Prosciutto cotto is just an Italian cooked ham. Not really all that different from good American cooked hams, except maybe for the spicing. Technically, what I made here wasn’t a prosciutto cotto, as I didn’t use a prosciutto, I used a “spalla” or shoulder. No matter, this same method applies to both. I used a shoulder because that’s what was available at the market, and because a whole cooked deboned ham would have been a little unwieldy.
The method I used was developed by a fellow on Sausagemaking.org which involved pumping the meat with 10% of its weight with a brine and also adding a surface rub. The spices I used came from another fellow with a bed and breakfast in Italy. I modified the quantities I used to more suit my tastes.
The reason I chose to both inject and rub was to make sure that the whole muscle reached salt and cure equilibrium quickly. It’s also a way to make sure that there are no uncured spots where the meat might be touching the bag or other surfaces as it floats in a brine.
If you run the numbers I've listed above, using the brine at 10% of the meat weight, and the amount of rub listed above for each kilo of meat, you end up with a product with 155PPM of nitrites (Thanks to reader Yeo for catching my error, previously listing the PPM at 175), 3% salt and 1.6% sugar.
The formula for calculating the PPM of added product in a pumped item is:
((grams of ingredient) * % pump * 1000000) / grams of pickle = PPM
Using that formula correctly the PPM of nitrite added to the ham is in fact about 72.
((14.53g cure #1 * 6.25% nitrite in cure)) * 10% pump * 1000000) / 1250 (pickle weight including water, salt, sugar, cure) = 72
The calculation for the PPM added by the dry rub is as follows:
((grams of cure mix)*(% nitrite in mix)*1000000 / weight of meat) = PPM
I would not include the additional 10% pumped in the weight of the meat, so the PPM added by the dry cure would be (1.34*6.25%*1000000)/1000 = 84PPM
That would give a total of 84+72 = 155PPM nitrite.