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.