Could not be more happy with this! I first started by cutting the hind leg to the specification of a Speck, and you can watch my butchery video below:
Next came to curing the Speck. I cured for 30 days, and used 3% Trapani sea salt, and about a medium handful of each: Bay Leaves, Fresh Rosemary, Garlic, Juniper Berries, and Black Pepper. After that it came to COLD smoking...very important.
I cold smoked the Speck with Beech wood for about 20 hours using 2 large Amaz'n tube smokers.
After smoking it looked like this:
You can see the classic heart shape taking form, and will only be accentuated more over the drying period.
I then dried the Speck in my chamber set at my standard 55-60F at 80-85% relative humidity. If you go below 80% in the first weeks of any product you will get severe case hardening I have noticed...
I dried the finished Speck for 22 weeks, and felt it was done losing at least 35% of its initial weight. This follows the disciplinare for making Speck Alto Adige in Italy as well. The guidelines are based on weight, and based on the weight of the trimmed leg after curing and smoking there is a minimum amount of time it has to stay in the chamber. The weight class of this Speck I cut put it in the timeframe of 22 weeks minimum drying. It could have gone longer if you wanted, but I wanted to eat it as soon as I though it was done, and was verified by losing over 35% of its weight in the drying time.
DELICIOUS. SMOKED. HAM! One of the best things I have made to date hands down, and cant wait for the time in my life when I can make this for the country!