For serious meat lovers, nothing beats Ibérico de Bellota
. These are the famous pigs that spend the majority of their days rooting and roaming around in meadows, eating acorns. While the cured legs fetch a handsome price, the fresh pork
is amazing. It tastes like the love child of a pig and a cow. The trouble is, outside of Spain, it's nearly impossible to find.
Lucky for us, the folks at White Oak Pastures, a fifth-generation ranch in Georgia raising grass-fed beef, pastured pork and poultry, and more, have partnered with Jaime & Kurt Oriol of Iberian Pastures to raise Spain’s famous breed here in the States. Instead of acorns, the pigs feast on peanuts, pecans, and sunflower seeds in addition to what they find out in the fields.
These American-raised Ibérico pork chops will show you what all the fuss is about. Rich, beefy, meaty, slightly sweet with melt on your tongues texture. The chops are bone in, each about an inch thick.
Meat fans take notice: this is your new obsession.
Chops ship frozen, though they may thaw and be cold, not hard, when they arrive. They come two to a pack. They are best cooked using a temperature probe. The USDA recommends cooking to 160, but that’s well done and, in my mind, a shame for this quality of pork. I like medium rare to medium, 140 to 145. I've grilled them and cooked them in a pan and, in part because the grill is technically more difficult, I lean toward cooking them in a pan. Get it very hot, add oil, and cook them a few minutes on each side. They'll brown beautifully. Then put the pan in a 400 degree oven. Don't flip them again. Probe regularly until you get the temperature you're looking for.