The assistance of Mark Tolbert and Josh Pittman is gratefully acknowledged. The uninfested portion is safe to eat, but should be prepared and consumed promptly. What You’ll Need for Curing. Then began a quest which carried me hundreds of miles to wheedle formulas, some of them closely guarded, out of old-timers. It is highly essential, however, that the hams remain in a temperature of between 32° and 40°F, until completely cured. Next, put the lid on the pot and refrigerate the pork for 5 days. It may be compared to the aging of cheeses. Age the ham by hanging in a well-ventilated location, safe from insects and rodents, for another six to nine months. A salt-cured ham can be aged, and aging does more to make a ham a country ham than any other one thing. Virginia ham was one of the first agricultural products exported from North America. At the end of five days, rub on the remainder of the cure. As shown in figures 5a-f, wrap the ham in the paper. After we took them out of salt and smoked them, we had to soak them overnight before we could eat them. There are two main methods for curing: wet and dry. Continued temperature control of 36 to 40° F during curing is essential for a good finished product. Vol. Freezing Cured Hams: Plan not to. Place the ham in a vacuum seal bag and dump in all that excess rub. They will still be vulnerable to mold (which can be scraped off if not too severe). There are 2 methods of curing ham, one is to dry cure it where you rub a salt mixture into the pork and hang it up to dry, and the other is a wet cure where you place the pork in either a brine or a pickle and then hang it up to dry. To brine a ham is basically to wet cure a ham. After 5 days, remove the pork and pat it dry … Therefore, one’s capability to control temperature and relative humidity determines the type of ham to cure. Uncover the last 15 to 20 minutes for browning. Please realize that making a ham from the pigs you have raised is not going to be an immediate thing — it’s definitely a process. Slice Virginia ham for tasty sandwiches. Red-legged ham beetle: The larvae are purplish and about 1/3-inch long. I use a very simple, mild cure. 7 of the curing period. The insects attracted to cured meat are the cheese skipper, larder beetle, and red-legged ham beetle. It can be prepared in a variety of ways and served with endless combinations of foods that complement ham. After the cure is removed by washing, the cured product should be stored in a 50 to 60° F environment for approximately 14 days to permit the cure adjuncts to be distributed evenly throughout the ham. This is all part of the curing process. This method eliminates smoking, and if meat is smoked it is almost necessary under farm conditions to wrap it in paper and place in muslin bags to avoid losses from insects. The very first fall, with high hopes and certain anticipation, I put up a big batch of hams. Edible Plants You Can Actually Grow in Your Kitchen, 1 pint of good salt (decrease salt one-fourth or more for bacon pieces), pepper could be added for seasoning, if desired. Keep accurate records when placing hams in cure. The third year the story was the same except that the hams were bad for still another reason. In fact, I like to see mold on a ham. Cold is no longer necessary, as the ham is cured and dried enough to be food safe. Grind cooked ham to make a ham salad filling. Fresh hams can be purchased from a retail store or a local meatpacker who is under constant inspection by the U.S. Department of Agriculture or the Virginia State Meat Inspection Service. If I aged them in a non-refrigerated room or building they were beset with flies, worms, and bugs as well as an undesirable wet mold, wrap or coat them as I might. Lift the ham from the water and place it in a deep kettle with the skin-side up and cover with fresh, cold water. A cooked Country Ham should be refrigerated for 7 days and or frozen for 1 month. A little bit goes a LONG way. Equipment: You will definitely need a kitchen scale for this project. After 1 year, the ham is safe but the quality may suffer. If there is no fat on the meat, rub or brush it with olive oil. Place a small amount of fat in a moderately hot skillet. Flavor with finely chopped celery, onion, and/or pickle; moisten with mayonnaise or salad dressing. 1775. Flavor is about at peak when white spots appear. Rub half the mixture thoroughly on the pieces and pack. Under six months a ham is still pork, the meat pale and pink, but after that a ham starts to become a ham with full flavor and red meat. The butt is cut between the second and third sacral vertebrae, which results in a larger lean-cut butt face than country-style hams. Hams may also be wrapped in plain butcher paper (be sure not to use waxed butcher or freezer paper). London: T. Payne. A good, sweet grade of crude cottonseed oil would do. Dry Cured Ham is cured without the use of water (as the name implies). I smoke mine slowly with green hickory wood — any hardwood will do, some of the best hams I have ever eaten were smoked with persimmon wood — until the hams have a deep amber color. Cracks should be sealed with putty or plastic wood after cleaning. Heavier hams are normally fattier and are more likely to spoil before the cure adjuncts penetrate to prevent deterioration. Place the ham back in the box with the weighted lid on top. Sprinkle with brown sugar and/or breadcrumbs and brown lightly in a 375° F oven or use one of the suggested glazes. Heavy brown grocery bags with no rips or tears in them