How can you tell an ARBU ham?

All ARBU hams are from ARBU 85% Duroc pigs that are fed on a diet containing eight different types of fodder, which, throughout much of the year, are sourced from the area where our production farms are located.
Moreover, every ham is given an identity tag with a reference number, just the same as quality wines, which enables us to verify the specific length of time each ARBU has been cured for in our drying room in the Hinojosa del Duque.


Step by step.

Normally, offcuts or small pieces of ham are taken from this part.
3 – CONTRAMAZA (narrow end)
This part contains less meat. If the ham is to be consumed slowly (over several days), it is best to begin carving here. This is so as to prevent the maza area from drying out.
El corte - Arbu Curados
2 – MAZA (thicker end)
This is the main part of the ham, from which the most attractive slices are taken, and whose meat is the most flavoursome. Begin carving here if the ham is to be consumed in a short period of time (one or two days).
A – Knife with a wide blade:
Has a short, thick blade. This is used for making cuts around the knuckle, as well as for removing rind and the outermost layer of fat.
Cuchillos - Arbu Curados
B – Special ham knife:
Has a long, fine, narrow blade. This is used for cutting thin slices and for precision carving. It is specially designed for carving
Cuchillos - Arbu Curados
C – De-boning knife:
Has a short, fine blade. This is used for making clean cuts in the angular parts of the ham (e.g. around the bones).
*Sharpening steel:
This is used for sharpening the knives.
Cuchillos - Arbu Curados
Cuchillos - Arbu Curados
Cuchillos - Arbu Curados
Cuchillos - Arbu Curados


Place the ham in the holder with the trotter pointing upwards. Make sure it is held firmly in place.

El Corte - Arbu Curados
El Corte - Arbu Curados


It is best to use the knife with the wide blade for the first cut. The first cut is made using the knife in such a way as to define the size of the slices. Then the rind is removed from the upper part of the ham.


Begin by removing the rind from the ham, which will have a little mould due to the natural curing process.

El Corte - Arbu Curados
El Corte - Arbu Curados


After removing the rind, cut the fat off and set it aside. The fat should be kept so that it can be used to cover the area of exposed ham once the cut has been made. When the top of the ham is clean, the first slice can be carved. After making the cut, cover the exposed area of ham with the fat in order to preserve its properties.


The slices should always be carved so as to have uniform thickness by holding the knife parallel to the slice. The slices should be as wide as the joint being carved and their length may vary, but should be no longer than about three inches. Once a slice has been carved from the main area (with the trotter pointing upwards), it is best to combine maza slices, which are more tasty and juicy, with slices from the butt end.

El Corte - Arbu Curados
El Corte - Arbu Curados


Once the hip bone is reached, several cuts need to be made around the bone using a short knife in order to carve neat slices from this area. Continue carving.


Once you have finished carving, the exposed area of ham should be protected with the pieces of fat set aside so as to keep it fresh. You can also use a tea-towel or paper serviettes.

El Corte - Arbu Curados
El Corte - Arbu Curados


Once the maza area has been consumed, you should turn the ham over and place it with the trotter pointing down, so as to enable you to continue carving the contramaza. Begin in the same way as with the maza, by making a cut on top, near the ankle bone, and removing the rind and fat from the surface of the exposed area. FINALLY, once again, you should carve slices that are as wide as the joint, and with the length that suits you. Since the meat next to the bone cannot be sliced, it needs to be cut off in small pieces, which can be used for cooking.