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Venison dried hams

Posted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 23:48
by crustyo44
My cousin scored a hind venison leg. Can this be cured and dried like a prosciutto.
Any members with experience on how to do this?

Posted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 00:51
by Dave Zac
I have one in my freezer too Jan and your idea is exactly what I plan on doing with it just as soon as the weather starts to cool a bit here. I will dry rub and let sit in the fridge for a week or two, then hang in the garage in my homemade curing chamber where I can control the humidity a bit better. Very rustic at best but I am certain it will work. I have done something similar in the past, before I read and learned a bit on a better process. That one turned out pretty well.

Dave Zac

Posted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 01:46
by Butterbean
If I could make a suggestion, you may want to try basturma. Its not exactly what you are talking about but has similar differences and I think you would be real pleased with the outcome.

Take the leg and cut out the main muscles from the bone.


Dust it down with the cure and seaoning mix.


Hang in cooler or place in fridge to cure. Once cured, slice it and you really have something worth eating.



If you don't like the soft texture and would like something more on the lines of jerky just place slices in a paper bag and let it dry in the fridge.

Posted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 02:57
by Chuckwagon
Hey Butterbean,
We had this at the ranch in my younger years. The cook would leave it out with an ultra sharp knife for the ranch-hands to slice off all they wanted. Some ate it later on their "coffee break" with a few crackers, and others made sandwiches with it for a mid-morning snack. I remember getting down from my horse, miles away from the ranch-house by ten o'clock in the morning, and jostling through the saddle bags for that precious fare. It was like a fix for a junkie. I remember it being particularly heavily flavored with garlic. Later on, I learned that "basturma" was the forerunner to pastrami- from whence the word originated.

Betterburn, uhh.... binderbud... uhhh.. batterbuns... how about sharing your recipe for spicing and drying that wonderful stuff? I'll put it in the MRI under "Butterbean's Basturma".

Best Wishes,

Posted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 03:45
by ssorllih
CW how do you get down from your horse? I always get down from the geese.

Posted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 04:16
by Chuckwagon
down from the geese.
Horsefeathers! :mrgreen:

Posted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 04:18
by Butterbean
I would have posted it but I can't find it at the moment. I'll dig through my notes cause I know I wrote it down cause I intend to make more of it this year. Its very easy to make. In fact, its so easy you'd swear you're doing something wrong.

Posted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 07:22
by crustyo44
Thank you for the photo's and the info. My cousin will be pleased, matter of fact, he just joined.
His name Wouter Kalkman. from Rotterdam, The Netherlands or Holland whatever you prefer.

Posted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 20:00
by Butterbean
Here is the recipe I used to make the Basterma. You can turn up the heat some with some hotter pepper if you wish. I understand in some areas they make it real spicey but this is more on the mild side and is very flavorful


Trim the meat of all fat and silverskin as best you can. Weigh the trimmed meat and make a seasoning mix of 10% of the meat's weight with the following spices.

55% salt with cure (Tendequick is great for this but if you don't have it just measure the correct amount of cure then make the difference up with non-iodized salt)
28% fenugreek
14% paprika
6% powdered garlic or about 1.5 cloves of crushed garlic per pound of meat
4.5% cumin
2% allspice
2% black pepper
2% cayenne pepper

Mix or grind all these spices together till they are a fine powder and mixed well.

Rub all the spices over the meat and it will form a paste then take the seasoned meat and place in a plastic bag or vaccum seal it and keep in the refrigerator for 6-7 days.

Take it out and rinse it with cold water then let the water drain and the meat dry. When the meat is dry, run some butchers twine through the pieces and hang in a cool place to dry. Somewhere around 65F is fine. Should be ready in 3-4 days but you may want to hang it longer depending on the texture you like. I leave mine hanging and just take down what I want to use. Also, if you want more of a jerky texture you can slice it and put in a papper bag and stick in the fridge and it will dry even more.

I really like venison done this way. The flavors are really nice and it has an interesting look to it as well. Hope you like it as well as I do.

Posted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 21:22
by Chuckwagon
Butterbean, Thanks for sharing your great recipe. Very nice!

Posted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 07:51
by crustyo44
Hi Butterbean,
Great recipe, one question though, is Cure #1 suitable or is Cure #2 required if drying for longer than say 2 weeks? I am going to use some pieces of rump for this.

Posted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 13:06
by Butterbean
Cure 1 is fine, just take use the proper amount based on the weight of the meat then make the difference up with salt. You are dealing with whole muscle rather than a mince so you are forming a barrier around the muscle. Is best to keep the thickness to four inches or less for the times I listed but you use larger cuts but it would need to hang longer to fully equillize. You can gauge when its ready by squeezing. The rub forms a thick layer around the meat. I like to let it dry a little longer to get a firmer texture but you can play around with the time to see what you like but it is ready in the time I gave.