Sunday, September 15, 2013

Beginners: Charcuterie : Duck Prosciutto

"Duck or goose prosciutto is an old Italian tradition that originated, as best I can tell, in the country’s Jewish community, for whom regular prosciutto was forbidden.  Some recipes, especially those around Venice and Friuli, cure the leg and thigh of large geese, while others stick to the breast meat. Either way, the result, when done right, creates a dark, rich, almost funky cut of meat that really stands out on a charcuterie plate."
By Hank Shaw
I have always been fascinated with Charcuterie and the mystical way you can take a raw piece of meat and turn it into something incredibly delicious. Why mystical you ask? I recall going into Katz's Deli (Est 1888)in NYC which of course is the oldest and most famous Deli in the world and was just amazed at all the hanging meat.  Of course not understanding charcuterie made it mystical to me.  

Katz is famous of course for their food and infamous movie scene "When Harry met Sally" .  Seeing all these sausages and various meats behind the counter and wondering how I could make them was something I pondered for a long time.  Before the internet there was no info on the subject unless you knew someone or had a family member that could teach you the craft.   No books published that could help either.  Charcuterie is both a craft and a science experiment.  If you lack the science behind charcuterie you get someone very very sick.

This Duck Prosciutto is my first attempt at Charcuterie.  I used  Michael Ruhlmans recipe from his book Salumi-The-Craft-Italian-Curing.  Ruhlmans LinkD'artagnan is a wonderful online meat and game store that mail orders. D'artagnan is where I purchased my Moulard Duck Magret Breast. 

Duck encased in salt & spices. 

After 30 hours duck is now cured. 

Duck is rinsed and ready to be wrapped and hung.

I used cheese cloth to encase the duck breast in. 

All wrapped and ready to be hung.

Weighed and hanging from my pot rack.  I noted the weight and time I hung them.  Optimum temp 60 degrees and 65% humidity. The duck breast need to lose at least 30% of its weight before it can be called Duck Prosciutto.  


Duck charcuterie completed