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How To Cure A Country Ham ~ Finished Product !

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

  1. goldtopper

    goldtopper Dirt Squirrel VIP

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    After curing since Sept 8th, the ham is ready.
    Initial weight was a little over 17 lbs.
    Finished weight is 11 lbs.

    As expected, there was a little bit of mold on the underside- that's normal.
    Here is how it looks after removing from the pillowcase.

    p1.jpg

    Then I scrubbed it in cool water with a stiff brush. Looks about the same I guess, but ready for the knife and slicer.
    p2.jpg


    Holy cow was this thing tough to cut. The hardened off areas on the edges need a band saw to get through without hacking my hands to death.
    I stuck a boning knife deep against the bone through the remaining fat cap and was about to get through. I then took a heavy 10" French knife and slid along the bone to remove the main piece.
    Here is how that looks along with some slices.

    p3.jpg


    To say it is velvety-smooth would be an understatement. It tastes like the best prosciutto I've had with a distinct lack of saltiness, which is good. It helps to use Berkshire pork raised free range as it has a high natural fat content.
    I sliced up all that can be sliced and did the rest in 1/2" slabs for use in pastas, soups and vegetables.
    I'll vacuum seal later for keeping in the freezer.
    I'll also simmer the whole meat covered bone to use in either a soup or perhaps an Italian Gravy.

    Definitely a worthwhile project that I will do again.
     
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  2. Tranquil

    Tranquil Decent! VIP

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    I wonder how professional butchers slice threw that? Unless if they all use a band saw :dontknow:
     
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  3. Tranquil

    Tranquil Decent! VIP

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    Looks awesome by the way!
     
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  4. IfTheyOnlyKnew

    IfTheyOnlyKnew Well-Known Member POTY The Bar Gold

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    :drool:
     
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  5. goldtopper

    goldtopper Dirt Squirrel VIP

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    A band saw is good for a country ham because they tend to dry out more than a prosciutto.
    Next one I make I will angle toward a prosciutto. This one was easy to cut under the fat cap. The dried out areas were impossible without a saw.
    Halfway through the curing process I plan on "larding" it, or rubbing it with a vegetable shortening like Crisco to keep it soft and pliable all over.
     
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  6. JJDealer

    JJDealer VIP Extreme Gold

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    Awesome
     
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  7. SlipperyVic

    SlipperyVic Well-Known Member

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    That was one ugly pillow case. :fil:
     
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  8. goldtopper

    goldtopper Dirt Squirrel VIP

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    Yeah I brought it home from my inlaws shit hole cabin years ago.
     
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  9. goldtopper

    goldtopper Dirt Squirrel VIP

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    @FrancesTheMute

    Now that I know you are into food, I thought you might like to read this thread.
    I have many, many vacuum packs of sealed prosciutto and its very good.
     
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  10. FrancesTheMute

    FrancesTheMute Crap! Don't let the bunnies out! Gold

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    That looks awesome! My father used to cure country hams years ago.

    I've always wanted to do my own charcuterie, but space prohibits that currently. You can make your own curing chamber with an old refrigerator and some inexpensive parts:

    http://benstarr.com/blog/how-to-convert-a-refrigerator-for-curing-meat-or-aging-cheese/


    I posted this in a Mayo thread this past week. It was when I was in Spain, goofing off and enjoying some amazing Iberian Ham...

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. goldtopper

    goldtopper Dirt Squirrel VIP

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    Well that's a badass rig. I could do that.

    A meat market across the river in WI built a big one. He does all of the mold covered sausages, lombo, salamis, coppa etc. I haven't seen him try out a prosciutto yet.
    He's the guy I bought the hog leg from- he uses only Berkshire or Duroc.
    Next time I make one I'll probably go to a hmong market as their hams have a much better fat cap which I've learned make for an easier curing/carving prosciutto. That and they are on hell of a lot cheaper. I think I gave $70 for this one and at the asian butchers they're like $30.

    Cute picture!
     
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  12. artiesoffspring

    artiesoffspring Hugs and Kisses Gold

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  13. Nikkerz

    Nikkerz Well-Known Member

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    I said if it interested me.:jj: