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This adventure: lamb prosciutto. Want to follow along?

A few of you may have seen a previous post of mine where I had a lamb slaughtered and I raved about the quality and superior flavor of the meat. That animal was one of two purchased. The second was held at my buddy’s property where the sheep had 3+ acres to graze on grass and shared it only with another cow.  Well, last week we decided it was time to have him butchered. I had him broken down into primal cuts so I could break those down further exactly how I wanted them. With such fantastic quality meat, I decided to use his rear legs for prosciutto. Wanting to make it as cool as possible, we left the leg as intact as we could.  

When I got him back from the butcher, they left the skin on at our request. Not the best picture, but this is how it looked right before we started working on it. 


First, I took shears to it to try and get the majority of the wool off. Then I took hair clippers to get it as low as possible. 


The thought was to burn the remainder off. Not a good idea. The wool was still to thick. This is what it looked like after multiple attempts using all types of things to scrape it off after burning it. We also had to clean the hoofs - hense the wire brushes. 



We had to abort the idea of a skin-on leg, so we skinned them. 

Leg 1 after skinning and before trimming:


After trimming l pressed out the remainder of the blood left in the veins, and gave it a vigorous beating at the advice of @20stone:


Leg 2. Pre and post:




Then it was time to get to get them in a cure.
I weighed out my spices and set them aside. This was for one leg. Each leg was seasoned differently. 

I needed to make sure the hoof and lowest part of the leg would be treated differently and separately from the shank and above since there is so little muscle there. Since that was left on only for the “cool” factor and killer presentation, I salted it like crazy then wrapped it up.  (Note the pedicure that hoof got!)


Then I applied the cure rub on the meat and placed it in a vac seal bag 


Then I sealed up the bag the best I could:


I really hope this works out. I only had Lamb prosciutto once in Australia, and it was incredible. Never saw it before or since. Using the advice of my father: “If you can’t find what you want, you can always try to make it.” So here I go.

Now they sit in the fridge curing. They each have their own shelf and will be flipped daily for the next 3-4 weeks. 

Thread to be continued then....
--------------------------------------------------
Burning lump in Downingtown, PA or diesel in Cape May, NJ.
....just look for the smoke!
Large and MiniMax
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«1

Comments

  • bgebrentbgebrent Posts: 17,481
    All In!!  Outstanding effort.  Can’t wait to see your results.
    Sandy Springs & Dawsonville Ga
  • I’ll fux with ya. In. 

    "Brought to you by bourbon, bacon, and a series of questionable life decisions."

    South of Nashville, TN

  • Giddyup!
    "If the world is something you accept rather than interpret, then you're susceptible to the influence of charismatic idiots." - NdGT

    "I've made a note never to piss you two off." - Stike


  • calikingcaliking Posts: 11,773
    edited September 10
    Nice!!

    i think the skin needs to be scalded with hot/boiling water first,  if you are trying to get the hair off. It probably loosens up the follicles, making it easier to singe or scrape off. Don’t recall the steps in the process, but you should be able to Googlify it. 



    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • 20stone20stone Posts: 1,657
    I am stoked to see how this goes. 

    I tried (and failed) to be the voice of reason in this process, likely failing due to my lack of familiarity in the role. 

    Keep the pictures coming!
    Joule SV
    GE induction stove
    Gasser by the community pool
    Scale (which one of my friends refuses to use)
    Friends with BGEs and myriad other fired devices
    Charcuterie and sourdough enthusiast
    Prosciuttos in an undisclosed location

    Austin, TX
  • GoooDawgsGoooDawgs Posts: 751
    Thoroughly impressed with this one.   That's a significant undertaking -  I hope it's delicious and appreciated!   Nothing more manly than taking a powertool to the protein.
    Milton, GA 
    XL BGE & FB300
  • Oh yeah! Patiently standing by...
    Charlotte, NC

    XL BGE, WSM, Weber Genesis 2, Weber Kettle
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 23,771
    my only attempt at lamb prosciutto was a failure.  do you have a link to the process you are using, never seen it done in the fridge
  • Sea2SkiSea2Ski Posts: 2,920
    caliking said:
    Nice!!

    i think the skin needs to be scalded with hot/boiling water first,  if you are trying to get the hair off. It probably loosens up the follicles, making it easier to singe or scrape off. Don’t recall the steps in the process, but you should be able to Googlify it. 


    @caliking We also tried that, but we poured water on it since it was just the leg and it was already separated.  It did not work. Maybe it had to be exposed longer or hotter or both? I am thinking longer, but do not know that. 
    We also tried shaving it using olive oil (please do not bring in what kind of killer aggressive  razor to use!), burning and brushing with nylon brushes etc. We tried a bunch of techniques.
    we decided we need a professional to do it. 

