Morena is a new restaurant in Sydney serving Peruvian cuisine. Chef Alejandro Saravia explains how to prepare Peruvian ham. "Jamón del País" is a traditional dish from the north of Peru, and is a good example of Spanish influence. Pork was introduced to Peru by the Spanish conquerors, and the "Jamón del País" was born from the union of both cultures.
- 1 kg boneless pork leg or pork silver side
- 5 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 brown onion, cut in quarters
- 2 tbsp achiote (annatto paste)
- 1 tbsp aji panca (sun-dried chilli)
- 1 tsp cumin
- 250 ml grape seed oil
- 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 fresh bay leaves
- 5 litres water
- ½ kg white sugar
- ½ kg table salt
- 2 cinnamon quills
- 2 star anise
- 2 fresh bay leaves
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Resting time 3 hours
To make the brine, combine the water, sugar and salt in a medium pot. Whisk vigorously until all the salt and sugar is dissolved. Bring the water to the boil.
Remove the pot from the heat and add the spices and herbs. Allow the flavours to infuse. Let the brine cool down at room temperature.
Once the brine is cool, add the pork and set aside for about 2 hours.
While the pork is in the brine, blend the garlic, onion, achiote, aji panca and cumin, along with the grape seed oil.
In a medium bowl, mix the paste with the remaining ingredients. Check the seasoning.
After two hours, remove the pork from the brine. Place the pork and the marinade in a container and leave overnight, ensuring all the pork is covered.
The next morning remove the pork from the container and roll with cling wrap, trying to keep as much marinade as possible within the roll.
In a medium pot, add 4 litres of water and bring to 60°C. Add the pork roll and boil for 25 minutes, making sure the water temperature remains between 55°C and 60°C.
Remove the pork roll from the water and place in a bowl filled with iced water to cool down.
Unwrap the pork roll. Spread the remaining marinade on the pork, and leave to rest for 1 hour.
Wash the pork, being careful not to remove all the marinade.
Cut into thin slices and serve with toasted bread, olive oil, and thin slices of Spanish onion.