A little over two weeks ago, one of my favorite blog and food writer, Michael Ruhlman brought to my attention Charcutepalooza. Having made my very first batch of bacon a month ago, this greatly intrigued me. Salted meat for 12 months? Count me in.
(As a side but very proud note, the home made bacon was used to wrap quail my roommate shot. We paired it off with our first batch of home brewed beer. Oh yeah, we almost sound like crazy survivalist.)
The first challenge for Charcutepalooza was duck prosciutto. Now, I can’t say I’ve ever heard of duck prosciutto. In fact, the term charcuterie is fairly new to me. I grew up with my fair share of preserved meats in Asia but we don’t get very many Western cured meats in that smack of the woods. But I love duck. I also love prosciutto. How could the two go wrong?
I already had a pastured duck from Oaks of Mamre sitting in my freezer. I’ve honestly never cooked a pastured duck before but I figured it shouldn’t be THAT much different than a regular duck. I was wrong. As I was deboning the fowl, it occurred to me how lean it really was. The breasts were tiny there was very little subsurface fat. Perhaps this wouldn’t be too bad a thing since that would mean less fat to go rancid.
I cured the bird as prescribed by Ruhlman:
- Coat with salt
- Wait for 24 hours
- Rinse and dry
- Wrap with cheese cloth and hang for a week
After cutting off the outer really salty layers, I got to the good bits. Because the breast was thin, it tasted a little too salty for my liking but I’m sure it would pair real well with some fruit. The flesh was gamey probably because, well, it’s a duck but also because it’s a pastured creature.
Now to convince my friends to give it a go.