Monday, September 23, 2013

Kosher-Dosher the Story.........

The picture to the left is from the Lower East Side of NYC. This is where my family settled in after their arrival from Eastern Europe and Sicily.

Between 1880 and 1920, roughly 2 millions Jewish people immigrated to the US from Eastern Europe and Russia. Suddenly, the foods of a people dispersed for nearly 2000 years (plus 400 in the desert) came together in one corner of Manhattan and started cooking and sharing their unique recipes. Jewish food is eclectic and unique depending on your family and traditions. It's not just bagels and lox's.


My Dad and Sister April 65, I was 4 months old.
My Mom April 65
My love affair with food started when I was just a young boy growing up in Brooklyn NY.  Growing up in the melting pot of NYC is a great way to learn and experience food. Becoming a Foodie did not happen until I entered the US NAVY. I was kinda of a foodie when I was a kid meaning I got to eat amazing food made by family and friends. Experiencing food in the melting pot was and is an experience I now call a privilege. It wasn't until I entered the Navy that I came to the realization that my foodie experience in NYC was not the norm. When I first started experiencing food outside NYC I was rudely awaken and aghast as to what other people and cultures thought about food.  This started me out on my journey to become what I call a foodie. Why Kosher Dosher?  When I was a kid Kosher Dosher meant everything was OK and I have always liked the phrase.  Also I do not eat Pork and shellfish etc etc hence Kosher………

I'm epicurist who is devoted to refined sensuous enjoyment of food so therefore you may call me a Foodie!!!

Charcuterie Lamb Prosciutto

Lamb Prosciutto using


When you think about Prosciutto first thing I think of is Treif.  But having thought about this for some time why can't I make Prosciutto from Lamb.  Some Charcuterie experts have already done it thank goodness.  I searched all over the net and have consulted many books on charcuterie and came across several great blogs.  I am using the expertise and recipe from Cured meats to make this Prosciutto Gamba Agnello. 

I purchased the leg of lamb from Costco. 

  This is the outside of the leg and looks pretty good.  Not much fat means very little trimming.

 This is the inside the pretty little leg of Lamb.  I have come across many mangled boneless leg of lambs and will admit I got lucky here.  It will be much easier to roll it up and tie it.   

Note 1: The weight of meat plus fat is 100%. All ingredients to be added are expressed as a percentage of the weight of meat plus fat. Percentages can be used to standardize recipes regardless of batch size.  All weights are metric. 

Note 2: No weights are given because the weights of meats vary. Everything is a percentage of the meats weight after trimming. Example- Meat weight 2393 grams and we want to find out the amount of salt we need in grams- 2393 X 3.5%=83.755 or 2392/100 X 3.5 =83.755 grams. 

Lamb Prosciutto
IngredientQuantity(g)% of Meat
Lamb leg2100N/A
White sugar633
Black pepper321.5
Cure #25.250.25
Fresh rosemary211
Garlic powder60.3

I used a large plastic container that can fit the meat. I applied the curing salts and spices to the leg ensuring I get every nook & cranny covered. Applying the cure in a container insures that all of the cure ends up on the leg instead of the counter.  

This hunk of meat will stay in the refrigerator for 15-21 days, massaging and flipping it everyday. 

After the cure time is up I will remove from refrigerator, rinse the leg well, roll it up, tie it very tight making sure I leave no air-pockets (bacteria can grown in air-pockets)than place in a UMAI charcuterie dry age bag.

Ok it's been 14 days and I am anxious to get this Lamb onto the next phase. 

So I rinsed off the Lamb and now its ready to be tied up.  This is very tricky because you do not want any air-pockets.  Air pocket can cause spoilage because bacteria can grow in the little crevices.  

I decided to use Transglutaminase Activa because it helps bind the meat together.  I know of several charcuterie specialists that use this product.  
Transglutaminase, also called meat glue, is an enzyme that can be used to bind proteins to make uniform portions of fish filet, tenderloins, etc. that cook evenly, look good and reduce waste. Transglutaminase can also be used for creative applications in modernist cuisine such as making shrimp noodles, binding chicken skin to scallops or even making checkerboards with different types of fish.  How can you do such a thing? Simply apply some transglutaminase on each side of the protein to bind, press the sides together and let it rest refrigerated for a few hours.
Transglutaminase ‘meat glue’ was introduced into the modernist kitchen by Heston Blumenthal and is currently being used by some of the world best chefs such as Wylie Dufresne to:
- Make uniform portions of fish filet, tenderloins, etc that cook evenly, look good, and reduce waste.

Demonstrating butcher knot

Meat placed and in a Umai Charcuterie Dry age bag  The Lamb Proscuitto will stay in bag until it loses about 30% of its weight. Currently the Lamb weighs 2150 g and will need to lose 30% or 645 g for a weight in at 1505 g. 

Lamb sitting upper right in drying chamber with fan circulating the air. 
After 3 week of Dry-curing the Lamb has lost about 15% of its weight.  It started out at 2150 g and needs to lose 645 g to weigh in at 1505 g.  Getting close!!

18% loss in weight.