Using the Whole Leg

The Skin

Characteristics: Leathery and earthy.

Uses: Stocks, brodos, braise and add to sausage or beans. The skin protects the meat from oxidation. And although it’s a rarely used part, typically only used in a classic cotiche e fagioli recipe, it can be used in other ways, too.

Tips: Remove, wash and blanch before cooking, but leave most of the fat behind beforehand.

Recipes Using The Skin

Using the Whole Leg

The Center

Characteristics: Delicate flavor, a mix of salty and sweet (given by the fat).

Uses: Thinly sliced, diced for pastas, salads and more.

Tips: Thinly slice with the grain to offer customers a taste of the salty and sweet parts.

Using the Whole Leg

The End Piece/Top End

Characteristics: Sweet and complex.

Uses: Ground for spreads or meatballs, add to pasta or vegetables; simmered for stocks or brodos.

Tips: Removing the sinew and tendon is an important part of prep.

Using the Whole Leg

The Fat

Characteristics: Buttery flavor and surprisingly sweet.

Uses: When slicing prosciutto, the fat must not be removed. If using it for recipes, it can serve as a replacement for butter, whip and add to a crostini or use as a marinade with herbs and spices. Try in sauces and stews to create a heartier, buttery flavor, perfect to complement creamy dishes or vegetables.

Tips: Add to vinaigrettes, giving them a slightly savory taste.

Using the Whole Leg

The Bottom

Characteristics: Where the salt from curing is most concentrated, creating a drier texture when the leg is first cut. It’s also a bit more nutty in flavor from the whey used in the pig feed from Parmigiano Reggiano production.

Uses: This section is thicker, making it ideal for pasta fillings. However, it can still be used for slicing.

Tips: Dice it up or crisp it to top soups, pastas, pizzas or salads.

Using the Whole Leg

The Bone

Characteristics: Earthy essence.

Uses: Used in broths, sauces, soups and stews to give them a full-bodied taste.

Tips: For a more intense flavor, you can either roast the bone before simmering or add the surrounding scraps of meat and fat to the broth for an even more intense dish.

Recipes Using The Bone