Home-made Prosciutto

proscuitto2Back last autumn/winter I started making some prosciutto from a leg of our British Lop pigs – see here for a brief mention. It isn’t too hard to make. You just need a leg of pork, a lot of salt and even more patience – the latter was a problem for me.

Put kilos of salt in a big box – if you have reared massive British Lops you will need a very big box to hold the 11kg leg!

leg in saltAdd the leg and cover with salt. Put another full bag of salt on top to weigh it down. Leave somewhere cool for three days for every kilo of meat.

proscuito in saltAfter the allotted time, remove from salt and wash residue off. Wipe the leg all over with a clean (!) rag dipped in vinegar and then hang up (the leg not the rag) somewhere cool, where there is a draft and no flies. I used a game safe and hung it in the shed.

Leave it for a year (!)

Take the leg down, wipe off the mould, ignore the nagging voice in your head telling you that eating really old mouldy meat will kill you and slice some of the ham. The outside bits are quite hard – dog gets to eat these and the skin – I can’t believe how lucky my dog is scarfing down artisan, home-reared, home-cured organic prosciutto – with not even a look of gratitude!

I didn’t bone out the leg half way through the drying process so it was a little difficult to slice. I used my rubbish knives and hacked about at it. It still tasted amazing

hacked about ham and jellyWe had some with home pickled vegetables (see here), oven-dried tomatoes (see here) and braised borlotti beans in oil (post to come) – personally I blame George and Tina for all this preserving!

meze mealAnd then I remembered my fabulous slicing machine. Although I can’t slice the ham as is (because of the massive bone in it) I can cut off chunks and slice them. So this is what I did – and it looked and tasted like professional prosciutto. The slices from nearer the middle are better I have to say.

procuittoIt is good, and to be fair it is the reason I keep pigs.

So of course I have already salted and hung a leg from our Oxford Sandy and Black pigs for next year’s prosciutto.

OSB leg

But is it as good as the spalla and speck that I made? Umm, I don’t know – I need to make some more and do a taste test!

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