Posts Tagged ‘duck proscuitto’

Duck Prosciutto – Check!

March 21, 2011 2 comments

So I’m hopelessly behind on the Charcutepalooza challenge.  I accept that.  I will not finish all 12 challenges this year.  My goal, then, is to make the challenges I do complete worthwhile.

The duck prosciutto challenge is now in the rear-view mirror, and I can say without a doubt it was a smashing success.  The curing took a bit longer than expected – 2 weeks instead of one to achieve the 30% weight loss desired – but the result was so worthwhile.  The prosciutto is slightly salty, but not so much that its “duckness” is lost.  It has a smooth, almost creamy texture.  We ate a little tonight with some beautiful cheese from the Hillsborough Cheese Co., and some nice wines.  Fabulous.

The final weigh-in. It took 2 weeks to lose 30% of its original weight, but we hit the 315 gram target precisely. Note how loose the kitchen twine is now - it was tight at the beginning.

For the more geeky among you, you may be interested in the day-by-day weigh-in data. I'm guessing ambient conditions have something to do with the second derivative of that curve.

Behold the mummy! The breast now has a firm texture, with no off aromas (it has a slight "meaty" aroma) and no mold whatsoever.

Here it is in all its cured, meaty splendor. Wafer thin, simply delicious. I might try cooking some, too, pancetta-style.

With this one behind me, I’m looking forward to starting on one of the newer challenges.


Charcutepalooza: Duck proscuitto, Step 2

It’s been 24 hours since I broke down my duck and salted the breast for proscuitto.  It’s time clean it, dry it, wrap it, tie it and hang it.  This is one of those times I miss my dad (more than other times) – that man was an idiot savant with ropes and cords, there was nothing he couldn’t lash, secure, bind and make beg for mercy.  Me, I’m not so good with knots and ropes.  So I checked my volumes of books (no luck), but found a good video on how to tie a roast HERE.

Here’s my pictorial on step 2 of the process:

Here's the breast coming out of the salt. I was amazed at how much water the salt had pulled out - about 22 grams by my later weighing. After pulling it from the salt, rinse well and pat dry.

Here's the breast, rinsed and dried. You can see how I scored the skin to let the salt through. You can also tell this was a fairly lean duck - many of them have skin on the breast approaching an inch thick.

Here's the carcass side of the breast. You can see how the salt has darkened the flesh, and its consistency is more rubbery.

A salted breast, some cheesecloth and a length of kitchen twine. This is all the technology needed for a miraculous transformation over the next week.

Here we are wrapped like a mummy and ready for twine.

Trussed up like a duck.

Hung in my special place in the garage (the broom rack). There is a paper in the loop with the weight on it (447 g all wrapped and tied). It will be done in about 7 days, when the weight is reduced by about 30% (so our goal is 315 grams: 439 dry weight * 0.7 = 307, plus 8 grams for cheesecloth and twine: 447 g wrapped - 439 g unwrapped = 8 g of cloth and twine)

Update in about one week!