ribs again on Friday. I confirmed that the flavor is out of this world.

    I cook the ribs very similarly to US style ribs with a few important differences. (1) I don’t trim off all of the fat from the surface — in my experience, fat is flavor and the ribs do not need as much rub. (2) I cook the ribs at my typical rib temperature (225 degrees) and I cook them until their internal temperature is lower — approximately 175 degrees — because I do not want to dissolve all that amazing fat. (3) I use a traditional US style rub but I do not use BBQ sauce because I do not want to overpower the flavor of the Patta Negra. Instead, I drizzle honey on the ribs at the end of the cook.

    The Patta Negra ribs are difficult to find in the United States. However, there are a handful of dealers who source them from Spain. Each bag from Spain comes with three pieces - the traditional spares, another smaller set of ribs that look like spares and the cartilage over the spares. I cook all three pieces and serve the two rib pieces (the cartilage piece makes for a nice snack for me). Of course, the ribs are not cheap. I bought 5 bags delivered for approximately $30 each. However, it is much less expensive than other cuts of the Patta Negra (especially the famed Secreto).

    There are also a handful of farms in the United States who are breeding the Patta Negra. I haven’t yet tried any US bred Patta Negras but I imagine it is akin to Japanese Kobe vs. US Wagyu — still amazing but probably not the same.

    I’m attaching pictures of the ribs on the smoker from last year’s cook (it’s my avatar for a reason), the finished ribs from Friday and the raw bag of ribs.

    Click image for larger version

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    #2
    I think Henrik and others here who are from Europe have had Iberian pig cook posts here, but indeed they are rare. I've never personally had it but understand the meat is amazing. I've looked into buying some one line, but the price is way too much. Your results look amazing, and indeed avatar worthy !!!

    Comment


    • Bumby
      Bumby commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks, Troutman! I found these for about $30 a bag that included 3 pieces, probably $5 per pound. Not something I'll buy that frequently but good for a special occasion.

    #3
    That looks great! Yes, that type of pork is a lot more available here in Europe, and a lot cheaper. Still expensive compared to 'normal' pork, but for a good reason. It is amazing! You did everything right by leaving some fat on the ribs, and also letting the meat's own flavor come through. Gorgeous pics of a gorgeous meal!

    Comment


    • Bumby
      Bumby commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks, Henrik! I had wanted to use your pork rub for these but it came the morning after I cooked them! Will use them next time!

    #4
    That's a really good post and fantastic photos. I really love that first picture.

    Comment


    • Bumby
      Bumby commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you tbob4 -- they were fun to make!

    #5
    Great post. Thank you.

    Comment


    • Bumby
      Bumby commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you!

    #6
    Great post!

    Comment


    • Bumby
      Bumby commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you!

    #7
    The DeBragga Butcher has Pata Negra SNOOTS! (it's a STL thing....) Great Post!

    Comment


    • Bumby
      Bumby commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you! I may need to branch out into snoots some time...finally starting to cook cheeks.

    • JGo37
      JGo37 commented
      Editing a comment
      You know that's actually what snoots are when done right - deep fried cheeks that are then slathered in BBQ sauce.

    • Bumby
      Bumby commented
      Editing a comment
      Well that's good to know. I almost went out and bought some pig snouts!

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