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Everything posted by Joao

  1. Joao

    Curing Duck Prosciutto

    I've been reading up on traditional prosciutto curing and I need to make a correction to my previous post. Not all prosciuttos are treated with sodium nitrite; according to McGee's On Food and Cooking, prosciutto di Parma & San Daniele are cured with sea salt only. Spanish and french hams are indeed treated with sodium nitrite though.
  2. Joao

    Curing Duck Prosciutto

    You have a good point. The larding step is done in regular prosciutto, but that has a curing time of at least 9 months and the lard is quickly absorbed by the meat. I don't think the curing time for duck prosciutto would be long enough for this to happen and it's likely that it would just prevent exposure to air. Also, unlike regular prosciutto, duck prosciutto isn't treated with sodium nitrite; preventing exposure to air on the surface of the meat could raise the risk of botulism.
  3. Joao

    Curing Duck Prosciutto

    Thank you both. I think I'll try doing 2 breasts at once; one with the exposed meat coated in rendered duck fat and the other one without it. One more question: some of the articles I've seen ask for the layer of fat to be trimmed while others recommend leaving the whole layer. I don't think trimming the fat will have any influence on the curing process itself, but I can imagine it influencing the final weight reduction since the fat layer won't lose as much moisture as the meat. Should I aim for a 30% reduction in weight regardless of what I do to the layer of fat?
  4. Joao

    Curing Duck Prosciutto

    The fridge is considerably colder than the recommended temperatures that I've seen for the curing process (10–15ºC, 50–60ºF). This wasn't a problem for you? For how long did you leave it curing in the fridge?
  5. I'm thinking of dry-curing some duck prosciutto for the first time and I've been reading through a lot of blog posts about it. I've noticed that most people who don't have access to a humidity-controlled chamber end up with a very hard surface on the meat due to the overly-dry air. When curing regular prosciutto, most producers avoid this by covering the exposed meat with lard. Has anyone tried covering the exposed meat on the duck breasts with either lard or rendered duck fat?
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