Prosciutto

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LOUSANTELLO
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Prosciutto

Post by LOUSANTELLO » Thu Dec 01, 2016 05:12

OK guys, I am ready to take the plunge, but I have no clue where to start. The chamber is empty, so I can do whatever I need to do at whatever temperature during the salting process time within the Chamber? But I do need some specifics to the whole process including cure, salt, timing, rinsing, etc. HELP! Thanks
Last edited by LOUSANTELLO on Fri Dec 09, 2016 04:09, edited 1 time in total.
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redzed
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Post by redzed » Thu Dec 01, 2016 09:41

Lou you can take a look at Jason Molinari's blog here:
http://curedmeats.blogspot.com/2014/08/ ... .html#more

Read some of Marianski here:
http://www.meatsandsausages.com/hams-other-meats/dry

and here:
http://www.meatsandsausages.com/hams-ot ... ts/spanish

Molinari provides you with a good basic recipe. You could also check Ruhlman's book and take a look at Len Poli's version here:
http://lpoli.50webs.com/index_files/Pro ... 0Parma.pdf

If you PM me your email address I'll send you a section from Fidel Toldra's book on dry cured hams. Very technical but it will help you understand the process a lot better than just following a recipe. Once you digest all that and have any specific questions, we'll be happy to help.
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Post by redzed » Thu Dec 08, 2016 21:06

One more thing that I should mention is that you should get a leg that has a thick fat cover, and as much intra muscular fat as possible. The most flavourful meat will be from a sow. If you will be getting a market hog leg, get the biggest one available, at least 25lbs. :smile:
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Post by Butterbean » Thu Dec 08, 2016 21:36

redzed wrote:One more thing that I should mention is that you should get a leg that has a thick fat cover, and as much intra muscular fat as possible. The most flavourful meat will be from a sow. If you will be getting a market hog leg, get the biggest one available, at least 25lbs. :smile:
Why do you say this? Not arguing because I agree but I don't know why other than personal observation. I'm basing this mostly on cattle. With cattle we get a higher price for steers and when people ask to have a calf fed out they always ask for a steer but IMO, I'd prefer to fatten a heifer and sell my steers because I get a premium for steers. I assume because they put on weight faster than heifers but I can argue this based on my numbers. But for quality, well marbled meat, I prefer to fatten heifers because I find they finish at a much higher grade all things being equal. My assumption is males build muscle faster and females are building more fat reserves for breeding. But fat is where the flavor is yet most cattlemen know still want to finish steers for some reason and arguing with some of these guys is like wrestling a pig.

Sorry, didn't mean to get off the subject just curious why this is.
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Post by redzed » Fri Dec 09, 2016 02:22

By the term sow, I am referring to a female hog that has had at least one litter of piglets. From what I read, a one litter sow, dry and fattened was considered to produce the best salumi. But today only a few of us have access to that category of pork. Today certified Parma hams are produced from heavy hogs, 150-160kg live weight. Only castrated boars are used, although they may be used in home production since boar taint comes through when the meat is heated. Some of the Spanish hams are also made from smaller market size hogs, 100-110kg. I'm not sure whether the ham is better from a female or a castrated hog. The biggest determining factors in taste are genetics (breed) and type of feed. A good amount of fat is important, because a lot of the flavour also comes from it. Bigger hams are usually fatter hams and that is what I wanted to stress in my post.

Many years ago when I spent my summers working at my father's slaughterhouse we used to have debates as to which steak tastes better, one from a steer or one from a heifer. My father sold beef by the side or quarter and the price was always higher for a steer. The steaks tended to be bigger and leaner. Personally I did not have a preference, as it tended to depend on the individual animal. But I do remember liking a thick cut porterhouse from a Hereford heifer and for a while thought that the best cuts were from a Charolais steer. And a porterhouse from that beast was usually bigger than the dinner plate! I think that many people at that time (the 70's) were trying to eat less fat and for that reason preferred steers. One of my dad's customers was a dairy farmer who also raised and finished Holstein steers, and would sell them for a good price directly to folks who wanted lean beef. If he took them to the auction he would get less than than what it cost to feed them, and they would more than likely end up as hot dogs. The Holstein steer carcasses were huge and had very little fat on them.
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Post by Butterbean » Fri Dec 09, 2016 04:21

Ok, I follow you. I was hoping there was some explanation for what I've seen with cattle. My gut tells me that they are the same as people and if given the same caloric intake a female will fatten quicker than a male for biological reproduction reasons. Don't know if this is true but it makes sense and would explain why I typically get better marbling with heifers. I had one ugly cross heifer which I'd mistakenly bought so I fed her out. I think she was hereford, braford, limousine and maybe some jersey in her. The meat was so marbled she would have graded on the kobe beef scale and hanging she cut like butter. If I could only replicate this I'd be rich.
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Post by LOUSANTELLO » Sat Dec 10, 2016 01:06

Mixed signals here. My brother salted his for 30 days. Butcher says one week. Whats up with this?
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Post by Bob K » Sat Dec 10, 2016 13:28

Lou-
I would read some of the links that were posted on this thread and your last prosciutto thread:
http://www.wedlinydomowe.pl/en/viewtopic.php?t=7915

One week is simply not long enough.
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Post by LOUSANTELLO » Sat Dec 10, 2016 15:19

I've read them. A lot of the reading also says nitrites. Is this a cure #1 or cure #2 and is it necessary? I've also seen them placed in bags, which mean they don't drain, or do you want them to drain?
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Post by Bob K » Sat Dec 10, 2016 16:29

Traditionally only salt was used but cure #2 is an option that can add a degree of safety.
Watch the U of Kentucky video, read through Devos thread ...wrap in paper, use a ham bag (they are great and easy to use)
They need to drain if you are not doing an equilibrium cure method.
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Post by Butterbean » Sat Dec 10, 2016 20:02

The last ham I did turned out really nice and here are the processes I used for hams 25 lbs or larger.

