Sunday, October 26, 2008

Adventures in Charcuterie: Prosciutto di Baraboo


This ham is in the style of the most famous hams, prosciutto di Parma and San Daniele, Bayonne, and Serrano. It's the most simple kind of dry-cured ham, anyone can do the curing, but the quality of the end result is entirely dependent on the hog, where it lived, what it ate, how fat it grew.
This is another recipe from Charcuterie by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn. Because my Berkshire hog was raised until slaughter in Baraboo, I believe the proper name for my ham is Prosciutto di Baraboo.

The ingredient list is very simple: Kosher Salt; Fresh Ham; Lard; Cracked Black Pepper; and Cheesecloth. This is my 14 pound ham packed in kosher salt.

I placed the salted ham in the vegetable crisper, safely out of the way of other activity. I put a 10 pound weight on the ham to squeeze out moisture as it cured for three weeks, and applied more salt regularly.

After the curing, the salt is rinsed off and the ham is dried.

The meat was covered with lard (it helps to keep the exposed flesh from overdrying) then sprinkled with cracked black pepper (the books says the pepper helps to keep bugs away - Yummo!).

I didn't take any pictures of this step because my hands were covered with lard.

Wrapped in cheesecloth, the ham will hang in my basement for 4 to 5 months to dry. It will be ready just in time for St. Paddy's Day.

This finished product is here.


Anonymous said...

How did your proscuitto turn out? I have two in the process now and wonder about the cheesecloth.

Headless Blogger said...

The finished results are here. The ham was fantastic.