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Fresh Pork Leg To Easter Ham II

pops6927

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This is the second time I've done a hind leg of pork into a cured and smoked ham for Easter!  (The first:  
http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/89979/from-hog-leg-to-easter-ham)

After picking up a bottom round beef roast for corned beef and pastrami, I also ordered, well in advance, a fresh ham to be picked up Tuesday, March 14th (while the pastrami was smoking in the smokehouse).

But, to my terrible disappointment, the fresh pork leg did not arrive to WinCo in Fort Worth.  To partially compensate, the meat cutter on duty gave me a pork arm shoulder, which is no replacement for a hind leg.  As soon as i got back and added 2-3 more chunks to the smokehouse, I wrote a letter to WinCo Corporate Office in Des Moines.  Later that evening i got a totally apologetic response, telling me that the head meat buyer was shipping a case of pork hind legs to the store to arrive the next day, Wednesday, and on Wednesday afternoon the Fort Worth Store Manager and Assistant Store Manager hand-delivered a fresh hind leg to my door, apologizing profusely!  Apparently they had a new warehouse in Denton, Tx. (north of Fort Worth) and the delivery arrived late.  I have had to work with suppliers thousands of times over the years and fully understand the difficulty.  But, the BOTTOM LINE is that WinCo solved the problem immediately and graciously to totally exceed my expectations!!!

Couldn't do anything Thursday (Chiropractor plus our stroke monthly meeting), but this morning I jumped on doing the processing on the hind leg and front shoulder.

The products:

The hind leg:


The arm shoulder:


Processing the fresh ham:

Trimming the back fat:


removing the hock (will cure and smoke in a separate ham bag along with the others, use for pea soup):


Boning out the arm shoulder:



(After curing, I will tie up the front shoulder as a boneless pork arm shoulder smoked picnic)

Injecting the fresh ham:

I repeatedly injected the fresh ham in all parts of the ham; first through the aitch bone hole into the top, bottom and eye of the fresh ham, then repeatedly into the sirloin tip on the side of the ham in both directions so it will cure from the inside-out as well as the outside-in:



Then, into the bucket the fresh ham, the hock, and the boneless arm shoulder, with a plate on top to hold it down, and into the back fridge:


Not a real interesting photo. but shows where it will rest an cure until Friday, April 14th, when I will pull them out, sack and/or tie them up, and into the smokehouse!

We will see you then, and a HUGE THANK YOU to WinCo for 'making it happen'!

April 12th (moved up Smoking Day to Wednesday vs. Friday; should anything go wrong... enough time to recover and just purchase a whole ham!

Got the bucket out of the fridge, kicking it to the sink where I had to get my wife to help me pick it up far enough to rest on the counter, then dumped the contents into the freshly-cleaned sink.  Had the ham in the sink and removed the Aitch bone (pelvic).  So, what I have is:

Parts'n'Pieces:


The Aitch bone:


the boned-out pork shoulder:


the ham hock:


Plus the semi-boneless ham in the sink (just left in the femur).

In the smokehouse, left to right:

1) Ham Hock 2) small amt of pork trim off the shoulder, put in a stockinette to cure:, 

3) boneless pork shoulder, 4) semi-boneless ham, 5) aitch bone


...............annndddd... we're smoking!


2 pm - color is doing good!  Will check internal temps on all products by 4 pm.  Smokehouse is purring at a steady 235°!  Smelling wonderful!

There are 3 major bones in the hind leg:


At the top is the hock (once the hoof is removed)

In the center is the femur (plus the small bone at the top, the kneecap, which is attached to the femur)

The bottom bone is the Aitch bone (pelvic)

I removed the top bone, the hock, prior to curing so it would cure by itself.  I left the femur and aitch bone inn the leg while curing, then removed the aitch bone after curing, just so it wouldn't occupy more space in the bucket (it was full to the brim!).  Then removed it after taking it out of the cure to smoke separately for a dog I know!

Now, with just the femur in the leg, it becomes a semi-boneless ham (like the description you see in the grocery store).

