Hello followers of Paulina Cocina! Today we are going to talk about Cecina, a very traditional cold cuts in Spain. which is obtained from curing beef. At first glance it can be confused with ham, but its way of making, its flavor and its aroma are different.

If you want to know more about this sausage, we invite you to read this note that promises to pass on to you. a lot of information about jerky and in addition to everything, we leave you two recipes to enjoy this ingredient in other ways.

About the jerky

Cecina, with its peculiar name, is a cured and dehydrated meat that has become a true treasure in gastronomy. It is a very popular cold cuts in Spain, especially in León, where it is produced in quantity; but it is also very common in Latin America, mainly in Mexico.

The word “cecina” comes from the Latin “siccus,” which means dry. And that is precisely what characterizes this cold cuts: dried meat at its finest.

This sausage, which has certain similarities with ham, has become a classic appetizer in Spanish cuisine, since it is served on cold cuts, but it is also included in many recipes.

How is it obtained?

This ingredient is obtained from beef, although it can also be made with other meats, such as horse, goat or deer. To prepare it, it is cut into thin strips, salted and air-cured.The drying process can take weeksresulting in meat that is preserved for a long time without the need for refrigeration.

Its flavor is a sensory journey, intense and concentrated. A perfect balance between salinity and smokiness, making it an irresistible and delicately fibrous bite.

History and origin of jerky meat

The history is rich and full of tradition. It is believed that its origin comes from the time of the Romans, who needed to preserve meat during their military campaigns. Over the centuries, this preservation technique was perfected, and this meat became a prized delicacy.

In the Middle Ages, this became an essential food for travelers and farmers in the León region. Leonese ranchers, known for raising high-quality cattle, found in this sausage a way to make the most of every part of the animal, reducing waste.

In Latin America, this cured meat also has a long history. In countries like Mexico, it is prepared in a special way, often smoked and seasoned with local chiles and spices. It is an essential ingredient in traditional dishes, such as cecina enchilada.

What part of the animal is it?

It is obtained from different parts of the animal, but the most commonly used is lean beef, specifically the hindquarter. This choice is because this area contains less fat and more muscle fibers, which makes it ideal for the curing and drying process.

This is a versatile ingredient that can be enjoyed alone as an appetizer or in sandwiches, but is also used in a variety of recipes. Its flavor and texture complement very well with dishes such as salads, pasta, or even homemade pizzas.

What is the difference between cured meat and ham?

It is common to wonder what the difference is between jerky and ham., two delights from the world of sausages. The main difference lies in the preparation and curing process. Meanwhile he built-in cecina Air dried slowly, the ham is cured in brine and then air dried in a controlled manner. This gives each one a unique and different flavor and texture.

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2 recipes with jerky

1. Jerky Salad

Yield: 4 portions

Preparation time: 15 minutes


  • 150 g jerky cut into strips
  • 200 g of arugula
  • 1 ripe pear, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup toasted walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How to make jerky salad step by step

  1. In a large bowl, mix the arugula, pears and toasted walnuts.
  2. In a separate container, mix the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Spread the vinaigrette over the salad and mix well.
  3. Place the jerky strips on top of the salad and serve.

2. Cured meat and goat cheese pizza

Yield: 2 servings

Preparation time: 20 minutes


  • 1 pizza table
  • 100 g of jerky
  • 100 g goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup arugula
  • 2 tablespoons tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How to make jerky and goat cheese pizza step by step

  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C. Meanwhile, spread the tomato sauce over the pizza dough.
  2. Add the goat cheese and cured meat on top.
  3. Bake the pizza in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, or until the crust is golden and crispy.
  4. Remove from the oven and place the fresh arugula on top. Drizzle with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
cooking with jerky

Source: www.paulinacocina.net

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