duck prosciutto crudo

duckoverheadOne half of boyandspoon likes to make stuff most people don’t make at home. Things that might make you feel weird about food safety, or that you thought were too complicated for the everyday. Turns out duck prosciutto crudo is surprisingly easy. Check it.

Oh, and big fat thanks to chris and nana for the red currants which make the prosciutto cure all the better. We loved their tartness so much we also turned them into a syrup for serving.


(makes 2 cured duck breasts)

2 duck breasts
4-5 juniper berries
½ cup dried red currants
2 bay leaves
1 kg coarse rock salt
black pepper
muslin cloth

Finely grind juniper berries, bay leaves and red currants into a powder and rub all over the duck breasts. Sprinkle a generous layer of rock salt in a non-reactive baking tray and lay the duck skin side up, making sure they are not touching each other or the sides of the tray. Cover the meat with the remaining salt. Cover the entire thing with glad wrap and place in the fridge for 18-24 hours.
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When you remove the duck breasts from the salt cure the next day they will have shrunk and darkened in colour. Rinse thoroughly and pat dry with paper towels. Place on a plate, return to the fridge – uncovered – for an hour or to dry out further.

When completely dry, rub breasts all over (snigger) with finely ground black pepper. Wrap them in a few layers of muslin cloth and tie at both ends to secure. Hang in a cool, well-ventilated place for 5-7 days, depending on how dry you want the meat.
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Use as you would any charcuterie meat: on a sharing plate with cheese, crostini, even as a cured meat in a ragu. Because they were in season, we made a sharing plate with summer cherries and red currant syrup for tart-sweet-sour. We also added buffalo ricotta for creaminess, toasted hazelnuts, apple and celery for the crunch, nasturtiums for nuttiness and baby beet leaves and edible flowers cos we’re lame and they look pretty.

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