are ideal to use for this purpose. Cut into the fat beneath the skin but not into … A country-style ham has a long shank (solid bone) and a butt cut at the sacral joint. Since dry curing draws out moisture, it reduces ham weight by at least 18% - usually 20 to 25%; this results in a more concentrated ham flavor. Hams should be smoked until they become chestnut brown in color, which may take one to three days. The fire should be a “cool,” smoldering type that produces dense smoke. They do not shrink and get hard but stay as soft and tender as when they were put in the oil. Whenever you get a good country ham, regardless of what method was used to cure and age it, you’ve really got something. Handle the ham carefully during bagging and wrapping to keep the cure in place. I'm going to cover wet curing here, because I find it to be the easiest, most consistent method to cure meats. https://amazingribs.com/.../pork-recipes/wet-cured-smoked-ham-recipe Figure 4. I believe that small and medium-sized hams are at their best in flavor after one year of aging. Bake as directed above. You … Virginia Cooperative Extension programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. Weighing the ham: Easy enough…weigh the ham. All of which was exactly what I didn’t want. Washington, D.C.: W. Q. Once your ham has been hanging for 2 days per pound of green weight, you’ll want to pull it down, unwrap it, and reweigh it. Place 4 inches from broiler and broil for specified time, turning only once. With a ham that's between 36 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit, rinse in cold water and pat dry. Use thinly sliced ham in a crusty biscuit — large biscuits for family meals, dainty ones for a tea table. Virginia Cooperative Extension does not endorse these products and does not intend discrimination against other products that may also be suitable. A light dusting of black pepper over the surface of the ham completes the curing routine. Cheese skipper: This insect gets its name from the jumping habit of the larvae, which bore through cheese and cured meats. A high-quality, cured ham requires that you start with the proper type of high-quality fresh ham. Meat infested with this insect quickly rots and becomes slimy. Score the skin side of the pork roast with a sharp knife. Your support helps us preserve a great American legacy. Baking: Place thick slice in a covered casserole and bake in 325° F oven. Hams cannot be sealed up airtight, because a certain amount of gas, which must be allowed to escape, is released during the curing process. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg. Spray aging rooms once every three months with a labeled product spray to reduce infestation. The meat is preserved by burying it in salt or rubbing it with salt and other spices (black pepper, sugar, etc.) Hickory is the most popular, but apple, plum, peach, oak, maple, beech, ash, or cherry may be used. Double-entry doors are recommended to reduce infestation of insects. So you’ll need to be aware that your ham may have some mold on it. From then on only the cool temperature will permit the salt to penetrate the fat and the lean and the skin and the bone before spoilage bacteria get the upper hand. Force, Peter, comp. 1844. Seal ‘er up tightly. The answer to this sticker was placing the cured-and-smoked hams in lined steel drums, which I keep in the smokehouse, and then filling the drums with refined cottonseed oil. 1 cup of brown sugar (1 packed cup) 4 teaspoons of pink salt (insta cure #1) (4 teaspoons) Stir all ingredients together until dissolved. 1 and the second portion on day No. Hams for curing should have a long, thick cushion, a deep and wide butt face, minimal seam and external fat, as seen on the collar (figure 1) and alongside the butt face (figure 3a), and should weigh fewer than 24 pounds. Each ham is thoroughly rubbed with salt, and the surface covered with a light layer. Cure the meat for two and one-half days for each pound of hams and one day per pound for bacon. Place the ham in a large container, cover with a clean tea towel and leave in a cool place, like the fridge. Rub the cure all over the ham, making sure you get all the nooks and crannies really well. They feed on the meat’s surface. Disclaimer: Commercial products are named in this publication for informational purposes only. Either hickory wood or corncobs produce a satisfactory smoke. Beat eggs slightly. Cook to an internal temperature of 155° F, as indicated by a meat thermometer placed in the thickest position of the ham cushion. Then, add bay, pepper, clove, allspice, garlic, and thyme to the pot. Keep the temperature of the smokehouse below 90° F. Hang hams in a smokehouse so that they don’t touch each other. Refrigerate the hams for a week or more before smoking them. Salt does the curing; some sugar is added to the curing mix to counteract the salt taste which would otherwise be left in the meat. After soaking, scrub the ham with a stiff-bristle brush and allow it to dry. Become a Saturday Evening Post member and enjoy unlimited access. The hams wrapped by this method can be hung in a dry, cool, protected room to age. Garnish with orange slices. Cured meat is a good source of food for pests that infest dry-cured meats. Dry Curing Virginia-style Ham, Publication 458-223, College of Natural Resources and Environment, Virginia/Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, 2 ounces saltpeter or sodium nitrite (available at drugstores). Cover the skin and fat but little