VALLES DEL ESLA Cured Beef

Product: Cured Beef
Brand: Valles del Esla 
Producer: Nucleo de Explotaciones Agropecuarias de Leon SL
Country of origin: Spain
Region: Castilla León
Town: Sahelices de Sabero 
Approximate price per kilo: 75 euros/kilo
Approximate weight: 100 gr
Prizes and recognition:  
GourmetSearcher.com score out of 100 points: 95/100 
Why does it deserve our mention? Because it is made from beef from the brown breed of the mountains of Leon (which in the majority of cases is cow,) because it is raised free in the mountains of Leon for at least 48 months and because they use animals that are slaughtered with a weight greater than 550 kilos.  The proportion of intramuscular fat in the legs of the steer is due to the grazing diet that they enjoy for four years which, as also happens with acorn-fed Iberian ham, allows us to taste the refined balance between the smoked notes and the intense flavor of the meat.  From a nutritional standpoint it is a protein-rich food (it has 50% more protein than fresh meat,) with a low fat content (only 153 Kcal per 100 gr.) It’s not coincidence that Valles de Esla reaches this level of excellence if we take into account that the Alvarez family, owners of the ranch with 1500 heads of cattle raised free at 1000 meters above sea level, is also the owner and force behind the winery that makes the world-renowned red wine Vega Sicilia Único. Vital for the final result is also the phase of light smoking that the meat undergoes for 12 to 16 days, always using oak or ilex wood and constant, moderate temperatures.  The last phase lasts almost 7 months and the final product is tender, juicy and delicious. 
How should you cook or eat it? By itself with country bread as if it were an Iberian cured meat or on a plate with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. 
What wine should you drink with it? A red like Vega Sicilia Valbuena 5 Year.
How should you keep it? In the refrigerator until eating, although it’s best to take it out an hour before. 
Where can you buy it? www.elcorteingles.com or www.vallesdelesla.com

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