Tuesday, June 17, 2014

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.  


The Duck Prosciutto  charcuterie turned out great. Beyond my wildest dreams is an understatement.  What started out as a beginners introduction to charcuterie turned out to be something extraordinaire. I could never imagine something so simple, and easy, to make turning out simply amazing.  

The whole project started out on Sept 9, 2013 and I planned on letting it dry until it lost about 30% of its weight which should have taken out 3 plus weeks. Well 19 days later on Sept 28 it had lost 25% of its total weight and based on feel and looks I thought it was ready.  

I sliced it thinly which was reminiscent of the salty pork version. The duck version in my opinion was better than the pork version   Granted I have not eaten the pork version in probably 15 plus years but this was superior.  The Duck prosciutto was bold in flavor and the contrasting white fat to the red-meat was eye popping. I recollect the pork version being being mild.  Not that mild is bad but just different.  

The flavor was robust and the white fat melted in your mouth. 

I am looking forward to making some pasta dishes using the bold duck prosciutto which will be a treat for all. 

What to do with Duck Prosciutto?  I made a Torte which I adapted from a recipe from Kizer Foods. 

I also made some duck bacon too.


Midnight snack with a friend.  Fruit, cheese and Sparkling Apple cider.  

It was awesome!!! So was the company.