A celebration of meat
Our distributor of select ox and beef meats is a space for creativity.
An idea, a passion that little by little turned into an obsession, an obsession with this animal, the ox.
History of “El Capricho”
I’m José Gordón, and I run a steak restaurant and distributor of select meats, in a town in León province called Jiménez de Jamuz.
It is located in an area of wonderful clay soil that means you can hollow caves out of the rocks, and in one of them is El Capricho.
I was born and raised in this town, in a lowly farming family, and I enjoyed a rural childhood in contact with nature. I consider myself to be rooted to the land here and its customs and I have great respect for what we produce.
That respect for authenticity has led me further in my quest for meat and how to dry-age it.
At a very early age, when I was twelve years old, I started my first agricultural studies, and finished them in the training centre in Heras, Cantabria. There we had a large area of land for carrying out tests with the crops, our own livestock and an insemination centre. There I came into contact with the huge stud bulls, which were treated like gods.
Then in the Basque Country, I caught the bug from the culture they have there for red meat and for the way they treat it, dry-ageing it in cooling chambers for up to 25 or 30 days. In addition to this, my family had a vineyard where we made and sold the wine; in summer we had wonderful Spanish omelettes, with free-range eggs, and potatoes and vegetables from the garden. We used to make sausages and cured meat from our own pigs, which were never given animal feed. Then a relative, who had returned from living in Argentina and was an expert in grilling meat, gave me some advice about the art of the barbeque.
I started incorporating the first veal and beef cuts onto our little menu in the restaurant, and I used them to first start experimenting with dry-ageing meat.
Along the way, in all those years of hard work we have learned and researched, expanding what we knew about meat and putting it into practice at El Capricho.
Convinced that the character of each animal is reflected in the quality of its meat, José Gordón has developed a philosophy which he has shaped every day with passion for more than three decades.
Cárnicas El Capricho stands next to an old Roman road on the Vía de la Plata pilgrim route as it passes through the town of Valderrey in the province of León, and it is surrounded by old holm oak woods.
Our facilities combine 1,200 m of cutting rooms, dry-ageing cooling chambers, salting and drying rooms for cured meats and a deep-freezing space, among others.
We also have a natural cellar for the ageing of cured salt ox or cecina. This is a space that allows us to return to the beginning, to the earth, to slowness. It’s a cellar where the humidity that the earth gives, which comes over time, combines with the constant temperatures that are perfect for ageing, precisely because there are no outside influences since we are below ground. Here, there is only calm.
QUALITY IN THE PROCESSES
We have a rigorous quality control of the food that we give to our animals, monitoring their health and treating their ailments naturally, avoiding antibiotics and anti-inflammatories, in a commitment to an organic, natural, healthy life. Quality is the hallmark of our whole project.
In our select meat distributor, the strictest quality controls are applied through the implementation of a Self-control of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP).
We are currently involved in the implementation of the IFS Food certification, a food safety standard recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI).
We also have a Level 2 Specific Self-Control System for the international export of our products, in addition to being part of the Cecina de León Protected Geographical Indication (PGI).