You can remove the femur by 'tunnel-boning' - going from both ends to remove it whole without cutting through the leg muscles.  However, once the ham reaches min. 146° and is done and cold, I will process it by cutting off the right side (sirloin tip) exposing the bone, removing the femur and kneecap, then splitting the top and bottom of the ham into top round and bottom/eye round:


Then I will bake in the oven at 350° at 10 min. a pound to reheat it for Easter dinner.  Photos will follow.


As you can see, I pulled the hock, the small bundle of trim, and the aitch bone - they were all done, 155°+.

The boneless shoulder was 141° and the ham (which now I can call it, not a hind leg) was 135° - perfect for 'partially-cooked' temp.  However, I prefer to let it come up at least to 150° so it will be fully cooked, esp. as I am serving it to a houseful of relatives on Easter! 

A slice from the arm shoulder....


O. M. G.        !   And as delicious as it looks!



reliving the memories!
 
Last edited:

tropics

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Pops the smoked hock has my mouth watering, I am so glad I have Pea Soup thawing out.

I'll be watching

Richie
 

pops6927

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Now, to clarify, this is my first fresh ham:

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/89979/from-hog-leg-to-easter-ham

It was in 2010, I was still working, much more ambitious, and prior to my most disabling stroke (the third of five, Sep't 7, 2011.

This time I did not render the lard for pies, as shown in the previous thread.  Although at our family store we routinely ground people's pork fat into containers so they could render their own (as well as a small amount for mom's apple pies).  I did not save the fat for rendering, Armour Lard from WinCo will do just fine!

 

emuleman

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Looking forward to seeing how beautiful your Easter Ham will look next month.  Thanks again Pop for sharing your expertise with all of us!
 

pops6927

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Believe me, it is my pleasure!  Whatever I can to help others enjoy this artisan craft and to make it so easy that even I can do it!
 

pops6927

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Of course, I must repost my curing brines.  See how simple it is?

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/a/pops6927s-curing-brines-regular-and-lo-salt
[h1]Pops6927's Curing Brines - Regular and Lo-Salt[/h1]

By: Pops6927

Posted 10/27/14 • Last updated 10/27/14 • 2,313 views • 0 comments

These are my Curing brines for pork, beef (corned and dried), poultry, and so on.

Regular Curing Brine:

1 gallon of clean water

1 cup plain, regular non-iodized table salt

1 cup sugar or sucrolose

1 cup brown sugar or sucrolose equiv.

1 tablespoon of Cure#1

Lo-Salt Curing Brine:

1 gallon of clean water

½ cup plain, regular non-iodized rable salt

½ cup sugar or sucrolose 

½ cup brown sugar or sucrolose equiv.

1 tablespoon of Cure #1

mix in food-safe container, stir until clear.

Add meat.  Do not add different species of meats, but you can add pieces of the same species.

Refrigerate 1 to 21 days, depending on thickness of meat. 

Up to 2 inches, 1-10 days.

2 - 4 inches, 5 - 15 days, may require injecting to cure from the inside-out as well as from the outside-in.

4 inches and larger.  15 - 21 days, requires injecting.

Injecting - use a Morton's injection 4 oz. manual injection pump with the Broadcast needle.



or equivalent.

Brine can become frothy (ropy).  It has both salt and sugar in it.  It also is inputting curing ingredients into the meat and oozing out blood and plasma.  Just dump the brine and make up fresh and continue curing should that happen.  Make sure you keep it at 38° - 40°.  

Weigh down meat into curing brine with half-filled ziploc bags of water on top.

No further mixing or stirring required, let it cure until done.  Meats will come out of the brine wish a distinct grayish look.  This is normal.

Cure #1:

I use this as reference:


Computing equivalency, for 100 gallons of curing brine, you add 24 lbs. of curing salt to 100 gallons of water and mix.

That is .24 lbs, or 3.84 oz. of curing salt to 1 gallon of water maximum.

My recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of curing salt to 1 gallon of water.  A level tablespoon is .88 of an ounce.  Heaping is approx. 1 ounce.  Either is fine.  Neither comes close to the maximum amount allowed, but just enough to do the job.  Curing at Maximum, plus with injection, requires 48 hours of cure time maximum.  This process uses less than one third the curing salt and a longer curing time to tenderize and flavor the meat.

