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Curing and cold smoking - Page 2

post #21 of 26

Ham is actually a process. There isn't really a cup of pork called ham, but after certain cuts have been flavoured and cured they are then known as ham.  In actual fact you could get a piece of chuck steak and put in in the smasher. Then after all grain is no longer recognizable (and the beef is thoroughly pulverized and waterlogged)  apply the ham cure and ta daaa...it looks identical and tastes like a slightly poor quality piece of ham pork. Plenty of butchers and smallgoods manufacturers do just that.

post #22 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oscar8987 View Post
 

Ham is actually a process. There isn't really a cup of pork called ham, but after certain cuts have been flavoured and cured they are then known as ham.  In actual fact you could get a piece of chuck steak and put in in the smasher. Then after all grain is no longer recognizable (and the beef is thoroughly pulverized and waterlogged)  apply the ham cure and ta daaa...it looks identical and tastes like a slightly poor quality piece of ham pork. Plenty of butchers and smallgoods manufacturers do just that.

Curing and Smoking is the Process...Traditionally the term Ham has referred a Cured and Smoked Rear Leg of a Pig. In general, there are always exceptions and marketing terms, but in the average Grocery Store an "uncured" rear leg is labeled Fresh Ham. A Wet Cured and Smoked rear leg, injected with cure and some % water, is labeled Smoked Ham. A Dry Cured Smoked rear leg is labeled Country Ham. Then there are Shank Portion Hams, Butt Portion Ham, Boneless Hams, Buffet Hams, Canned Hams, Etc. Here is how the Institutional Meat Purchasers Specifications read...Item # 401 Leg (Fresh Ham)...Item # 501 Ham, Short Shank (Cured and Smoked). Hope this helps...JJ

 

BTW...I am a Chef/Instructor that taught Meat Fabrication and Charcuterie, which included making cured meats and sausages, and I come from a family of Butchers. While Turkey makes a product that can be processed to taste like Ham. Adding cure to Beef, pulverized or otherwise will only get you Corned Beef or if Smoked, Pastrami or as my Canadian friends call it, Smoked Meat, all high quality and tasty. I can't speak about Australian Butchers but here in the US, I have yet to see beef be made into poor quality ham, there is no money in it since a Beef Chuck Steak is almost if not more than Twice that of virtually any cut of Pork that would be made into Ham, or even SPAM, for that matter. 

post #23 of 26

Hi, How things differ from country to country. If someone came into my shop and wanted an uncured hind leg of pork he/she would ask for a leg of pork or shoulder of pork if it was a forequarter.   Only when cured does the term ham get used.

 

As for the cure being used on chuck steak...while not strictly ethical I have stood there and seen it done on more than one occasion. Once it's cube pressed it was sold as ham steaks and quite convincing to the untrained eye. It even takes on the colour of ham. Our ham steaks are usually made from lesser quality pork cuts and trimmings and are quite popular over here as a much cheaper product than leg ham.

 

As for pork being cheaper than chuck steak...not by a long shot. Average price of ham here is around $13.00 to $18.00/kg (and depending on the shop sometimes dearer still).  Chuck steak is around $6.99/kg, hence the alteration to ham steak practice being used by less than scrupulous vendors.

post #24 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by cook-eat-repeat View Post

YES!! This is the answer I was looking for, thank you for your help! Basically the major difference here would be for people who are allergic to curing salts or those crazy people that think that any type of chemical preservation is inherently bad for you (yes, I am aware that ALL preservation methods are on some level chemical). The ham was really just an arbitrary example piece of meat.

Smoking something while taking it up was something I hadn't really considered. Another experiment!!! Thanks for your help!

If you want to feed people who are allergic to curing salts or afraid of big bad scary nitrites, but you want to feed them cured items such as sausages and ham, you can try using celery juice powder. It has loads of naturally occurring nitrates which act as a preservative. What kind of ratio would be required for that I have no idea. I have never used it because it costs twice as much as prague powder.
post #25 of 26
Bravo
post #26 of 26

Adding Cure to your pork will give it the "Hammy" flavor people are looking for. 

Smoking this cured ham gives it the familiar smokey smell and flavor we are accustomed to.

 

I'm not sure of a method out there that will give you this "Hammy" flavor, but I'm sure there are artificial flavorings and colors that could accomplish this task.

 

Smoking pork without curing it first will give you "Smoked Pork", and not the ham flavor you and/or your customers may be looking for. 

 

It's ALWAYS been the policy of SMF to promote Safe Food Handling and Processing Practices

If this thread seems to promote unsafe practices, it will be removed by SMF Admin

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