Maybe as a scientist you’d think I’d get sick of doing experiments, but I really don’t, especially when it comes to making crazy/yummy foodstuffs in my kitchen. Our most recent undertaking is motivated solely by the fact that Elizabeth and I share an insatiable love of prosciutto and will go to great lengths and expense to get our hands on the good stuff.
The scrumptious endeavor pictured above and below was a confluence of fortunate circumstance. One Saturday, I found several vacuum-packed duck breasts at the groceria, presumably my intrepid butcher must have ordered but they failed to sell at market value. They were heavily marked-down, so much so that I bought pretty much all of them and chucked them into my freezer. Slip forward a few weeks and lo and behold, my dear wife comes across a recipe for ‘duck ham’ promising to be, essentially, a homemade prosciutto.
The preparation was remarkably simple- essentially just remove most of the duck skin, cover it on all sides with salt, some sugar and a little dried spice of your choice (dried thyme or better yet Zahtar), wrap in plastic wrap and keep in the fridge for 24 hours. No heat, no turning, no air-curing, no additional fuss.
We sliced into this baby boy the following day and boy was it INCREDIBLE. It was as good as any prosciutto and we did it all at home with 15 minutes of time and 24 hours of waiting. Two notes- first of all, I recommend spending some quality time getting as much salt as possible before you consume and maybe let it sit in the freezer to stiffen slightly before slicing. One problem with homemade prosciutto is that the TBYK kitchen isn’t equipped with a Berkel slicer. Yet.