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Duck Prosciutto

December 18, 2010

I have wanted for some time to make my own dry cured salami. For any who don’t know, dry cured meats are ones that are seasoned/salted then hung to air dry until the salt and air transform the meats in a way that is similar to cooking, but the meats are never actually exposed to heat. This is traditionally how thing like prosciutto and salami or the French saucisson were made to preserve meats in the winter. These days there are curing salts, temperature controlled rooms and sometimes preservatives that make curing easy and consistent. I’ve been wanting to cure some meats in the old world style with just salt and maybe a touch of other seasoning. I was lucky to get some really wonderful fresh duck from a local producer and I found instruction for making duck prosciutto in Mike Ruhlman’s book Charcuterie, so I figured my time had come. I took two beautiful duck breasts, buried them in salt for about 22 hours then rinsed the salt off and patted the meat dry. The charcuterie book recommends dusting the rinsed meat with white pepper, but instead I dusted one piece in tumeric and one in a mix of cinnamon and cayenne pepper. Traditionally the meats were hung in cellars. my father has a wine cellar, so I figured that would be the best place, I’ve heard you can also use an unplugged refrigerator for storage. I tied the duck up and hung it for 8 days. I have now taken one down, eaten it, waited a few days, served some to a few friends, waited a few more days and no one has gotten sick. I consider my duck prosciutto a success.

Duck prosciutto with soft boiled egg and toast

A huge success actually, It’s almost too good to be true. I put a bunch of salt on a raw piece of duck,hung it in a cellar for 8 days, then sliced it and ate it raw. It is in defiance of all the things the FDA tried to drill into my brain since childhood. It’s really delicious.

Good duck can be hard to find, but it is around. D’artagnan is one of the biggest duck sellers in the country and they ship all over the country. I was very fond of “Hudson Valley Duck Farm” when I was living in New York. If you like duck, this cure is a piece of cake. If you’ve never eaten duck, I recommend trying to get some then cooking it up. If you love it, duck prosciutto will be next.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 13, 2011 10:42 am

    Very interesting. Was searching for the recipe. I slaughtered two Muscovy males yesterday and they are waiting their transformation to the next step….Will let you know how I make out in a few days : )

    Happy New Year!!

  2. Vasilios permalink
    February 2, 2011 1:00 pm

    The color on that duck looks spot on.

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