    I am coughing it to us is not knowing what we are doing with respect to that part of the process. Well, any part of it if I want to be honest with myself. 

    Maybe if it turns out “okay” or better we will try again and figure out how to get a “skin on” leg. 

    Next challenge up for these: what to case them in when it comes to drying them.  Bladder? Stomach? Bung? Sugna? Something else?  I have about two weeks to decide so I can order/prepare what I need to before it is time to pull them out of the cure.

    I thought finding solid and consistent techniques for curing  solid muscles was difficult. Curing a whole leg?  There isn’t anything out there that I have found. So I am making this up as I go and taking good notes. That is part of the fun! 
    --------------------------------------------------
    Burning lump in Downingtown, PA or diesel in Cape May, NJ.
    ....just look for the smoke!
    Large and MiniMax
    --------------------------------------------------
  • calikingcaliking Posts: 11,773
    Sea2Ski said:
    caliking said:
    Nice!!

    i think the skin needs to be scalded with hot/boiling water first,  if you are trying to get the hair off. It probably loosens up the follicles, making it easier to singe or scrape off. Don’t recall the steps in the process, but you should be able to Googlify it. 


    @caliking We also tried that, but we poured water on it since it was just the leg and it was already separated.  It did not work. Maybe it had to be exposed longer or hotter or both? I am thinking longer, but do not know that. 
    We also tried shaving it using olive oil (please do not bring in what kind of killer aggressive  razor to use!), burning and brushing with nylon brushes etc. We tried a bunch of techniques.
    we decided we need a professional to do it. 

    I am coughing it to us is not knowing what we are doing with respect to that part of the process. Well, any part of it if I want to be honest with myself. 

    Maybe if it turns out “okay” or better we will try again and figure out how to get a “skin on” leg. 

    Next challenge up for these: what to case them in when it comes to drying them.  Bladder? Stomach? Bung? Sugna? Something else?  I have about two weeks to decide so I can order/prepare what I need to before it is time to pull them out of the cure.

    I thought finding solid and consistent techniques for curing  solid muscles was difficult. Curing a whole leg?  There isn’t anything out there that I have found. So I am making this up as I go and taking good notes. That is part of the fun! 


    The skin is supposed to be scalded from what I can remember, so going hotter (boiling water) would likely help.


    As far as casing, @20stone is your guy. If he doesn't know where to get animal a-holes and such on the internet...


    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • Sea2SkiSea2Ski Posts: 2,920
    my only attempt at lamb prosciutto was a failure.  do you have a link to the process you are using, never seen it done in the fridge
    Me either!

    Nope - no link. No guidance, no mentoring....
     I have cured whole muscles and am pleased with them. 
    I am going by the approach of “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”
    I am making it up as I go.  I figure if I break up the leg in sections and treat them as individual parts, it - in theory - will work.
    I think.

    We will see.
    --------------------------------------------------
    Burning lump in Downingtown, PA or diesel in Cape May, NJ.
    ....just look for the smoke!
    Large and MiniMax
    --------------------------------------------------
  • lkapigianlkapigian Posts: 4,064
    Bookmarked and following- Thank You @Sea2Ski
    Visalia, Ca
  • Sea2SkiSea2Ski Posts: 2,920
    caliking said:
    Sea2Ski said:
    caliking said:
    Nice!!

    i think the skin needs to be scalded with hot/boiling water first,  if you are trying to get the hair off. It probably loosens up the follicles, making it easier to singe or scrape off. Don’t recall the steps in the process, but you should be able to Googlify it. 


    @caliking We also tried that, but we poured water on it since it was just the leg and it was already separated.  It did not work. Maybe it had to be exposed longer or hotter or both? I am thinking longer, but do not know that. 
    We also tried shaving it using olive oil (please do not bring in what kind of killer aggressive  razor to use!), burning and brushing with nylon brushes etc. We tried a bunch of techniques.
    we decided we need a professional to do it. 

    I am coughing it to us is not knowing what we are doing with respect to that part of the process. Well, any part of it if I want to be honest with myself. 

    Maybe if it turns out “okay” or better we will try again and figure out how to get a “skin on” leg. 

    Next challenge up for these: what to case them in when it comes to drying them.  Bladder? Stomach? Bung? Sugna? Something else?  I have about two weeks to decide so I can order/prepare what I need to before it is time to pull them out of the cure.

    I thought finding solid and consistent techniques for curing  solid muscles was difficult. Curing a whole leg?  There isn’t anything out there that I have found. So I am making this up as I go and taking good notes. That is part of the fun! 


    The skin is supposed to be scalded from what I can remember, so going hotter (boiling water) would likely help.


