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Hams and Whole Cuts

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.

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

Guanciale

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

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.

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

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

Bresaola

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…

Smoked Foods

Photo by Holly A. Heyser

Smoked Pheasant

A whole smoked pheasant is a beautiful thing. Don’t you agree? This one’s glazed with maple syrup.
Photo by Holly A. Heyser

Smoked Duck or Goose

Sliced, smoked duck or goose is heaven on a plate — or in a sandwich.
Photo by Holly A. Heyser

Smoked Goose Breast

A very special recipe for a German smoked goose breast, from Pomerania in Northern Germany. One of the best things I’ve ever made.
Photo by Holly A. Heyser

How to Smoke Salmon

My method for smoking salmon is very simple, but I’ve perfected it over many years. It’s a wet-brine with a maple glaze, although I prefer Alaskan birch syrup when I can get it.
Photo by Holly A. Heyser

Smoked Salmon Candy

This method of smoking salmon uses a dry cure with lots of brown sugar. You also glaze the strips salmon with maple syrup to make this some of the best road food you’ll ever eat.
Photo by Hank Shaw

Smoked Sturgeon

Sturgeon is firmer and meatier than most fish, so I use a dry cure here. The result is mind-blowingly good.

More Cured Meat Recipes

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6 responses to “Hams and Whole Cuts”

  1. Worldwide Bacon Shortage? We got pork « Georgia Wildlife Resources Division

    [...] Click HERE for bacon recipes! [...]

  2. Ricardo Rodríguez

    Nice! I will try the corned venison recipe. Just one question: This is supposed to come from the time refrigeration was not available, so, although you mention putting it in the freezer or in the fridge, how long was it supposed to last if left at room temperature?

    And speaking of cuts, any good book you could recommend about butchering? I have the Basic Butchering of Livestock and Game, and it is very good, but it stops at the T-bone and Sirloin steaks, and I was looking for more modern cuts.
    Thanks

  3. Brandon

    Hank,

    Have you done venison ‘prosciutto’?

  4. chanman

    I believe there’s a typo in the description for the German Bacon article. It incorrectly describes it as “A Chinese style of bacon that is heavily spiced and heavily smoked.”

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