You must cover the product until it floats off the bottom of the container, then weight it down to stay submersed in the brine, leaving no area to be exposed to air.  You must keep at 38° to 40° until curing time is over.  Remove from brine, put or hang in smokehouse or smoker.  I personally go from refrigeration to heat with no wait time myself.  There is different thoughts, whether to allow a pellicle to form or not.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pellicle_(cooking)

A pellicle is mainly, to my knowledge, allowed to form on fish prior to smoking.  We were only 30 miles from Salmon River in Pulaski, NY, a very well known salmon run.  We had many bring us their salmon to process and usually allowed a pellicle to form  But, pork and beef are not tender like fish.

Anything I have left out or any questions, be sure to PM me!  Don't hesitate!
 

tjohnson

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Nice Job Pops!
 

pops6927

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Now, The ham is cured, smoked and cooked to an internal of 155°!  

PART TWO - SECTIONING THE HAM:  

Removing the skin:

Remember, I only trimmed the skin half-way when first preparing the hind leg.  The skin holds the shank end together while curing and smoking; otherwise the muscles can come apart.  Plus, after smoking, the skin easily separates from the fat:



 I simply pulled it off.

REMOVING THE SIRLOIN TIP:

Remember the ham slice?


First, we remove the sirloin tip section:

Locate both ends of the femur and use your knife to mark the cut down the femur:


On both sides, then cut to the bone and loosen the meat from the bone.  DON'T CUT YOURSELF!!

Take shallow, ½" cuts, gently pulling and loosening from the bone until it comes free, separating it.



OUUUU!  Nice ham color!  No Gray Spots or uncured areas.... I did it right injecting it!


You see the kneecap on the sirloin tip; remove it and set the sirloin tip in your bucket.  

Part 1 done!


Now, you can see the femur bone:

Cut along the bone in shallow cuts, pull and loosen the femur:


DON'T CUT YOURSELF!!

And presto, femur now removed!



Now,simply split the ham in half along the cavity left by the femur:


(you can see the sirloin tip in the bucket)

Cut Side up:


Exterior sides up:



SECTIONING DONE!  3 pieces - Sirloin Tip, Bottom/Eye, and Top!  All boneless.  

NEXT: PROCESSING AND BAKING!
 
Last edited:

JckDanls 07

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Pops... are you by any chance looking to adopt a son just for a year or so.. just until I can learn a quarter of what you know...

"YOU ARE THE MAN"​
 

pops6927

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PREPPING FOR BAKING:

Pulled out the bucket of parts'n'pieces and had to prep each piece, removing the majority of the fat.  Eating leaner, trimmed them up pretty good!

First piece Top Round:

Before:


After:


Bottom/Eye:

Before:


After:


Sirloin Tip:

Before:


After:


In the roasting pan:


Back into the fridge until tomorrow (Easter) morning to Decorate and Bake!  Then, we take it to our older son's house by noon to feed everybody!  Carving will be a breeze, making the sectioning and prepping worth it - quick and simple!

See you then!
 

pops6927

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And into the oven it goes, Easter morning!


Reheat at 325° for 10 minutes a pound, about 3-3½ hours (18 lbs).
 

pops6927

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Got back home from a wonderful day at the son's house!  Managed to take a couple pictures which I'll gladly share:

Carving the ham pieces:


What was left:


Myself and my two sons, George Jr. (older) in the light gray an Rob (younger) in the dark gray: (I'm Shorty in the middle!)


My wife Linda with our two daughter-in-laws; Nissreen, Rob's wife in the darker rose and white print, and Erin, George Jr's wife in the pink top:


 There were several others there too, but I did this entire thread 1) for everyone here to enjoy and learn, and 2) for my sons and their families to document this history.  See also:

 http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/a/fassetts-quality-foods
 

b-one

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Nice food and a good time cograts on a great Easter!
 

tropics

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Pops Thanks for sharing your family photos with us.oh the met looks great 

Richie
 

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