Air-drying ham – progress report #3

Flattened Italian ham

Flattened Italian ham

Flattened Italian ham

Flattened Italian ham

Having cured the ham with sea salt for a month then pressed it under a weight for a week (turning it mid-way through) the time had come to wash of the salt and hang the ham to dry. Pressing the ham was definitely worthwhile as suprisingly quite a lot more fluid was squeezed out of it.

I gave the ham 4 rinses in water to remove the salt and patted it dry. Traditionally the ham would then be wrapped in cheesecloth to be hung to dry. But I didn’t have any cheesecloth and there isn’t anywhere in town where I could buy it so I improvised with a piece of muslin which I fashioned into a drawstring bag.

Ham wrapped in muslin

Ham wrapped in muslin

I put the ham into the muslin bag and back into the vegetable rack in the back bedroom. Paolo Tullio says that “If all is well after a month or two then you’ve won; you’re on the way to a Parma ham.” I have decided to leave the ham in the back room for a few weeks (unless the warmer weather suddenly arrives) before transferring it to the garage for the remaining drying period. This will allow me to keep a close eye on it during the critical first month or so when it is important to spot and remedy any sign of mould or weeping.

Air-drying ham

Air-drying ham

Related posts:

Air-drying ham – progress report #1

Air-drying ham – progress report #2

Prosciutto di Iowa

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