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Bacon, Jerky, Hams, etc

mocetta recipe

Photo by Holly A. Heyser

Curing whole cuts of meat can be both easier and more difficult than making salami. Since the interior of meat is pretty clean, you have fewer sanitation issues — but since the interior of a large cut like the back leg of a hog can be huge, controlling the temperature and humidity can be tricky if you want the cure to¬†get to the center of the meat before it rots from within.

If you’ve never done this before, start with a duck ‘prosciutto,’ which can be done in a few weeks. For those waterfowl hunters out there, this is a great use for the breasts of Canada and snow geese. Other easy projects on this page include my bacon recipes as well as my jerky recipes.

Bacon in All its Forms

Basic Unsmoked Bacon

This is a “green” bacon, so called because it contains no nitrite, and so will not be that pretty red color. Green bacon also goes bad much faster than cured bacon.
Photo by Holly A. Heyser

Ventreche, French Bacon

A lightly cured, smoked variant on pancetta. This is a great addition to any French dish.
Photo by Holly A. Heyser

German Bacon

Photo by Holly A. Heyser

Sichuan Bacon

And you thought bacon was a Western thing, didn’t you? Not so. In fact, this Chinese bacon might be my favorite style yet…

A Chinese style of bacon that is heavily spiced and heavily smoked.
Photo by Holly A. Heyser


This is jowl bacon, made from the large jowls on wild or domestic pigs. It is a Roman specialty, and is my favorite bacon recipe

Hams and Other Whole Cured Meats

Photo by Holly A. Heyser

Duck or Goose Prosciutto

This should be your first project when you are a beginner at charcuterie. It can be done with domestic or wild ducks or geese, and cures rapidly.
Photo by Holly A. Heyser

Smoked, Honey-Glazed Ham

This is an “Easter Ham” style ham made with wild pig. Cured, smoked and glazed with honey.
Photo by Holly A. Heyser

Chipotle Venison Jerky

You want to make this. Yes you do.
Photo by Holly A. Heyser

Wild Duck or Goose Jerky

Thinly sliced pieces of duck or goose breast, salted, spiced and air-dried. A perfect use for snow geese or diver ducks.
Photo by Holly A. Heyser

Prosciutto D'Oca

Goose leg ham, a recipe from Northern Italy. It’s easy to cure, but to make it really well, you need to hang these legs for several months.
Photo by Holly A. Heyser

Corned Venison

An awesome recipe for the big roasts on any kind of venison. Cook up several of these, vacuum-seal and freeze them, and you have lunch meat ready to go.


Lonzino is cured, air-dried pork loin, also doable with wild boar backstrap. It is a delicately flavored meat that you slice thin and eat alone, or on sandwiches.
Photo by Holly A. Heyser


Similar to lonzino, this is cured, air-dried beef or venison. Typically it’s done with eye round of beef, I use bison or elk. You can also use venison backstrap.
Photo by Holly A. Heyser

Mocetta, or Goat Ham

Mocetta (MOH-chet-ah) is a Northern Italian ham normally done with wild Alpine goats, but domestic goats or venison work just fine.

Lardo, or Italian Cured Pork Fat

Sliced thin, this is like pork butter. A little goes a long way…


More Cured Meat Recipes

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