Product Review: Ibérico de Bellota Pork Sliders by Peregrino

Reviewer’s Note: A sample of the product discussed here was provided to me for reviewing purposes at no cost.

With several years of being a product reviewer under my belt by now, one might think I’d start to get jaded. One might think that this self-imposed duty would grow less thrilling over time and fall across the line separating passion project from chore, tumbling into the familiar category of being one more obligation on my proverbial plate in a world fraught with adult responsibilities that are the antithesis of fun.

One would be hilariously mistaken for thinking any of this.

Anyone reading this and thinking I wasn’t excited about the chance to review some Iberico pork sliders hasn’t been paying attention around here. Sworn carnivore that I am, it’s a rare day when any kind of slider will not command my attention. While this wasn’t my first Ibericodeo (a portmanteau of “Iberico” + “rodeo,” naturally. Do try to keep up, okay?), I’ve found that there’s never a bad time to put some Iberico pork into my face, be it miniature burgers, jamon, or any other form. That position doesn’t make me biased, though it might at first seem so. On the contrary, having tasted Iberico pork on a number of occasions places me in prime position to evaulate it with insight. As such, I was happy to receive a recent shipment of a half-dozen slider patties seasoned with black pepper and sea salt.

Image: Anthony Beal / FlavorfulWorld.com
Image: Anthony Beal / FlavorfulWorld.com

These slider patties cut an impressive figure on a barbecue grill, and unlike some meats that constrict under high heat, these lose virtually nothing by way of size as they cook. In terms of flavor, the minimal approach of using just salt and pepper allows one to taste the pork as it is and as it is intended to be experienced. This is perhaps the most welcome of all this product’s attributes, in an age populated by meats sold “infused” with this or “pre-marinated” in that. While those embellishments are not without a certain desirability, it’s always refreshing to taste meat products capable of expressing their best without drowning in factory-made sauces and artificial flavoring agents. With these burgers, all we get is ground, lightly seasoned pork medallions that cook up juicy with slight spiciness and nutty flavors (thanks, acorn-fed pigs) woven into their natural sweetness.

Made of 80% Spanish Ibérico de Bellota pork and 20% humanely-raised American pork, these burgers were as pleasant when eaten undressed on a mini brioche as they were on a toasted Hawaiian bread bun, topped with melted brie and arugula. Or folded into a pita with a daub of spicy mustard and sliced pickle. Or tucked into a mini croissant with caramelized onion and sliced peppers. The possible ways to enjoy a product like this are many. Eating them felt like an indulgence every time, and the cooking was not difficult, though I should add here the caveat that if you grill them over charcoal (as I did), it’s a good idea not to position the burgers, which are rich with fatty deliciousness, directly above the coals unless you want to test how high flames can leap. Placing the patties along the outer perimeter of the grill will cook them up nicely, without any undesired pyrotechnics. Alternatively, consider a cast-iron griddle or skillet to get things sizzling.

In these Ibérico de Bellota Pork Sliders, Peregrino has created a pleasing product that tastes like one is getting away with something illicit and enviable by eating them. A recent addition to the La Tienda catalog of gourmet Spanish food products from Spain, this six-piece item succeeds in whetting my curiosity about what other delicacies await me in that storehouse. If you’re curious as well, you can find out at https://www.tienda.com/.

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