Istrian prosciutto, cheese, and wine don’t skip on the homemade Istrian prosciutto that goes perfectly with Teran, red wine cultivated in Istria.
The prosciutto is distinguished by its specific preparation, which entails seasoning a chosen raw meat (a pig leg) with Mediterranean spices and air-drying it on Bura (local wind) for at least a year. The elegant shape of Istrian prosciutto gets sliced very thin and presented on a plate with local cheese, olives, and even other traditional dried meats such as Istrian sausages, pancetta, buđola, etc. If you prefer white wine, try out Malvazija, you won’t regret it.
What is the traditional recipe for Istrian prosciutto? Let’s find out.
Ingredients for Istrian prosciutto:
- pig leg
- salt, pepper
- optional Mediterranean spices
The primary processing of the pig leg is unique because Istrian prosciutto is traditionally processed with pelvic bones. Processed thighs are dry-brined exclusively with sea salt, with or without adding natural spices (pepper, laurel, rosemary, and garlic). Drying and ripening take 12-18 months in the conditions of the Istrian climate.
Prosciutto drying is carried out in clean areas and exposed to prevailing winds (draft). The airflow speed is adjusted by opening or closing the opposite windows (the preferable air flow is 10 cm/sec).
At the end of April, when the thighs lose 25% of their initial weight, they are moved to chambers with a controlled microclimate, or cellars without large fluctuations in temperature and humidity. The optimal air temperature is 13-15° C, and the relative humidity is 65-70%.
Adequate air humidity in the ripening room is crucial for preventing the growth of undesirable microorganisms, which leave toxic residues and an unpleasant smell in prosciutto. The smoking method isn’t comm for the technology of prosciutto.
The product is unique for its aroma and smell, moderately salty taste, uniform red color, and desirable consistency.