Rob.... aka Bertmag, Babymacs other half, and Arth, my other half took over the kitchen the other day.
What was on the menu......? Duck breast prosciutto, done 2 ways! The word 'prosciutto' is the Italian word for ham, but is widely used to describe seasoned, cured, air-dried meat.
Well I have to say there was a little bit of scepticism on my part. Apparently it was going to be ready to eat in 6 days time!!!
I just had to sit in on this masterclass.
Each of them had two duck breasts and the plan was that Rob would make a citrus style curing rub and Arth would make an asian inspired rub.
The duck was trimmed of excess fat....and those knife skills that Rob is showing, would give Beth a run for her money I am sure.
An orange was diced......skin and all. Now it's Arth's turn to show his knife skills. Very impressive.
Place the orange and sea salt into a mortar and pestle and grind away...........
The asian style mix was sea salt, schezwan pepper and five spice. Place into the mortar and pestle and mix till it's a fine rub.
The boys were in their element.....There is something about the art of charcuterie that brings out the inner Italian in most men. Maybe they imagine they are living in a little Italian village high up in the mountains somewhere. Well, I suppose we almost do, except we don't parle Italiano in this village.
The two curing rubs were quite different....the orange all fresh and citrusy. The Asian rub, peppery and spicy. Each duck breast was massaged firmly with the mix. No I am not going there!
Ok, now for the Pièce de résistance.....drum roll....how to cryovac when we don't have a cryovac machine.
- Place duck into a zip lock bag (don't seal just yet)
- 1 bucket of cold water
Slowly lower the bag down into the water. As you do this, the air is pushed out and you then seal. OMG I could not believe the genius of this! If we ever run out of electricity and can't use machines we will always be able to cryovac using a bucket of water!
Amazing! Here I was, allowed to witness a bit of secret mens business, that of course, I have to share with everyone else. The duck breast was then popped into the fridge for 3 days for the flavours to permeate and the salt rub to draw out the moisture.
They were then rinsed and wrapped beautifully in course muslin and hung to dry in an airy and moist free spot for a further 3 days. Our carport was perfect for this. Making sure it is up nice and high. Poor Pierre our dog kept looking up longingly, hoping one would fall to the ground.
The day has arrived! Both styles looked quite similar when cut. They also looked like prosciutto (which was good). A cheeky red was poured........
What can I say....looks amazing! Beautifully cured prosciutto....... Who would have thought.
Now the taste test..... velvety, smooth and a great balance of flavours. 6 days! I still can't believe it. Which one did I prefer out of the two types.....both were fantastic in their own way. The orange probably a bit more subtle and the asian style just that bit more fragrant.
Look who came to see what was going on.
Nothing going on around here Tiago! ;)
What do you think, did the boys do a fabbo job in making 6 day duck prosciutto?