First, look at your ham and see how its cut.

Is the foot off and was the ham removed cleanly with no open bone or marrow exposed?

If yes, it would be wise to inject some brine cure solution in the vein and along the bone because this will be the last areas to get cure and this can cause bone souring.

If its a clean cut and foot on and no marrow exposed, look at the cut area on the ham and trim some of this back leaving about 1/2 inch of fat thus creating more surface area for the salt to penetrate.

Take your salt and cure mix and divide it in three parts and apply a third to this cut area. After a week of it staying in the fridge and draining add another third to the cut area and let it stay another week. Apply last 1/3 and leave the ham refrigerated till the total time salted equals seven days for each inch of thickness measured at its thickest point.

If you found the need to inject brine in the artery and along the bone you only need to apply the salt twice and figure 5 days per inch of thickness.

Once your curing time is up, wash the salt off the cut area and hang the ham and let the salt equalize for 20 days. At this point the ham should be "cured" and you can smoke, age or dry after this point. Personally I like to rub the cut area down with lard and black pepper to get a more equal drying.

I would also suggest using a cure 2 since botulism was first discovered in hams and some of the salt we buy today may be refined and not have natural nitrates in them.

I also prefer injecting because there is a lot of time involved in this and it just seems to make sense to do it.
Last edited by Butterbean on Sun Dec 11, 2016 00:57, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by LOUSANTELLO » Sat Dec 10, 2016 22:25

OK, we are getting closer. Let's assume the ham is 25 pounds with the foot off. Let's assume I need to make a brine for injection. What percentages of what and what for brine? I also assume you have to still salt and cure the whole piece of meat. I did not understand your 1/3 and 1/3 because that only adds up to 2/3 with no discussion of the last 1/3. There was also no mention of the salt required for the rest of the meat and when it is applied. And lastly, you mention 7 days per 1 inch of thickness. Can you explain what you are measuring? What about pressing? But more importantly, Am i using a 6% salt of the total weight and how much cure? I still don't understand the 1/3 batches. Thanks
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Post by Butterbean » Sun Dec 11, 2016 02:03

Sorry about the vagueness Lou, I went back and edited what I wrote and maybe this will clearer now.

You don't really need to salt the skin because its not going to absorb anything. Just salt all open areas. You can salt the skin but its not going to penetrate the meat so really you are only treating the cut areas and this is why its recommended to trim some around the cut and thin the fat in this area to help salt absorption because this is where all the salt is penetrating.

On the salt, I used 0.75 oz but you can use 1 oz per pound of meat as the total then divided this amount by 3 and apply three times at day 0, 7 and 14. You'll notice by day seven a lot of the salt will have vanished or leaked off so you coat it again, then again after another week and then you begin your timing based on thickness. Once your time is up, rinse the cuts because you don't want it to take up more salt. Then equalize for 20 days.

For yours with the foot off, I'd worry about bone sour so I'd weigh the ham - 25 lbs - and weigh out either 18.75 oz or 25 ounces of salt and add the proper amount of your Cure 2 to this - whatever your label says. I'd lean toward the lower rate on salt.

Since yours is footless and could sour, I'd inject it at the joints and along the bone area. If you can find the artery it wouldn't hurt to pump a shot in this. What you want is 1 oz of brine for each pound of meat. You can make the brine out of the same salt/cure mix. You'll just need 25 ounces of brine total. For simplicity, you might just prepare a cup of salt/cure mix and and mix with four cups of water and use this for your injection. Don't worry if some of the 25 ounces spills or comes out and don't over inject. All you are trying to do is get cure near the bone and this will protect the bone from sour and will work its way out toward the other salt coming in from the cuts.

Since you are injecting, you will split the salt in half and apply half to the cut areas on the first day and the other half on seven. A lot of the salt will fall off or drip off but don't worry and don't go packing more salt on it. Just leave it alone. Since you injected it will cure faster so multiply the the ham at its thickest point in inches and by 5 and this is your curing time. Once this time is reached, rinse all the salt off the ham and let it dry and let it sit for 14 days and then the ham should be cured and you are ready to do whatever to it.

Hope this helps.

On the brine, if I inject the artery I normally dilute the brine by half. I also don't worry if I can't get it all in. Main thing I'm looking for is just some reasonable squirts in and around the bone and I always lose some but don't worry about this loss.

I'm also using kosher salt as the base for the cure.
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Post by LOUSANTELLO » Sun Dec 11, 2016 02:37

Ok, so once you rinse it and "let it sit" for 14 days. Where do I let it sit? Refrigerator? Chamber? Once i "let it sit", then it gets hung in the chamber at 54 at high humidity as usual?
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Post by Butterbean » Sun Dec 11, 2016 03:30

Keep it refrigerated till its cured then you can do what you want to with it. Its done. Its just not aged. You can dry them as long as you want or however you want. I've hung them in the attic and the hot summer heat will bring out a nuttiness in them. I'll lay cold smoke off and on for several days. If you don't do this expect some colorful molds but don't worry. I have one hanging in a barn that's been there since 2010. People just slice slivers off it when they want some. Best have a sharp knife though because its dried like a rock.
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