Sweet Goose ProsciuttoJESSICAWOOLMAN
Duck or goose prosciutto is an old Italian tradition that originated in the country’s Jewish community, for whom regular prosciutto was forbidden. The process was designed for domestic ducks and geese, and by all means use this recipe for those critters if you’d like.
But air-cured wild goose breasts (most wild duck breasts will be too small to really do this recipe justice), are something special. Slice it as thin as you can on the diagonal and serve it with melon, figs, good cheese, on top of a fried egg, with bruschetta — you get the point.
I will give you two recipes: One for a “sweet” cure, the other for a spicy one. This is what I do when I want to make Italian-style goose prosciutto: You can mess around with the spices as you wish, but until you do this a few times, don’t change the amount of salt and sugar.
The sweet cure needs watching as it dries — it is more prone to mold than the spicy variety. Remember that white, powdery mold is OK, white fuzzy is not harmful but should be wiped off, green fuzzy needs to be wiped off the moment you spot it, and black mold is bad: I toss the breast if I get the black stuff. When sketchy mold does appear, I wipe it off every other day with a paper towel soaked in red wine vinegar.
How long to cure? From 2-6 weeks, depending on the size of the breasts and the amount of fat and the temperature and the humidity. Suffice to say you need to watch it every other day or so.
Once the goose prosciutto is cured, you can eat it straight away or wrap it and store it in the fridge. It also freezes well for a year or more.
- 1 goose breast (both halves, skin on)
- 3/4 kosher salt (or pickling salt)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 Tbsp. garlic powder
- 1 Tbsp. ground fennel seed
- 1 Tbsp. ground white pepper
- 1/2 tsp. ground clove
- 1/2 tsp. grated nutmeg
- First a note on the meat. When you breast out the bird, leave as much skin and fat on it as possible; you’ll get these “tails” of skin on both the tail and neck end of the bird if you do, and this is what you want: They will come in handy later. If you haven’t already, peel off the “tender” on the meat side of the breast. Deep-fry in batter and enjoy!
- Mix all the spices together in a large bowl. Coat the goose or duck breasts in the mixture well. Massage it into the meat, and make sure every bit of it has cure on it. Pour any extra cure into a non-reactive container just about large enough to hold the goose breasts. I use Tupperware. Place the goose breasts on top and cover.
- Cure in the fridge for 1-3 days. The longer you cure, the saltier the prosciutto will be. The saltier it will be, the longer it will keep — but the thinner you will need to shave it when you eat it. A Ross’s goose or an Aleutian or Cackler needs only a day; 36 hours at the most. I give domestic ducks, snow geese or whitefront geese two days. A big Canada or a domestic will need three or even four days.
Jot it down
Subscribe to Yummly to add notes