Making Prosciutto in the UK

Discussion in 'Curing' started by sniper7990, Jan 20, 2015.

  1. sniper7990

    sniper7990 Meat Mopper

    As title above.

    This has been my ultimate plan for a few years.

    Having only just attempted to cure pork for bacon...and not had the results it even possible to do this at home in the UK

    Thinking about environmental factors.....curing in cellars, places to allow it to dry cure for 12 months etc

    Have any of you attempted this in the UK?
  2. Hello Russ.  I would think a curing chamber of some sort would be needed here.  Humidity and temp control are what is needed to make dry cured meats.  Just as you suggest England doesn't have the best weather to attempt this without controls.  Just my opinion.  Keep Smokin!

  3. Hi.  You can pick up a used wine cooler ( or something similar ) cheap enough on Ebay and then controls needed are also readily available.

  4. sniper7990

    sniper7990 Meat Mopper

    yeh.....its not going to be east by a long shot. A mate of mine happens to have a cool, dark wine cellar who would also like to have a crack at going over to his house in a couple of weeks to check it out
  5. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I am down under not near you but I can offer this, it's one of the harder things to do in your own home. Not exactly a news flash.
    I have a book that is a collection of recipes from our very large Italian community all about preserving salami,pancetta,anchovies everything you can think of. I will pull it out & have a look .
    I know from memory that getting all the blood out especially from the vein that runs down the bone is critical.
    There is also that wire mesh tightening press "thingy " that some guys use to squeeze moisture out & get the salt into the middle. It's got 4 wing nuts on threaded rods to give you a full press.
    I am down the coast until Sunday let me know if this is the sort of help your after.
    Regards Mick
  6. sniper7990

    sniper7990 Meat Mopper

    Mick, Ill take anything I can get on this at the moment, Cheers bud
  7. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    The book I have is in Sydney I will be back there on Sunday. It was put together by a Doctor who collected the accumulated wisdom from many Italians. It's devilishly hard to do in Sydney,to humid,to hot.
    I know ventilation is very desirable ,a breeze is a great thing. Italians avoid hanging any small goods in buildings with metal roofs ,they trap to much moisture. I will get back to you.
  8. sniper7990

    sniper7990 Meat Mopper

    nice one mate, cheers
  9. Hi,

    I live at the moment in Somerset and have been dryaging meat and making prosciutto with some success by using the drybag

    process.  If you are not aware of this process, basically  you use a special bag available in both the UK and USA into which you seal the meat or cured meat or sausage put it in a fridge and wait for the item to age or cure.  A good domestic fridge is all you need although I confess

    I bought a commercial fridge for the purpose so it was dedicated to this and was not constantly opened and shut for domestic purposes.

    If you look up drybag steak on the internet there is a wealth of information on the subject, I have been very happy with my results

    so far.

    Let me know if I can help further

  10. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Back in the big city,found my copy of Preserving the Italian way by Pietro Demaio.

    I am to slow to type[​IMG] all of the process as he describes it but the critical bits seem to be these.

    Trim the skin by 1/3 along the inside of the leg so meat is exposes remove any bloody meat particularly around the bone.DO NOT Create air pockets or hollows around the bone.

    Lay on firm surface cut side up,use a rolling pin to push along the bone to remove blood from the veins.A lot of emphasises placed on this step.Suggested that this be done every day for at least a week.

    Cover the entire cut surfaces with 2-3 cm rock salt,you want salt around all the crevices but you don't want to create hollows by pushing to hard. The whole thing goes under salt ,pull it out each day to do the rolling pin stage.

    Under salt for 1 day per kg .

    Remove brush off all salt,it needs to be dry. Rolling pin again over the next 4 -5 days. At this point some people will put leg between 2 boards & put a bag of cement on top of it,Italians always have a bag of cement handy! Leave it for a week or so. This flattens it ,squeezes out any juices,blood & removes any cavities.

    Then wash cut surface with wine,dry thoroughly.Cover cut surfaces with pepper,put  it in a well ventilated environment. Leave for 2 to 3 months.

    Ideal temp13c ,80% humidity.

    Next step make a putty of flour, fresh pork fat & salt cover cut surfaces,the cover that with layer of white pepper.

    Put it away again for ??? .A lot of people say a year total ageing .

    Hope this helps. There is a lot emphasis on getting the blood out & not creating air pockets.

    I have seen a press made from 2 bits of form ply(easier to sterilise & laying around if you are an Italian concreter[​IMG]) with threaded rods in each corner & wing nuts that was used for a week to squeeze every bit of troublesome moisture out of it.Its the blood that will make it putrefy 

    Good luck Mick.

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