When it comes to dry aging, more often than not, the first thing that comes to mind is dry aged steak. What many people don’t realize is that with Steak Lockers' versatile dry age fridge, you can age and cure a multitude of products including cheese and charcuterie. One product you have to try is dry aged prosciutto, we have put together this guide to help you make it for yourself.
Ingredients to make Dry Aged Prosciutto:
- 10-12 LBS Bone-In Leg of Pork (Remove the Ball Joint and Central Vein)
- 5-10 LBS Salt
- ½ LBS Black Peppercorns
- 4-5 Heads of Garlic, peeled
Equipment to Make Dry Aged Prosciutto:
- A wooden box with a wooden board slightly smaller than the box
- 1-2 Heavy weight objects; bricks, cans, or dumbbells
- White Distilled Vinegar
- 27 Sq. Ft 100% Cotton Cheesecloth
- Butcher’s Twine
- Paper towels
Dry Aged Prosciutto method
Step 1. Cure the pork
- In a food processor, grind the peeled garlic and the black peppercorns into a paste.
- Use a few paper towels to pat the pork leg dry, then spread a thick layer of the garlic peppercorn paste all over the leg.
- Pour half an inch of salt in the bottom of the box. Cover the pork generously with salt; be sure to completely encrust the meat and cover it by an inch with the salt. It’s important to have the pork leg completely covered in salt so bacteria cannot grow. It’s best practice to research different types, textures, and colors of good and bad bacteria to be safe.
- Place the wooden board on top of the ham and a brick or two on top. Place the whole box into the Steak Locker for 32 days while the salt draws out the moisture. Set the temperature to 35 degrees and humidity to 68%. Remember that the temperature on the locker will fluctuate between 35-41 degrees and 60-80% humidity.
- Remove the box from the locker approximately every 8 days, remove half the salt, turn the leg over, return the salt and pack it back up until the next rotation.
- Remove the ham from the refrigerator, empty the box, and shake off any excess salt. Place the ham back in the box with the weighted lid on top. Let it sit on your kitchen counter for about five days.
Step 2. Dry the Pork:
- Rinse the meat carefully with equal parts water and vinegar. Repeat this process two or three times until all the salt is removed.
- Wrap the pork leg in cheesecloth, then tie with twine and hang it back in the Steak Locker with the temperature set to 37 degrees and 55% humidity. It needs to hang for at least six months, however the longer, the better. For the most amount of flavor, hang it for up to two years.
- Remove the cheese cloth then slice the skin off in one large piece and save it for storage. Slice thin and Enjoy!
How to store the dry aged Prosciutto
When slicing the skin off the leg, try to keep as much in tack and in one piece as possible. Once enough the thin slices have been removed, place the skin back onto the exposed meat and wrap the leg tightly in plastic wrap. It can be stored back in the Steak Locker or in the regular home refrigerator for up to 6 months, however, it should not be placed near strong smelling foods or in the freezer as to avoid cross contamination of flavors. If presenting the prosciutto, it can remain outside the refrigerator for about five to six hours but should be kept away from a hot oven or too warm of an environment.