    As far as casing, @20stone is your guy. If he doesn't know where to get animal a-holes and such on the internet...

    I know I said no guidance or mentoring, but that is not totally accurate.  @20stone has helped me on a few brainstorming phone calls. He has thrown a few thoughts and ideas my way, and together we have discussed several ways to approach this and I do not want to take that credit away from him. He has assisted.  But our conversations have had a lot more  sentences that begin with “I think”, “I believe” and  “I suppose” than “You need”, “You must” “procedure dictates” and “It is known”... 

    We we are having a good time with this!
    --------------------------------------------------
    Burning lump in Downingtown, PA or diesel in Cape May, NJ.
    ....just look for the smoke!
    Large and MiniMax
    --------------------------------------------------
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 23,771
    i believe mine went wrong in two steps, first, the literature said 5 days to 7 days in salt. i think that was too short. second i had it hanging from the ceiling and the rope snapped about 2 weeks in. the meat loosened from the bone when it fell leaving some more raw meat exposed near the bone. thats where the problems began, near the bone, internally
  • 20stone20stone Posts: 1,657
    Sea2Ski said:
    I know I said no guidance or mentoring, but that is not totally accurate.  @20stone has helped me on a few brainstorming phone calls. He has thrown a few thoughts and ideas my way, and together we have discussed several ways to approach this and I do not want to take that credit away from him. He has assisted.  But our conversations have had a lot more  sentences that begin with “I think”, “I believe” and  “I suppose” than “You need”, “You must” “procedure dictates” and “It is known”... 

    We we are having a good time with this!
    A couple of key point here:
    • He is right.  It is very tough to find a process for a skinless, bone in lamb prosciutto.  We were just spitballin'
    • In a very rare event, I was the one saying, "Maybe you should do ONE like x (you know, something you are sure will turn out) and ONE like y (you know, the flyer that could crash ruinously)", and he was all, "Nah.  F(*& it.  I'm goin' for it!" - To reiterate, when I am the voice of reason in your ear, you might take a step back and reconsider
    • I am so stoked to see how this goes that I had to pester him yesterday before the post went up with "So, what'd you do? How did it go? Do you have pics? What do you think?...."
    • I hope it turns out awesome (and I think it will), though curing time will be tough to gauge in advance
    I hate being outcrazied, but I fully support this effort.
    Joule SV
    GE induction stove
    Gasser by the community pool
    Scale (which one of my friends refuses to use)
    Friends with BGEs and myriad other fired devices
    Charcuterie and sourdough enthusiast
    Prosciuttos in an undisclosed location

    Austin, TX
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 23,771
    just looked back at an old post, it was in the fridge but just under 5 days from the recipe i had.  your 15 days sounds much better.  use a bigger string than this ;)


  • calikingcaliking Posts: 11,773
    If hanging, you need a metal hook or zip tie, at a point where tendon or ligament meets the bone. String will fail. 

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • 20stone20stone Posts: 1,657
    caliking said:
    If hanging, you need a metal hook or zip tie, at a point where tendon or ligament meets the bone. String will fail. 
    I am a fan of the zip tie for this application, which I hang by a metal hook
    Joule SV
    GE induction stove
    Gasser by the community pool
    Scale (which one of my friends refuses to use)
    Friends with BGEs and myriad other fired devices
    Charcuterie and sourdough enthusiast
    Prosciuttos in an undisclosed location

    Austin, TX
  • Sea2SkiSea2Ski Posts: 2,920
    caliking said:
    If hanging, you need a metal hook or zip tie, at a point where tendon or ligament meets the bone. String will fail. 
    I think I am set with respect to this. My curing chamber is empty in preparation, but it can hold plenty of weight. Here is about 20 lbs of meat hanging. Maybe a little more. These legs do not weigh that much. I will securely fasten it somewhere above the hoof and between the bone and ligament.  I like the zip tie idea.  


    --------------------------------------------------
    Burning lump in Downingtown, PA or diesel in Cape May, NJ.
    ....just look for the smoke!
    Large and MiniMax
    --------------------------------------------------
  • calikingcaliking Posts: 11,773
    Now that just looks sexy...

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • mlc2013mlc2013 Posts: 826
    following with drool dripping down my face
    Long Island NY    
    1 XL BGE 12/17, 1 LG BGE 3/18, 1 MM BGE 3/18
  • bucky925bucky925 Posts: 1,211
    Following thinking of Dexter, just saying. 
    Live fast. die young, and leave a well marbled corps. 
  • bgebrentbgebrent Posts: 17,481
    caliking said:
    Now that just looks sexy...
    Took the words out of my drooling mouth.
    Sandy Springs & Dawsonville Ga
  • Sea2SkiSea2Ski Posts: 2,920
    Things look good!  A good amount of liquid has been pulled from the meat and has made a curing brine. The meat is firming up, which means it is curing. Pleased so far!

