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Thread: Venison Prosciutto ...

  1. #1

    Venison Prosciutto ...

    My buddy shot a nice fallow doe last year and was good enough to part with one of the legs for a little charcuterie project.

    One of our ambitions for a while had to be to make our own venison prosciutto. Having never dry cured a whole leg of venison before I decided to do a little research, yielding a few recipes with rather varied results - non standing out as a sure bet. I thought the most sensible option for curing the leg would be to use a slightly modified version of a cure blend I use for curing hams.

    Due to it's leaness and low fat content I also decided it would be key to dry cure the venison leg slowly and in order to develop the richness and depth of flavours to mature the leg in some sort of casing. I did some more research and came across a novel method employed by some nordic hunters in which they encase cured meats in beeswax. This reportedly helps to develop the cured flavour of the meat as well as imparting it's subtle aroma and taste.

    I began this culinary adventure over a year ago now and am delighted to report the success I have had with this method, and am sharing with you guys so that hopefully you can get the same results!


    1. Acquire one whole leg of venison (mine weighed in at approx 5 kilos)

    2. Create the following salt cure according to weight and rub half the mixture into the leg. Apply liberally to bone and tendon areas, can add extra salt like I have to these areas too.

      Salt cure recipe required per kilo of meat:
      - 45g salt
      - 25g brown sugar
      - 3g Prague Powder #2
      - 5g crushed juniper berries
      - 5g pink peppercorns - crushed
      - 15g black pepper
      - 10g rosemary

    3. Wrap the entire leg in cling film and place in a fridge for two weeks.

    4. Remove from the fridge and apply the remaining cure , re-wrap and place back in the fridge for a further 2 weeks.

    5. Finally the leg can be removed and rinsed throughly under water.

    6. Pat with kitchen towels and place leg in a draughty position for around 3-4 hrs to dry.

    7. Cover leg in a thin coating of lard and black pepper (this aids with slowing down the curing process, and keeping flies/bugs away)

    8. Hang for a minimum of 1 month at approx 15 degrees Celsius with a 70% relative humidity.
      Venison leg after hanging ...

    9. Take down the leg and paint with melted beeswax, making sure to cover the entire leg. Leave for around a year for the flavours to mature and develop.

    10. Crack open the brittle beeswax shell, remove the thin outer layer of meat and enjoy the rich ruby red meat laying beneath it!

    Nb. If when you remove the beeswax there is mold this is fine along as it is white. If you discover green/blue mould earlier on in the process simply remove with vinegar. Black mould lob it in the bin and try again!

  2. #2
    interesting thread, thank you! Maybe I'll have one for Christmas 2015...

    did you make a candle with the recovered beeswax?

  3. #3
    Seriously impressed with your skill and patience. It looks fantastic ! No way I could wait for over a year though.

  4. #4
    That looks fantastic! But does the beeswax not prevent the meat from drying out?

  5. #5
    Looks great. Well done. My favourite starter is prosciutto and melon, we happened to have it last night though we are not going to grow that variety of melon again....

    How did it compare to pig based prosciutto in texture and flavour?

    Where did you hang it in order to achieve the required temperature and humidity, pantry? Cellar? Shed?


  6. #6
    That looks good enough to eat.

    A really interesting post, with a worthwhile product to show at the end.

    Thank you for taking the time and effort to show us.


  7. #7
    That is just simply amazing. well done you

  8. #8
    That looks superb!!

    Pine martin, once the meat has been hung for a suitable amount of time and lost approx 25-30% of it's original weight it is effectively 'dried'. The sealing it in wax or a coating of lard allows the flavour of the meat to mature over time (rather like a good cheese or wine) without the meat becoing completely dessicated.

  9. #9

    Cracking tutorial.


  10. #10
    Completely spot on Legolas! The dry curing is finished after the month is up, but to develop those flavours and stop it drying out the beeswax coat is put on it.
    Texture is very similar to that of prosciutto/parma ham from pigs, but flavour is completely different.

    Hung mine in my garage, which gets some ventilation and stays nice and cool.

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