I have a ham curing now. I can only hope it turns out half that good. It truly looks amazing, despite the purple meat--!!
From hog leg to Christmas Ham- Thanks Pops! - Page 2
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That is a great looking ham. Wonderful job. I have two of them brining now, along with 15lbs of bellies. Can't wait to get them in the smoker.
The brine is a curing solution that penetrates the meat. It prevents spoiling and cures the meat.
Rest assured I will be doing another one for Easter as well, I have a feeling it will be a new tradition to make a ham every Christmas and Easter.
It tasted sooooo good. I can't wait for Xmas, forget the presents, I want the ham!!!!!
Looks great, I also used Pops recipe, did one ham like Pop, and tried another for my cousin, who has been trying to get me to do an old fashion dry cured, aged ham. The Pops recipe ham is done smoking and in the refig ready to be finished baking for Christmas. But I can tell you, when I brought it out of the smoker about 11pm the other night, my wife and I could hardly wait to sample it. It was great!!! Was hard to put in frig and wait for Christmas. The country style ham, I injected for safety, as well as cured in frig for 34 days. I put in smoker, for a cold smoke for a day, the second day I got scared and decided to go ahead and cook as well as smoke. Cooked until temp was 150, pulled out and sampled, salty as ever. I figured it would be, hoping that I will age until Easter, hanging in my garage, and then will put in boiling water, then simmer for a few hours to get salt out, and then try it. Hope it will come out ok, would love to give my cousin a surprise. Will let you know how it turns out. Until then, Merry Christmas.
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I grew up in NC where country hams were commonly produced. The hams we got were first packed in barrels with salt (don't know for how long). When they came out of the salt they were peppered with coarse ground black pepper and slathered with black-strap molasses several times and allowed to dry. Then they were bagged and hung in specially designed barn for several months. They were never smoked (heresy, I know).
Mom used to cook the hams whole. To get the salt down to an acceptable taste level, she would simmer them in a roaster. She also made a dough cap that she put on the top of the ham. This drew some of the salt out but it also kept the top side from heating at a different rate from the bottom. The ham was then baked in the oven with the dough cap left on until she decided it was done. She didn't use thermometers but could tell by the way a fork penetrated the meat. We then had to wait until the ham had cooled to room temperature before we were allowed to touch it. A worse torture I cannot imagine.
We never had a bad one, as I recall.
I tried to look up as much info on how it was done in the past, and how some are doing it now. Seems everyone did it a little different than the other. I probably screwed up, but I did a little of one and some of another. I wanted to make it as much like an old fashioned ham as possible, but was a little afraid of making a big mess. I ended up curing with salt, brown sugar and curing salt, packing it on, and to be safe, I injected around the bone to keep from having bone sour left it for the 34 days in the frig, then washed it off and let it dry. I was going to hang to dry like that, but 2 of the old timers that I saw smoked and then aged, so I thought that sounded the safest for me. Right now it is hanging in the garage, coated in black and red pepper, wrapped in brown paper, and then wrapped in a gunny sack. I plan on checking in a month, and when it starts getting warmer may start checking weekly. It is terribly salty, so I figure I am going to have to simmer for a while to bring it out, and then hope if turns out ok, I guess I will find out, plan on trying it for Easter. Am afraid to let it stay longer, but may try for a year or more later, depends on how this turns out. Thanks for your reply
I am thinking the lower temp would be best, but is a rough guess on time about 30m a lbs? This is a 20lbs ham. Thanks