Thursday, December 23, 2010

Violino di Capra - Goat Prosciutto

If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times. Prosciutto, while commonly associated with a pig leg, can really be made with anything. In this case; a goat leg. This is a a typical salume from Valchiavenna, just a few kilometers from Switzerland. Normally, this is made from the leg of a mountain goat. Unfortunately, mountain goats seem to be in short supply here in Atlanta, so I used what I could find.

The name of the product is pretty interesting. It's called a Violino di Capra, which translated to "goat violin". It has this name because the consumer is meant to hold the cured goat leg like a violin and slice it with a knife as if it we're a violin bow. You can see a good picture of that here. It's passed from diner to diner for each person to slice at will. I vividly remember eating this as a kid in Italy, and distinctly remember the really gamey, bracing flavor and the chewy tough meat. I've been looking forward to making it for a while. I've read that by tradition once the Violino is started, people cannot leave the table until the whole thing is finished! Recipes are guarded very jealously, passed on father to son, so it looks like I'll have to come up with my own recipe. Of course I'll share it here!





Probably the hardest part is going to be finding a nice whole goat leg. If you visit a market in an area with a large Indian population you shold be able to find one.
Here is mine. Really nice looking leg.



Here is the other side. I left it essentially untrimmed. Cleaned off a few pieces of silver skin, but not much really.



The cure mixture. I kept it nice and simple to taste the goaty-ness.



As always, the cure is massaged into the meat, making sure to get it into all the nooks and crannies, and then put into a ziplock bag. Any cure that fell off while rubbing is put into the bag so that the full amount of salt and cure that we planned to get in there, is in there.



After 18 days of curing in the fridge, I took it out, gave it a quick rinse, and dried it off well.

Side A


Side B

I tied a slipknot around the top of the leg (bottom of the leg?) and put it in the chamber set at 55 deg. F / 75% RH.


See you in a couple of months...or more!



As always, I'll report back

22 comments:

Bob del Grosso said...

The concept of a goat "violin" is very funny especially when you add in the concept of a goat dance or cabriolet. Where are you getting all this goat?

John@QuietWatersFarm said...

Jason, this is great, its one of those things I've often thought of when we kill a goat and this has inspired me to go for it next time around!

Jasonmolinari said...

Bob: goat is easy to find around here...check your local Halal markets or Indian markets.

John: great! Let me know how it turns out!

Kyle Lee Mcknight said...

I love it. Have been following your blog for some time. I am a huge fan of goat, we consume it quite often at my home. In the restaurant it is a hard sell.I have finally begun our own charcuterie program at the restaurant. It has taken me over a year to do so. I would love for your constructive input. Keep up the good work. Would love to try some. If you are ever in Wilmington, N.C bring some by Circa 1922.

Jasonmolinari said...

Kyle, shame on the goat. They'll eat lamb, but not goat...people are strange.
I'd be happy to help. Email me directly.

Kyle Lee Mcknight said...

I will and thanks. It is BS they do so. It is the most consumed animale on the planet. I was considering puting it on the NYE menu, I have a great local provider, but I went with the confit of duck for my ravioli appatizer. If you have time drop by my blog at Cooking with a nobody on blogspot. You can see some of our stuff.

Nick Dawson said...

Anxious to see the results!

Murph said...

Jason - Since this is a whole muscle, can I do without the cure #2?

Jasonmolinari said...

I guess you could Murph. But why?

Murph said...

Jason - I've yet to mess around with any of the curing salts yet, and so have been limiting myself to whole muscles. From what I've heard, you don't need curing salts to prevent botulism on whole muscles, but I was wondering if you agreed with this logic.

Jasonmolinari said...

Murph, i agree that whole muscles don't NEED curing salt.
But i don't think it's a good idea not to use them. I don't recommend not using them, unless you're experienced well beyond the average level.

You also don't need vaccinations against diseases as you won't catch them probably, but you still vaccinate right?
Or wash your hands?

Murph said...

All good points, thanks. As an aside, is there a way I can drop you some additional meat curing questions off-line of this comment section? I have some questions that are off-topic from this post that I'd love to get your feedback on.

Jasonmolinari said...

Murph, sure. email me at

firstnamelastname@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

Hi Jason, Sorry this question is a little off topic. I have a mate (he's a wine maker) who says that i may use his barrel cellar as a curing chamber, that is if it will be fine. I wanted to check with you (the expert) first. The cellar maintains a temperature of 14.5-15 degrees celcius and is at 75 - 80% humidity.

are those temperatures too high and the humididity also? if not it will be the best palce as its huge!

i really look forard to hearing from you.
thanks

Mart

Jasonmolinari said...

Mart, i think that temp is borderline OK and the humidity is perfect. Worth a try!

Anonymous said...

thanks Jason

Mart

Anonymous said...

Hi Jason- Great post by the way ... do you plan on de-boning this when it is finished curing ? or will it be sliced "bone on" ?

Jasonmolinari said...

It'll be sliced and eaten off the bone...just carving around it. Should be tasty!

Constantin said...

What about "Violino di Cervo"? I mean can I use deer's leg?

Jasonmolinari said...

I don't see why not Constantin. It'll be a proscitto do cervo..and be huge, won't it?

Anonymous said...

Is there a certain formula you use when curing whole legs on how long it should cure... Like 1 day/# or something? Or is it more like a "feel" kind of thing?

Jasonmolinari said...

i don't use a formula..i like to make sure it's fully cured, so i leave it extra long, but it's by feel pretty much.