Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Lamb Proscuitto - Update from the curing chamber ( end of 2nd week )

I just wanted to give a quick update on my whole leg of lamb I'm ( hopefully ) turning into Proscuitto

Around March 10th, I noticed some white mold growing on the leg, so I consulted Jason from http://www.curedmeats.blogspot.com/, and confirmed what I thought.. it's ok to leave it or wipe it off, so I watched it for a few days, then on March 15th, wiped it off with a clean cloth soaked in a mild vinegar solution ( the acid helps in preventing additional bacteria from growing ).

Here's a pic of the leg after 2 weeks in the "curing chamber" ( otherwise known as a dorm fridge purchased off of Craigslist for $50. )

 The first pic shows the mold when I first noticed it.. (notice the mold on the left side, about 2 or 3 inches below the hook )

Now look at it 4 days later ( more pronounced mold ).   This is when I wiped it down with a mild vinegar solution ).   It feels a little "tacky" and kind of sticky, for want of a better word.   I'm sure it's because of the high humidity and I'm tempted to just hang it in the mancave like we did with our pork proscuitto, but I'm going to hold on and follow the instructions ( the pork proscuitto did have a very hard skin on the outside, and maybe this one won't ).

My estimate is that the leg has probably lost about 5% or so in water weight.  I'm going for 30% or so, and about 30-45 days, so I won't even bother weighing it for another 3 or 4 weeks.

The second lamb leg was still not feeling "cured" so drained off all the liquid, and rubbed it down in salt and cayenne pepper ... in the 3 days since, it's really shedding liquid and I'll be pulling it out to hang in 2 days.

Stay tuned for more exciting lamb proscuitto updates.


  1. i was wondering if you had any trouble with too much of the meat drying out during drying by leaving it exposed. i use a mixture of lard, semolina and ground black pepper to cover the exposed flesh, and it works well. there is no real loss of any meat and prevents mold growth directly on the meat...

  2. Hi B:

    I haven't really had any issue with excessive drying, as the Pacific Northwest is a pretty humid place from November to May each year.

    I've heard of the process you described above, but haven't felt the need for it yet.

    Stay tuned, as I'll be doing another Pork Proscuitto in the coming weeks, and since it will be curing in the ( hot and dry here ) summer, I may have to try something like that.

    I also have a curing chamber that is kept between 55-60F and 70% RH, so that's most likely where my meat will hang this summer.

    Welcome to the blog!!