Try This: Recipe For Jamon Broth From One-Michelin-Starred Iggy's

Meat replaces bones in the making of this comforting dashi stock created by Spanish-Australian chef Aitor Jeronimo Orive.
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Chinese soups are known for extracting intense flavours over long hours of simmering bones in stock. But here's an idea: what if said bones were replaced with finely minced pieces of meat instead?

After all, if bones alone impart flavour to a broth, imagine the intensity actual pieces of meat would yield. "In Spain, it’s quite common to find chopped jamón bones in supermarkets for people to make broths at home. So Spanish cuisine does traditionally call for jamón bones to make jamón broth. Unfortunately, it’s hard to source in Singapore due to the regulations of import," shares Aitor Jeronimo Orive, head chef of one-Michelin-starred restaurant Iggy's.

He continues: "When we started experimenting in the kitchen, we had to use jamón meat and found that it actually yielded a more flavourful broth or dashi when combined with dried mushrooms, kombu and sliced bonito."

Thus, the idea to create a jamon broth using the meaty ham was sparked. The trick here is to use minced jamon rather than sliced, as mincing the ham introduces more surface area in contact with the simmering water, yielding more flavour from each piece of jamon.
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"We initially used sliced jamón to make this dashi, but over time, we realised that minced jamón works better in order to infuse the most flavour. By breaking up the protein into smaller pieces, we are able to get more flavour out of each slab of jamón," says Aitor.

The clear yet deeply flavourful broth is a good base for most dishes, and is used in a Vegetable Garden dish at Iggy's where it's poured over a mix of raw and blanched seasonal greens.
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"It also goes well with noodles and rice. I think it’ll go particularly well with a homemade bowl of ramen, or even as the base of cooking a congee," says Aitor. "Personally, I would cook the broth with fideos (Spanish thin noodles) with a poached egg on top."
Mincing the jamon yields a more intensely flavoured soup.
Mincing the jamon yields a more intensely flavoured soup.

RECIPE FOR JAMON BROTH

Ingredients

  • 2l                 water
  • 3 pieces     dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 20g             dried kombu
  • 40g             bonito flakes
  • 100g           shio koji 
  • 125g           jamon 

Steps

  1. To prepare the dashi, fill a deep pot with water and soak kombu and dried shiitake for 45 minutes on low heat.
  2. Add kombu and bonito flakes into pot to infuse further for 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Strain the liquid over a chinois sieve.
  4. Add shio koji until desired saltiness is reached.
  5. Infuse jamon and dashi in a deep pot over low heat for at least four hours to extract all flavour.
  6. Season with salt until desired taste is achieved.
  7. Strain all liquid through a chinois sieve.
  8. Serve with a homemade bowl of ramen, or even as the base of cooking a congee.
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Recommended Reading: Hungry? Check out more chefs' recipes here. 
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