Monday, February 14, 2011

Culatello update

As promised, here it is. This was a bit labor intensive, but, it sure looks good. After curing for 3 weeks, I removed it and scraped off excess salt. I then gave it a bath in red wine for about 10 minutes. Then, the fun started. I stuffed this in a beef bladder. When I removed the beef bladder, I immediately felt a little uneasy. I thought, "oh, no way that thing is getting in there, that's ridiculous." I soaked the bladder in warm water for about 20 minutes. It stretched some, but, even then I thought I was going to be stuffing 10lbs. of shit into a 5lb. bag.......still no way. I proceeded to fill the bladder with water and hold it up, getting it to stretch out a little. I emptied it out and filled it up again. I performed this mundane task 4 times. Finally, I made the decision that if it wasn't going to fit now, it wasn't going to fit, period. I had to cut it down the middle to squeeze it in. Amazingly, it was wide enough to accommodate the culatello. The issue I know faced was it wasn't quite long enough. I had to stretch the end, pulling and turning, pulling and turning. I got out the trussing needle and magically trussed it shut. It looked a bit ugly, but, at least I got it closed. Now on to the fun part.......the tying. I'm not sure I can effectively describe the tying process, so, have a look here this exactly how I learned. Using hemp twine, basically, it's 4 vertical passes, which becomes 8 lines going around the culatello. At that point you start the horizontal passes. Starting from the top, you work horizontally, tying a half hitch around every one of the 8 vertical passes, spiraling your way all the way to the bottom. My horizontal passes are a little wide, I should have done more. But, my verticals are great, they stayed put as I ran my way around doing the horizontals. I think it's pretty impressive for just my second effort. I sprayed it with some mold spray and left it to "ferment" for about 24 hours. I hung it on Friday morning, 2/11/11(says it right on the label). There it will hang for 9-12 months. Look for me to cut into it sometime around Thanksgiving. Sounds waaaaay too long for me.


  1. Beautiful.. I'll be starting my culatello in the next month.

  2. Thank you, gentlemen. Chop chop, Todd, really want to see it. How are you casing it?

  3. where did you get the bladder?