Feast of the slaughter in Linares de la Sierra
A small village with a little over 300 inhabitants, Linares de la Sierra is only 7 kilometres from the urban area of Aracena and about 15km from Jabugo.
Since the Iberian pig is one of the essential parts of economic activity in this rural area, the "Matanza" closes the period of slaughter of pigs that are ready. In the town hall square in front of the old fountains that were also used as to wash clothes, this traditional days bring together all the residents of the town, as well as those of neighbouring towns, with the exception of the towns of Galaroza and Cortelazor, which celebrate this ritual the same weekend.
The festival begins on Friday with the sacrifice and the cutting of 2 Iberian pigs. Then the local women prepare to make the cured meats in the traditional method of the Sierra de Huelva. First, they begin to stuff the morcilla". The mixture introduced into the gut is made up of filtered blood seasoned with garlic, parsley, and various spices. In a large cauldron, the skilled hands of the women boil the first meats.
They let the meat stand overnight.
The celebration continues the following day with the preparation of another aliño (seasoning) mixed with pieces of meat and pork fat in different proportions depending on the finished product (more paprika is used for chorizo, black pepper for salchichón, etc. ). Once the ingredients are well blended, the village women begin filling. It is a convivial time; conversations flow, both about an ingredient that can be added or removed (like their grandmother used to do) and the quality of the different parts of the Iberian pig and their uses.
Iberian stew in the Sierra de Aracena
Other villagers set up large pots in which the famous traditional soup, cocido, based on pork and chickpeas is simmered for hours. Everyone is busy, the place gets noisier, the square fills up little by little with a cheerful atmosphere.
In less than a day, two Iberian pigs are stripped to prepare traditional cured meats and popular dishes such as chorizo blanco or or spicy white sausage. Only the hams and paletas remain whole. In the days after the slaughter these pieces are salted before being dried. As for the lomo and the presa (meat that is generally used to prepare iberian lomito), they will be grilled and tasted during the last night of the party, to the rhythm of the music.
Linares de la Sierra, like many other Andalusian villages, is very pleasant at this time of year: the vegetation is back and the winter, already a distant memory, gives way to hot and clear days. A walk through the pueblo (village) allows you to appreciate the dehesa and its perfect ecosystem for breeding the Iberian pig that surrounds this rural zone of the Sierra de Aracena.