Speck is produced from the hind leg of pig that is deboned then divided into large sections known as "baffe". The leg pieces are cured with salt and various combinations of spices that can include garlic, bay leaves, juniper berries, nutmeg plus other spices. The cured hind leg pieces are allowed to infuse for a few weeks. The speck is then cold-smoked slowly using beech, the smoke is infused intermittently for 2 -3 hours a day over a week period at temperature that never goes above 20 degrees Celsius (68F). The speck is then left to hang and mature for 5 months.
Speck is traditionally a juniper flavoured hind leg of pig that is cured then smoked and originates from The County of Tyrol which in modern day lies in Italy, the first mention of this curing process is in the early 13th century.
The County Tyrol has been part of many empires over the years, in 1500's it was part of the Holy Roman Empire, followed by the Austrian Empire then it become part of Austria and Hungary. Today it lies in the country of Italy. Speck can be found in many cultures cuisine such as Austrian, Czech, German, Swiss, Italian and Croatian. Many variation on the theme can be found in these countries which are also labelled speck. The traditional Tyrol speck should not be mistaken for the Jewish Deli Speck that is found in the USA this is a completely different style of curing and is made from beef.
Speck can be a great alternative to bacon or Pancetta. Speck maybe thinly slice which is used in a classic Austrian dish of thinly slice speck, horseradish, pickles and dark rye bread studded with raisins and nuts or thickly sliced into risotto, soups, pastas. Speck can be used fish dishes such as speck wrapped scallops, lobster and speck salad, each country has its various uses. Speck is a strong tasting ham so be aware of this when using in a dish.
Superyacht Cuisines; Duck Breast Stuffed With Figs And Wrapped In Speck