Everyone knows that ham comes from the leg of a pig. But did you know that there are only 2 hams per pig? Only the rear legs are used for ham. The front legs are used for pork shoulder.
But that is not what makes our ham special.
What makes it special is that Le Batistou ham is made only from French pigs!
The pork is butchered using a technique that removes the rind, resulting in a “Parma” cut famously used in Italian hams. We ensure that the meat is of the best possible quality and freshness before it is sent to the Le Forez plant for grading and preparation.
What is our secret to top-quality hams? While we cannot reveal everything, we can tell you a few things.
To make the perfect dry-cured ham, you need:
1. A good-quality fresh ham.
2. Leave the leg in a salting tub for, er, a while. And if you are like us, you will rub the meat with dry salt by hand.
3. For the salting to be effective but mild (the salt acts as a preservative), the salting time must be precise.
Temperature and humidity play an important role. But that is all we will say on the matter!
4. Add flavoring (all-natural, of course!) to the salt—you can use herbs, spices, pepper or whatever you like. The flavorings we use give the meat a very distinctive flavor.
5. Then slowly, very slowly, let the water evaporate from the meat and let the salt penetrate deep into the ham.
6. Set the ham aside in a dry, well-ventilated, temperate environment and leave it alone for 7 to 9 months (depending on its weight) to cure.
7. Note: When we say “leave it alone,” we actually mean you should inspect the ham, smell it and listen to it every day to make sure it is curing properly.
8. About halfway through the curing period, gently coat the meat with a “glaze” made of lard and starch. This helps slow the drying process, ensuring the ham stays tender, and prolongs the curing time to develop the most refined flavors possible.
The final step is our favorite. Slice the finished ham thinly with a sharp knife and serve on hearty bread, with a pat of butter if you're feeling decadent. Nothing tastes better!
Some may say that every part of the pig is tasty. But not every part is good enough to be used in Le Batistou sausages.
All of our ingredients come from the finest cuts of the pig. We use the belly, shoulder, backfat and tip of the ham leg in our products, in varying proportions, depending on the recipe.
Sausage is meat stuffed into a casing, and Le Batistou uses only NATURAL pork and beef casings.
Each Le Batistou product has one or more secrets to its preparation. You can discover them on our product labels or by tasting and discerning the ingredients we use!
Here are some of our secrets:
1. Start with the meat of a fully grown female pig (a sow)
2. Enhance the sausage with wine: You can use Côtes du Rhône, a great Bordeaux, Costières de Nîmes or even Muscat de Lunel. Become a wine expert and see if you can guess which one we use!
3. Use your imagination when it comes to flavorings (all-natural flavorings, of course!). Complement the sausage meat with a little thyme, a pinch of pepper, some herbes de Provence, nutmeg, cinnamon or a hint of garlic.
4. Create a perfect blend of pork and other meats (boar, venison, bison, bull) while maintaining a tender texture.