How To Cure A Country Ham ~ Finished Product !

Discussion in 'Chez Dawgs' started by goldtopper, Sep 8, 2017.

  1. goldtopper

    goldtopper Dirt Squirrel VIP Gold

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    I'm making a southern treat- a country ham, and thought someone might be interested in this fun and age-old process.
    A country ham is much different than a "city" ham.
    City Ham-
    The majority of city hams are wet-cured, or injected with a brine made of salt, sugar, seasonings, and curing agents, lending the meat a mild, juicy flavor. (Many producers also smoke their hams for additional depth.) Bone-in city hams tend to be moister and more flavorful than the boneless variety. Both types usually come ready to eat, although they benefit from oven warming.

    Country ham: A southern favorite, these hams are dry-cured, meaning they’re rubbed with salt and seasonings, smoked or unsmoked, then aged anywhere from 4 months to 3 years. They range from salty and chewy to smooth and silky like an Italian prosciutto, the intensely flavored meat is usually served with biscuits, fried, sliced paper thin for meat plates or incorporated into casseroles and salads. It’s sold both uncooked and cooked, and mostly bone-in.

    So, first you go to the butcher and get a "green ham" as they call them. It's a rear hog's leg minus the long end of the shank.
    The one I got goes 17 pounds.
    Then you mix up the cure. I went with
    3 cups of kosher salt (kind of ironic, no?)
    5 tbls black pepper
    3 tbls red pepper
    1 cup brown sugar
    1 oz of sodium nitrate.

    Whenever I cure meats I use sodium nitrate. It's mach safer and also ensures your product retains it's nice pink color.

    Here's a pick of the cure blend.

    Ham 1.JPG
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2017
  2. goldtopper

    goldtopper Dirt Squirrel VIP Gold

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    Here is the ham itself. You want to trim any additional fat from it to make sure the cure gets in deep.

    ham 2.JPG

    I took a sharp knife and loosened the skin around the shank and the butt end. This is so you can stuff cure in deep. If you don't do this the bone can go sour and you don't want that!

    ham 4.JPG
     
  3. goldtopper

    goldtopper Dirt Squirrel VIP Gold

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    Ok, so here's the cure all mixed up, ready to pack on the awaiting piece of pork.

    ham 3.JPG

    I stuffed cure deep inside both bone ends and proceeded to coat the top, bottom and sides thoroughly with the cure mix. You don't want to miss any areas as the cure needs to penetrate through and through.

    ham 5.JPG
     
  4. goldtopper

    goldtopper Dirt Squirrel VIP Gold

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    All set in it's cozy home for around a month. You want to let it set in 36-40f for about 1.5 days per pound. Every day it needs to be rubbed, from the shank end forward to push any blood out. Dab off any blood or liquids and put a little more cure on, and back in the fridge. I put it on a rack to allow any excess moisture to drip. This ham will lose a fair amount weight during this process.
    After this period, I'll scrub it off, tie it up in a pillowcase and hang it in my furnace room where it's always 75f+ degrees. It will hang there to age 3-4 months.
    More pics in a few days when I pull it out and rub it down.

    ham 6.JPG
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2017
  5. oski

    oski Yes. That is my picture. Gold

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    wow. pretty cool
     
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  6. walleyeslayer2

    walleyeslayer2 Your future 2019-20 POTY VIP Gold

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    I'm going to Texas late winter to hog hunt with my cousin..... I just copied your post. :up:
     
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  7. goldtopper

    goldtopper Dirt Squirrel VIP Gold

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    I think I'll do a deer leg this November, that should be great.
     
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  8. idiotbox

    idiotbox Looking for a dime and found a quarter. VIP Gold

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    In!
     
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  9. Babs

    Babs VIP Extreme Gold

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    I've never done this. Way lots of work...
     
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  10. meanredhed

    meanredhed ❤️ Gold

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    :yay:
     
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  11. Tranquil

    Tranquil Decent! VIP Gold

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    Thumbs up!
     
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  12. idiotbox

    idiotbox Looking for a dime and found a quarter. VIP Gold

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    This is way outta my league.
     
  13. goldtopper

    goldtopper Dirt Squirrel VIP Gold

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    Nah, it's just a process, you can do this man!
     
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  14. idiotbox

    idiotbox Looking for a dime and found a quarter. VIP Gold

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    I have a modicum of patience but not enough to do a ham that way.
     
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  15. goldtopper

    goldtopper Dirt Squirrel VIP Gold

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    After 1 day, I pulled her out and you can see in the pan bottom how much weight she lost- 14 oz of liquid overnight.
    I massaged her until any excess liquid moved out and put another 1/2 lb of cure on.
    Back in the fridge you!

    IMG_1873.JPG
     
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  16. goldtopper

    goldtopper Dirt Squirrel VIP Gold

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    Took Mr Ham out of the fridge and scrubbed off excess cure with a stiff brush.
    After sitting a day, I put him in an old clean pillowcase, cinched up the top and hung him in the furnace room for a long winter’s nap. It’s always warm in there and the humidity is just right too.
    He should be cured and aged around the 1st of the year.

    3477FDEC-70FB-43DB-B6C3-5F8DCA37FBAF.jpeg
     
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  17. IfTheyOnlyKnew

    IfTheyOnlyKnew Well-Known Member POTY The Bar Gold

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    o_O Did this ham have a sex change when I wasn't looking?



    :giggle:

    This baby should be ready soon, no? I can't wait for the coming out party! :yay:
     
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  18. IfTheyOnlyKnew

    IfTheyOnlyKnew Well-Known Member POTY The Bar Gold

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    Hi, @gwartney!! :hw:

    Are you as anxious to see this ham as I am? :lunch:
     
  19. goldtopper

    goldtopper Dirt Squirrel VIP Gold

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    The ham now identifies as a male. I do not question her/his decision.
     
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  20. gwartney

    gwartney Is there gas in the car? 2010 OG Gold

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    Yes! I’d love to try it!!
     
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