Sunday, March 3, 2013

Duck prosciutto

The second incarnation. The first duck prosciutto was Ruhlman-style: a twenty-four hour submersion in salt. Michael Ruhlman spanked me - politely, in the comments on the blog - for having used iodized salt, that first time. Chagrined, I hung the breasts on the terrace, sheltered from the elements.

These are inspired by Grant van Gameren, formerly of The Black Hoof, and now heading the about-to-open Crown Cooks (Toronto), who suggested I salt the breasts in ziplocks. In the ziplock were salt, sugar and seasonings. I used my boerewors mix for one - toasted coriander, cloves, allspice, some garam masala, for a South African flavour - and simple black pepper and juniper for the second. Grant suggested lavender. Maybe. When I have some lavender...

I should have some lavender...

They lived in their ziplocks in the fridge for fourteen days, and every few days I released any exuded liquids and added a little more salt. The meat turned dark and firmed up. It always smelled good.  Two days ago I removed them, washed them, dried them and swaddled them. "Not too much cheesecloth," said Grant.

They are hanging, this time, beneath the drinks tray, indoors. They have plenty to read. Chances are the last spot on the terrace was too cold and too draughty, although that's exactly how my mom made biltong (South African air dried beef) in Bloemfontein, in the winters, the strips of beef hanging from a wire string outside the old kitchen stoep.

In just under four weeks I shall unswaddle the ducks.

And reveal all.


  1. How do you keep the cat from bothering them? Don't turn your back! You might be sorry.

  2. He's never been a thief, strangely...


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