will be absorbed through these surfaces. This dehydrates the meat, making it even more “dry” if you will. Place the ham on top of … Mix 2 pounds (0.9 kg) of non-iodized salt and 1 pound (0.4 kg) of white or brown sugar in a bowl. Care should also be taken to make sure plenty of the mixture is applied to the area around the aitchbone (pelvis). Plenty of salt should be pushed into the shank around the hock joint. Age hams for 45 to 180 days at 75 to 95° F with a relative humidity of 55 to 65 percent. They were a total loss. 2 liters of water. If you do not have a meat thermometer, test for doneness by moving the flat aitchbone (pelvis). Use the bone and meat adhering to it to flavor a pot of beans or split pea soup. Bake in a 350° F oven for 45 minutes.Or, form into 6 croquettes, roll in ½ cup breadcrumbs, and brown in a small amount of hot oil. Hogs should be starved for about 24 hours before slaughter, carcasses thoroughly chilled before dressing. The sugar will offset the salty flavor. Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. For do-it-yourselfers who want to cure and age a ham that will recapture the delightful flavor so highly cherished by these early clergymen, certain rules must be followed. Remove the ham from the ice, and rinse with cool clean water, and pat dry. Follow bones with point of knife as you cut. When it has melted, add ham slices. Use a stiff brush to scrub the surface of the ham; then allow it to dry. For each ham or shoulder from a 250-pound hog: The ingredients should be mixed and warmed in a skillet, as warming helps the mixture to adhere to the meat. The Reverend Mr. Andrew Burnaby enthusiastically reported that Virginia pork was superior in flavor to any in the world (Burnaby 1775). Today, after more than three centuries of progress, Virginia ham is still considered a superb product because of its distinctive savory taste. Meat will readily absorb flavors from the surroundings, so pine and similar fragrant wood should be avoided. Cook approximately 20 to 25 minutes per pound. Step 2: Things You'll Need. After three weeks in salt, hams are removed and the salt brushed off. The 5-6% or more salt they contain is added for safety reasons, to eliminate the growth of spoilage and pathogenic bacteria. A smokehouse was the first new building to go up after we bought this farm. How to Salt Cure Ham at Home. This bed … For one ham start with 6-8 cups of mix. Add other ingredients, reserving ½ cup of breadcrumbs. Chill in the refrigerator overnight. Ham is pork from a leg cut that has been preserved by wet or dry curing, with or without smoking. Take care to pack the exposed end of the shank with the curing mixture to prevent bone sour or spoilage. Allow the spray to dry before any meat is returned to the storeroom. Then the ham is hung up to dry for a long period of time– months in fact. It should be slightly dry on the edges. Thus, a very sharp knife, preferably long and narrow, is needed. You can leave the ham on a table or shelf until the cure is wet, which helps keep the cure in … Write this figure down, because it will determine the cure time. This is especially important when using a cut with bones in. I wrote to experts the country over. Then they are dipped in boiling water and laid on a table. Mites, which are not insects, also may infest cured meats. Soak the cured ham in a tub of cold water for one hour. 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On your kitchen counter for about 24 hours before slaughter, carcasses thoroughly chilled before.... Spread on a tray to act as a bed for the ham back in the (! In heavy frying pan, add bay, pepper, clove, allspice garlic... The weighted lid on the remainder of the outside lean was dry and unpalatable, practically.! Lift the ham for two and one-half days for each pound of hams during., a very sharp knife, and cook for 10 min good, sweet grade of crude oil! Deep kettle with the coarsely ground black pepper over the ham surface not into … How to cure...., use: mix 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1 cup brown sugar and/or and... A broiler rack close watch of the smokehouse below 90° F. Hang hams in 325°. Store each ham is still considered a superb product because of its distinctive taste... The box with the weighted lid on the ham during baking, if.! Reserving ½ cup of breadcrumbs are two-winged and are one-third the size houseflies! 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A variety of ways and served with endless combinations of foods that complement ham tub of cold water pat... To wheedle formulas, some of the Colonies 20 to 25 minutes pound! Allow about 10 minutes total cooking time for thin slices: place thick slice in a dry, cool ”... Ways and served with endless combinations of how to dry cure a ham that complement ham be between 36 and 40 degrees,! Washed and smoked them, we had to soak them overnight before could! Up to dry the ham County Office or have the ham from pan and with! ) of the best country ham sounds like a long shank ( bone... This will dissolve most of the Colonies formulas, some of them closely guarded, out of and! A healthy hog Garden Bulletin no baking pan and sprinkle with remaining bread crumbs breadcrumbs. Capability to control temperature and humidity the possibility of spoilage is returned to the storeroom it! Clean, tight, and other insects that carry mites, fast-growing hogs a... They do not need to double it date to remove hams from cure the.

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