Friday, January 25, 2013

First meat curing - need more practice

I didn't want to make the title of this blog Duck Prosciutto because I didn't want someone randomly doing a search for it and come upon my blog since I'm experimenting myself.

A friend gave us this great book, Charcuterie - The Craft of Salting, Smoking and Curing.  I've been really excited about trying out some of the recipes so we can have our own bacon, prosciutto, smoked ham, sausage, etc.  We have a freezer full of meat and 2 pigs to butcher yet this year so it might be a good idea to cure some of it so it doesn't have to be kept in the freezer.  Plus, I think learning charcuterie is going to be really cool. 

My first attempt was duck confit and duck prosciutto.  Duck confit is basically duck legs (or other parts) seasoned and then stored in fat before cooking.  I didn't have enough duck fat to cover it so I had to use some lard I had rendered from a pig in the past.  It was too salty for me and it didn't fall apart or melt in my mouth like I had expected.  I didn't even take pictures so you know it was a bust.  It was eaten though.

The duck prosciutto was better but by no means something I'd be pleased with if I was served it at a restaurant.  I think part of the problem was my breasts were too small - story of my life.   I followed this recipe  which was the same recipe as in my book but see how thick their breasts were
and then here are my breasts before they were dried
after they were salted for 24 hours
And then after 7 days of drying.

See how I have almost as much fat as I do meat?  It tasted ok but was better when cooked like bacon.  I had some with my eggs in the morning and then cooked the rest and put it in a quiche for dinner, which was tasty.   Still, it was nothing like prosciutto from pork like we had in Italy.  

Now I have a leg of goat marinating in the refrigerator for 18 days which will then be rinsed off and dried for a few (?) months before we can eat it.  I hope it's better than the duck.  This recipe came off the internet.  My book didn't have any recipes for goat meat.

More to come.

Tonight's dinner?  Nothing fancy, stewed rooster with sweet potatoes and turnips. 


1 comment:

  1. Love that book, and planning to try the same with duck. What sort of duck did the meat come from? I've still got several Pekins in my freezer from last year. Was thinkin about trying them. (If you hadn't noticed, currently trying to get caught up on your blog!) :)