Tyrolean Speck with Pickled Vegetables, Horseradish and White Bread – Tiroler Speck mit Essig-Gemüse, Kren und Weißbrot

 

Restaurant Silberberg.  A-6130 Schwaz · Alte Landstraße 1

Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 10:00 – 24:00

http://www.silberberg-tennishalle.com/site/

Tyrol is not only famous for its scenic mountains, tranquil lakes and lavish valleys, but also for a particularly unique type of ham called speck.  This lightly smoked, cured ham is a prized treasure in these parts of the Alps – its distinct flavor and irresistibly light smoky taste is unparalleled to any other cold-cut in the world.

Sliced incredibly thin, Tyrolean speck is similar to Italian prosciutto.  The difference lies in the fact that speck is slightly smoked – both speck and prosciutto are dry-cured, but speck is also smoked.  This results in an amazingly first-rate piece of meat.  Although the slices are extremely fine and delicate, it possesses a whole lot of flavor.  There is also an edge of fat that is simply golden.

Tiroler speck is a versatile culinary ingredient, since it can be employed in pasta, seafood and other dishes.

Alone, though, it is best enjoyed with some white bread and pickled vegetables as prepared here at Silberberg.  Gorgeous, ribbon thin slices of speck lay on top of a stack of a colorful vegetable medley – green beans, broccoli florets, thinly sliced carrots, red bell peppers, zucchini chunks, leeks and a handful of chopped chives.  The veggies have been boiled and doused with a vinegar marinade, giving them a slight acidity.  As a result, the vegetables are as vivacious as the day they were harvested.  Their natural sweetness balances out the added sourness.  Sprigs of fresh rosemary and thyme stand tall in the center and provide a picture perfect finishing touch.  In addition to being a garnish, these herbs add terrific aroma to each bite.

Freshly grated horseradish accompanies the meat and vegetables.  The natural condiment packs quite the punch – its pungent potency is astonishing and shoots up the nose quite easily.  Despite this, the horseradish pairs incredibly well with the speck because it partially tones down the meat’s saltiness and smokiness with its intense tang.  Moreover, the pickled vegetables bring an acidic bite that balances everything out.  Altogether, the speck, veggies and horseradish combine to form a delectable flavor profile.

A trip to Tyrol would not be complete without sampling this regional specialty!

 

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