I had been fantasizing for weeks about doing a whole,
home-cured ham for the holidays. I always get lots of requests for this kind of
thing, and was fully prepared to give it a go, but then a strange thing
happened, I heard the word “Hamlet.”
It was on TV, and completely unrelated to
cured pork, but for whatever reason the word made me think of cute little,
individually sized hams. That’s all it took, and off I went trying to figure out how
to make this thing happen. I knew I wanted a process that wouldn’t require the
pink curing salts used in commercially produced hams, not because they are
unhealthy, they’re not, but because it would be hard for some of you to find.
occurring nitrates to accomplish the same thing, so that’s what I used, and as
you’ll hear me say several times in the video, I was thrilled with the results!
While not exactly like a classic city ham, this was very close. The firm, moist
texture was great, the salt level was spot on, and since we used loin instead
of leg, there’s even a little less fat.
how to do this with bigger or different cuts, as this was my first foray into
home-cured ham, so if you are going to attempt this, please go to a good
butcher to get the exact same size “chops” that I used. If you do, and follow
these simple steps, I think you will have a holiday meal “to die for.” Sorry, but you didn’t expect me to do this entire post without one forced reference to
the play, did you? Enjoy!
enough cold water to make 2 quarts total volume of brine
degrees F. is reached.