Duck prosciutto (the beginning)

As we are in the winter here in Australia, the temperatures are good for air curing meat (no higher than 15 C, or 60 F, during the day, and lows above freezing).  Traditional pork prosciutto is hung and air cured for 10-12 months, a duration I’m not quite ready for!  So, duck prosciutto!  This recipe uses duck breast, and because of the size the curing time is much less.  The process is extremely simple, nearly the same as with traditional pork prosciutto.  Take 2 fresh duck breasts, skin on, and give a quick wash and pat dry.  Pack the breasts in salt, completely covered, within a container and leave in the fridge for 5-7 days.  The breasts should feel firm to the touch by this time, and will be darker in colour than when fresh (picture shown below).  Rinse the breasts in cold water, pat dry, and then rub with a mixture of ground white pepper and nutmeg (approximately 2 Tb whole pepper and 1/2 a whole nutmeg, ground);  The spices help to retard any unwanted bugs and bacteria, as well as impart added flavour.  Double wrap each breast in cheese cloth and hang outside for 2-3 weeks, or longer, until firm to the touch.  Slice thin and enjoy (pictures of sliced duck prosciutto to follow)!

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