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Monday, April 09, 2012

Knocking Me out with Those American. . . ham? (How to Home Wet Cure Ham)

Woke with an AC/DC song in my head. But that one wasn't fitting.

I start with an entire rear leg of pig. You don't have to of course. This is just what I happened to have on hand.

If you have a saws-all and a helper, you can leave the bone in. If you don't have help, be careful hacking up the leg. There is a few bones in it that could potentially cause you stitches

Make sure your work surface is clean, and your knives sharp.

 First remove a smaller ham, at the bone line. The second larger ham, follow the bone, cutting around it. One leg gave us 5 small to medium sized deboned hams.


Next make the brine. This recipe I found stuffed away in my father's things.

Recipe for wet cure
 2 quarts water
3/4 cup pickling salt
1 cup packed brown sugar
4 teaspoons pink salt 
(I know EVIL. But in moderation, it will not hurt you at all.)

Mix all together, until it dissolves. You might end up making several batches if curing an entire leg.

Place into a bowl or bag. Place in fridge, and flip it daily to make sure all sides have been soaked. This takes up to a week. 

Rinse well, and pat dry before smoking, cooking or freezing. Honestly it tastes great without smoking.

Cook at 350F for about 2 hours, depending on the size of your ham.



GreyWolf said...

Looks absolutely delish.

Phelan said...

Oh it was GreyWolf. I was super impressed with it. And welcome to my blog. I saw the pic of your mini goat, awww so tiny and cute!

HermitJim said...

That looks good enough to eat!

You can almost taste it and the smell of a fresh baked ham is enough to drive you to the table, for sure!

Anonymous said...

Is there any substitute to the pink salt otherwise known as sodium nitrate? Sodium nitrate is a major migraine trigger for me yet I can eat the 'uncured' bacon from the store that is cured with celery juice powder. We cured hams this year with just salt and brown sugar and they taste pretty good but they have to be boiled or simmered first to get the excess salt out. Was just wondering if you know of any other way to do it.

Phelan said...

I'll save you some Jim.

Adele, sorry to hear that is a trigger. But at least you know it is. For wet curing I have always used saltpeter ( pink salt, sodium nitrate). Only thing I can think of is going to be your drying curing, which uses a lot of salt. Let me do some research, I have about 30 lbs of bacon to do up, so have a bit of room to play and will get back to you.

Instead of boiling, you can leach salt out of your ham by soaking it in cold water in your fridge, with a couple of halved potatoes.

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