My first attempt at making homemade proscuitto started in 2007. I got the inspiration to give it a try from reading Hugh F-W's Meatbook which has been a bible of mine for a number of years - it is hugely imformative and well written but if you're reading this blog you have probably read it already so i won't go on about it. The method I used was very simple put the leg into a wooden box with some small holes in the bottom tilt the box slightly and add a good covering of salt on the bottom of the box (some salt will be lost through the holes) then put the leg on the salt and cover the leg with more salt till you can't see it anymore. I got a piece of plywood big enough to cover the inside of the box and put a big piece of granite on top and left it like that for a month. The combination of the salt and the weight draws out the moisture. Took it out of the salt washed the salt off with vinegar and hung it for 9 or 10 months. Strange molds did start appearing on it but I scraped it off and rubbed it with vinegar apparently the white mold is good mold but the rest should be scraped off when it appears. The following video shows me cutting into the leg for the first time, to say i was surprised at how good it tasted would be a massive understatement! This was filmed March in 2008.
The fact that the above method worked may have been due to beginners luck as I tried it again last year, and it didn't work at all which I discovered when I cut into it and several maggots dropped to the floor - heart breaking experience need I say. Having researched this I have come to the conclusion that the reason why this didn't work was because one needs to weigh the leg and give it 5 days in the salt box per kilo - I just gave it a month and didn't bother weighing it. Weighing is a good idea also as it can be a good indicator of when the ham is ready - as in when the ham has been hanging for some time it becomes lighter and lighter so when it has lost say (and this is a guess) 30% of its original weight you can assume that it is time to tuck in.