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Prosciutto heel

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Just came home with a 1 pound di Parma prosciutto heel. There seems to be a fair amount of meat still on there, I'll bet several ounces. I'll never be able to slice it paper thin, so do I just whack off a piece and toss it into soup for flavoring? Can I freeze it or will it dry out and get too salty? Should I just simmer it down and make broth? It was half the price of the slices.

Thanks for your comments.

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  1. I slow cook them with cannelini. Red onions, garlic, olive oil and rosemary. Then pull it out and separate the meat after it's softened. Parmesan rinds are good in there, too.

    5 Replies
    1. re: trentyzan

      Thanks, t. I love every ingredient in that pot!
      Do you trim fat before cooking the beans, or do you defat later? Even though there seems to be a lot of fat, I'm thinking that will add flavor and I should defat later. And you're talking dried cannelini, right?

      1. re: nemo

        don't lose the fat. use it like you would a chunk of salt pork. it'll largely cook out and just leave flavor (ok and a few calories).

        or dice/mince it into a pasta sauce (I'd go rabid over an alfredo made with bits of prosciutto but red would benefit as well)

        1. re: hill food

          Thanks, hill food. I may cut the heel up into a couple of chunks, use one now and freeze one for later. I think I will dig out as much flesh as I can right now and try your alfredo suggestion.

      2. re: trentyzan

        If you want to be even more catholic with its use include it in your next batch of homemade Boston baked beans.

        1. re: mrbozo

          Or in chowder or other soups instead of salt pork. Dice fine and fry up w/ spuds.

      3. Grind some up and add it to bolognese!

        Some recipes:
        http://www.saveur.com/article/Our-Fav...

        1. If you don't have an immediate use- it will freeze fine, but cube it first, then you can grab a handful whenever you need them, and you have increased surface area.

          I make an amazing roasted tomato soup that has sauteed prosciutto (or speck) cubes as a broth base.

          1. Thanks, everyone! The deli guy brought out a huge bucket of heels, so I think there will be no shortage of them in the future. At half the price of getting slices, I can afford di Parma instead of the house brand, and all I could think of was how to get the most out of the incredible perfume from that little piggy. Wonderful suggestions.

            I'm going to make tomato sauce or soup, freeze some meatier cubes to see how they fare, and use the bone for a big batch of beans.

            1. Prosciutto ends are the secret weapon in the Amatriciana sauce I make every Aug and Sept, when vine tomatoes are perfect. Tomatoes, onion, garlic, prosciutto, and wine, all cooked down--no spices, so the good raw ingredients are important.

              1. Small "lardon" size pieces make a wonderful garnish for gaspacho, along with some slices of hard-boiled egg. Then add a side chunk of bread with butter, makes for a very filling summer meal.

                2 Replies
                1. re: moh

                  lardons, hadn't thought of that, lightly sauteed would be good on a mixed green salad as well.

                  1. re: hill food

                    Even better- add a poached egg for a Salade Frisée aux Lardons! Soooooo amazingly good.

                    http://www.williams-sonoma.com/recipe...