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Prosciutto Shank


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I purchased a prosciutto shank today at my local italian market. It was $5.00 and weighs about 3 lbs. Now that I have it at home - what do I do with it? I do have a meat slicer - so I can slice it very thin - but is it boneless? Ideas please.

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You honestly can't tell if it's boneless? For real?

I'd be making Ribollita or some type of legume soup. I've seen prosciutto shanks at $5 per pound, so you got a good deal I think.

"There's nothing like a pork belly to steady the nerves."

Fergus Henderson

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No, I honestly can't tell if it has a bone - it is "shaped" like a shank, but by pressing along where the bone is - I don't feel anything rigid or hard. The label just says proscuitto.

Edited by Ursula13 (log)
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No, I honestly can't tell if it has a bone - it is "shaped" like a shank, but by pressing along where the bone is - I don't feel anything rigid or hard.  The label just says proscuitto.

Try and bend it?

Or stick a skewer in and see if you hit bone?

It should be obvious, otherwise if you've got 3lb of proscuitto for $5.00 please post the name and address and do they ship to the UK.

Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana.

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I think it is unlikely to have a bone -- this sounds like the prosciutto "ends" they sometime sell at a discount price (though your price does sound insanely good), because it has become too small to cut easily on a big grocery store slicer.

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You could cut it into smaller chunks and make a broth with it. Brown the meat lightly in a saucepan, deglaze with a bit of white wine and then add chicken stock. Add a bit of mirepoix, maybe some thyme, and simmer for about 30 minutes. Strain, season, etc.

You can use this broth to poach artichokes or white asparagus--or whatever else you might think would be good.

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I think it is unlikely to have a bone -- this sounds like the prosciutto "ends" they sometime sell at a discount price (though your price does sound insanely good), because it has become too small to cut easily on a big grocery store slicer.

It is hard to believe that you could get 3 pounds of ends for 5 dollars. That's really cheap even for a shank bone. I doubt it's real Prosciutto, maybe just some cheap domestic stuff. But then what would an Italian market be doing with it? And no one is going to sell a shank that still has so much meat on it that you can't tell if there's a bone or not. It sure is a mystery.

Either way, assuming what you bought isn't mislabeled, pea or bean soup is the way to go.

Edited by Batard (log)

"There's nothing like a pork belly to steady the nerves."

Fergus Henderson

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If it truly is boneless using all of it for soup would be a waste! I'd use a good knife to take some slices off it and wrap those up and freeze them for future use. If you just used the very end piece (about a pound or so) for soup or whatever it would be plenty. There is so many uses for it other than soup I'd tried to save as much as possible.

I've learned that artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

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Thanks for your replies. I weighed it and it is 2.87. The label says imported prosciutto. I live in Western PA in a town of about 2000 people. We have a "regular" grocery store and this store. This chunk was in the case of ends of cheeses and other meats. I plan on cutting it into large pieces and cooking with green beans today. Again thanks for all of your suggestions.

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I buy these all the time and, "Yes", authentic prosciutto can be really, really cheap.

I'm willing to bet that the ham is boneless and that is has been sliced on a rotary slicer. Eventually, it gets small enough that either the personnel get worried about slicing their fingertips or the customers don't want such small-diameter slices. Either way, it's better to sell, say 3 pounds for five bucks then it is to throw 3 pounds away.

If I find a fatty one I'll remove as much fat as possible and use it by itself. It makes a wonderful fat for use in risotto.

I frequently end up grinding a good chunk or two to when making ground beef for meatballs or bolognese sauce. It makes an excellent, subtle addition.

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I can confirm that you can be that lucky - I bought a similar 2kg shank for £5 in Waitrose (in the UK) yesterday and frequently do buy ends that cheaply. Obviously it helps if you chat them up a bit... :biggrin:

Think the beans idea is a good one. Maybe just cover it, simmer it for a bit and create some good stock, and then go from there. Pea & ham soup is also good, chuck in a handful of mint too.

Edited by le singe qui rit (log)
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At $1.67 a pound, there's no way this is real prosciutto.

There's a way. It could be a price mistake. Or maybe the gods are at work. At one store I went to a few years ago, they had Parmigiano-Reggiano rinds beside the cheese supply with the price sticker of "N/C". That's right -- they were giving them away. It took every ounce of will power for me not to take more than a package because I really wanted to take them all :unsure:

As for the use, a creamy parmesan sauce with bow-tie pasta, the Prosciutto & some fresh peas would be great.

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