Melon with ham
The creative capacity of the Roca brothers together, Joan, Jordi and Josep, is something inarguable. As a testimony to this, it suffices to mention the sheer number of Best Artistic Dishes of the Year awarded to them in the last few years by this publication. Counting the two this year, they have already amassed ten, a number only surpassed by Martín Berasategui and, of course, Ferran Adrià at El Bulli.
The Melon with ham is really more of a dish of ham and pork with melon than the other way around. With regard to the pork ingredients, they are wisely expressed, each one boasting an unsurpassable conceptual and technical preparation. The jamón is served in slices, the Iberian consommé takes on the role of sauce and the pancetta is cooked at low temperature, browned on the grill just before serving and cut into crispy cubes that melt in your mouth. And if the central character of the pork is vital to the dish, the role of the melon is equally important. To such a degree that we aren’t sure if this should be ‘Ham with melon’ or ‘Melon with ham’. Perhaps the title “Melon and ham” is the most representative. The melon is artistically denaturalized in the scene, taking on a consistency with a fresh ice-blended element, though not cold, in the shape of a slice. A round slice of fruit that calls one’s attention, both visually and in terms of flavor, especially considering that the denaturalization does not affect the palate in any way: pure melon.
- Jamón de Jabugo (Iberian cured ham from Jabugo)
- 100 g tarragon water
- 100 g melon pulp
- 20 g sugar
- 2 g agar-agar
- 2.5 gelatin sheets
Combine all the ingredients in a metal pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add the previously soaked gelatin sheets. Move to another container and leave to cool until it solidifies. Blend to obtain a very fine puree.
Cool the molds and place a part of the mixture in them, spread up against the walls, turn the mold over to remove the preparation and freeze.
- 330 g melon pulp
- 30 g sugar
- 3.5 gelatin sheets
- Raw pine nuts
Set half the melon pulp aside and refrigerate.
Heat the other half of the pulp with sugar to dissolve, remove from heat and add the previously soaked gelatin sheets. Mix well and move to a blender. Gradually add the rest of pulp and blend until the preparation is completely cool.
Refill the molds used for the tarragon jelly with this mousse, top with a few pine nuts and freeze.
Jabugo ham consommé
- 2 pig’s trotters
- 1 kg Jabugo ham bones
- 1.5 l water
- 500 g lightly sautéed vegetables
Place the bones together with the water, trotters and vegetables and gently boil over low heat for 2 hours to obtain a good consommé.
Strain and filter the ham broth, place a small amount at the center of a plate and refrigerate until it solidifies by the gelatin brought to the dish by the pig trotters.
Iberian suckling pig pancetta cubes
- 1 Iberian suckling pig pancetta
- Extra virgin olive oil
Cook the pancetta sous-vide for 12 hours at 70ºC/158ºF.
When finished, lightly brown on the grill on the skin side and when it is crunchy cut into uniform cubes. Set aside.
Assembly of dish
Remove the melon from the molds, cut into wedges and place them over the consommé. Top with slices of Jabugo ham and place the crispy Iberian suckling pig pancetta on either side.