Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Lamb Prosciutto - Tasting notes

The lamb prosciutto, well one of them, is ready. Sure it doesn't look like the nicest thing in the world, but does it taste good?

Keep reading.

Here is the smaller of the 2 pieces. It's lost 42% of it's weight ( I sort of forgot about it a little bit!), in 30 days. It smells very gamey and lamby. It's pretty hard.

Ideally I should have taken it out a week or so earlier, at about 35% weight loss.

Here it is sliced. It's delicious, and beautiful. I wish I could get a better picture of it, showing off its amazing crimson color.

The lamb flavor really overpowers just about all the herbs and spices. It's perfectly salted and just a little bit sweet. It's pretty chewy from drying so much, but it's so good.

I don't think I could eat this as a sandwich, but it'll be delicious with a nice crusty bread. I'm thinking with a little olive oil and lemon juice, served bresaola style, it'll be fantastic.

The larger piece was only at about 30% weight loss and still felt too soft. I did have to spray it with a 50/50 solution of vinegar since i saw some blue/gray mold developing. There are a lot of air gaps on the bigger piece, so I'm hoping it turns out OK. We'll have to see!


Portland Charcuterie Project said...

Looks Great Jason.

My lamb legs are 2 and 4 weeks behind yours.. and I used your advice to use a mild vinegar ( apple cider ) solution to wipe the mold off and it's mostly stayed off, with a few small exceptions.

both legs are firming up well and I'm expecting to be able to do a taste taste in about 2-3 weeks.

Stay tuned.. and thanks again for the inspiration!!!

( ps.. I'm doing the tshirts this weekend, so I'll send you an email next week for your shipping address )

Jasonmolinari said...

sounds good Todd. Send me some pictures of yours when it's done.

GreenEggsAndHam said...

Quick question for you Jason my good sir.

When looking for a curing chamber-fridge-- how much room is enough in order to put a humidifier in there with the meat without over-crowding things?

This is the fridge I'm looking at:,default,pd.html?cgid=Appliances-Refrigerators-Apartment_Refrigerators

Jasonmolinari said...

Hard to say. Seems small to me. Even in a full size fridge it gets pretty crowded with more than 10-12 sausages.

scott said...

Jason, could this have been squeezed into a casing?

Jasonmolinari said...

Scott, yes, it could have. When i've made this previously, i put the larger piece in a casing, and the smaller one without.
I didn't have a casing big enough for the larger piece. It needed a 120mm casing, i only had a 100mm.

Guess it's time to place an order at butcher-packer for a variety of casings!

Renieri said...

Wonderful blog on cured meats... really.. but about lambs what do you think relating to the opportunity of choosing certificated products as the Italian d.o.p. ones?

Jasonmolinari said...

renieri: i dont understand your question

attilio said...

jason I love what you are doing. My family is from Parma and we are definite pork lovers.
I attempted making cacciatorini and it is looking good.

next cotechino.

Jasonmolinari said...

Attilio...cotechino in the summer:) Not really a light summery dish...heh..but still yummy!

Anonymous said...

Hi Jason,

I've really enjoyed your posts and had a lot of success with bresaola and mixed success with guanciale, because of it (my butcher sliced the jowl before giving it to me!) When I started curing, I started a boneless leg of lamb. Well, it's been about two months and it's lost about 35% of it's weight. I cut a few slices and started noticing air gaps. The meat is gorgeous and reddish, smells great, and looks to have absorbed the cure well (it is your recipe and includes cure #2). I want to eat it, but don't know if I have a risky number of gaps. Any advice for a novice?

Jasonmolinari said...

Air gaps are a bad thing. Now, having said that, if it smells ok, isn't mold inside and slimy or otherwise not-so-great looking, it should be OK. I don't know that for sure, so if you get sick, don't yell at me...but if it was fully cured before rolling/casing/drying it should be fine.
It might taste oxidized and metallic though.
I had to throw out one of my lamb prosciuttos b/c it had holes and gaps in the casing like yours, but mine had mold growing inside, so i got rid of it.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for the quick response! I'm going to give it a try. It is not slimy, wet, moldy, or smelly. It cured for a good amount of time and I think the cure went all the way through, because of the color of the cuts. I'll keep following your posts. They are always great!

Anonymous said...


I picked up a 5 lb bone-in lamb leg at Costco yesterday for a lamb prosciutto. I've read your posts on your lamb prosciuttos and have a question for you. In your Len Poli bone-in approach you suggest 40-50% weight loss and for the de-boned prosciutto you did here you said 42% weight loss was probably too much and the product too dry; 35% weight loss was ideal. I would think all things equal -- given the weight of the bone -- the bone-in prosciutto would need less drying time and less weight loss than the de-boned since that is 100% muscle (no bone) being dried.

Is my thinking right? Do you still suggest 40-50% weight loss on the bone-in prosciutto or would you advise something in the 30-35% range?

Also, given the potential for air pockets in the deboned leg have you considered sprinkling Activa (the enzyme known as meat glue) on the inside before rolling and tying/casing in order to achieve a protein bind?



Jasonmolinari said...

Brian, i haven't made a bone in prosciutto in a long time, i prefer the boneless as it's easier to slice. I would agree that a bone in should take less time.

I'm not sure transglutaminase would work because for it to work there must be good meat to meat contact, and the problem here is that there are air pockets, unless you fill those air pockets with something you're still going to have gaps and nothing for the Activa to bond.

OldWino said...

I am pretty new to salumi, so I followed the recipe/procedures for bresaola closely, and got a great piece of meat. When drying, I encased it in some beef bung that I had.

For my second bresaola, I used a different spice mix that included brown sugar and orange zest, because I wanted more flavor. After 16 days of spicing, I encased it in a bung and hung it up to dry (57 degrees, 70% humidity).

For the first two weeks, it looked great, tight casing and only a little white mold. Then I noticed a large blister on the casing. When I pierced it, I got a very thick, syrupy brown substance coming out - the same color brown as the brown sugar I had used.

Is this something to worry about? The bresaola looks and smells fine, and the syrup does not have any odor.

Jasonmolinari said...

that sounds unusual , and i honestly haven't a clue what it could be. i guess it could be sugar syrup, but i've never seen that happen.