    --------------------------------------------------
    Burning lump in Downingtown, PA or diesel in Cape May, NJ.
    ....just look for the smoke!
    Large and MiniMax
    --------------------------------------------------
  • 20stone20stone Posts: 1,657
    Sea2Ski said:
    Things look good!  A good amount of liquid has been pulled from the meat and has made a curing brine. The meat is firming up, which means it is curing. Pleased so far!

    ...just in time for the bag to leak all over your fridge ;-)

    Thanks for the update.
    Joule SV
    GE induction stove
    Gasser by the community pool
    Scale (which one of my friends refuses to use)
    Friends with BGEs and myriad other fired devices
    Charcuterie and sourdough enthusiast
    Prosciuttos in an undisclosed location

    Austin, TX
  • "He has thrown a few thoughts and ideas my way"...

    This usually costs me about $1200 per thought and idea
    1- LGBE
    1- KBQ C-60 (The Dishwasher)
    I- Blackstone 36" Griddle
    1- Sweet-A$$ Roccbox Pizza Oven
    1-Very Understanding and Forgiving Wife
  • "I hate being outcrazied, but I fully support this effort"-@20stone

    "Your title is still safe"-your partners in pig
    1- LGBE
    1- KBQ C-60 (The Dishwasher)
    I- Blackstone 36" Griddle
    1- Sweet-A$$ Roccbox Pizza Oven
    1-Very Understanding and Forgiving Wife
  • SGHSGH Posts: 25,181
    Sea2Ski said:
    (please do not bring in what kind of killer aggressive  razor to use!)
      :scream:

    Location- Just "this side" of Biloxi, Ms.

    Status- Standing by.

    Arsenal-Just a small wore out and broken down Weber kettle. No other means to cook at all.
    Virtus Junxit Mors Non Separabit
    The greatest barrier against all wisdom, the stronghold against knowledge itself, is the single thought in ones mind, that they already have it all figured out. 
  • Sea2SkiSea2Ski Posts: 2,920
    Time for an update!
    Every single day, (okay, not true-  I missed one day) for the last 3 1/2 weeks I flipped the legs and massaged them to make sure the cure rub was in contact with the entire upper portion of the leg. (The meat). The meat has firmed up and I can tell it has reabsorbed some of the liquid it originally gave off,  so the meat is now cured. I took it out of the bag, and it smells good. 

    Here it is right out of the bag before the rinse. 


    Here here is a closeup of the meat after a good water rinse to get as much of the the seasonings off as I could. Then, I took a good cup of red wine and gave it a good rubdown I used a Pinot Noir of course, because it is lamb after all.


    I am really pleased (right now) with the low part of the leg where I used only salt.  Everything was taught and firm.  Kinda concerned about what it may look like once it dries out, but it will be what it will be. 


    Next it it was time to case the meat since I had to take the skin off for reasons described earlier in this thread. You do not want the meat to dry too fast and get something called case hardening. That occurs when the outside meat gets so dry and hard that it creates a “shell” and the meat in closest to the center can not lose its moisture so it rots. There are lots of ways to try and prevent case hardening, but I chose to go with a pig bladder as a casing for this project.

    After soaking and stretching that bladder, I trussed up the leg and then used a sausage pricker and pricked it full of holes to allow moisture and any trapped air in the form of “bubbles” between the meat and casing to escape.

    The finished work by my amateur hands:



    And now the leg hangs in the curing chamber at 50F and 80% humidity. After 24 hours I will weigh it and that will be my “wet” hanging weight.  I then have to wait to it loses 30-35% of its wet hanging weight to it is ready to slice and eat. Not sure how to calculate this one since it is “on the hoof” and the weight of the bone and lowest part of the leg will not lose weight, but I do not know what those things weigh. I will have to go with my gut and by feel at the very end.  

    @fishlessman and @20stone, do not worry, that butcher string is plenty strong enough for this leg.  It is not that heavy.  



    Now we wait some more.

    For those following along, thanks for doing so. It I fun to share this project knowing that at least two or three people are also interested is how this is progressing.  I am having a blast with this! 
    --------------------------------------------------
    Burning lump in Downingtown, PA or diesel in Cape May, NJ.
    ....just look for the smoke!
    Large and MiniMax
    --------------------------------------------------
  • smokingalsmokingal Posts: 136
    Did you rub it down with red wine for the flavor or some other reason?
    It's "Smokin Gal", not "Smoking Al".
    Egging in the Atlanta GA region
    Large BGE, Kick Ash Basket, Smokeware SS Cap
    http://barbecueaddict.com
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