Hangikjot, icelandic smoked lamb (country lamb)

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Odie Oskarsson

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Nov 12, 2018
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Hampton, Va
So, i am a long time lurker and smoking enthusiast. I decided to become a member and post this not just for my information but it seems this is an underserved section of the smoking world.
I am an Icelander living in America (for the past 38 years) and my family brings home traditional smoked lamb for christmas as often as possible, its amazing. Last year i decided to give one a go and it turned out ok, more than edible, basically did a wet cure of 1 tsp cure #1 to a half gallon of water, some table salt and some sugar ( i forget the exact proportions) cured for about a week and smoked in my cold mes 30 with an Amps for 4 days (this was a 3 lb chunk of boneless lamb, icelandic of course).
So essentially i am looking for a wet cure equivalent to a dry cured "country lamb" tips and such, i will plan earlier next year and do a full on dry cure.
As a point of interest, due to lack of fuel for fire ,the traditional hangikjot is smoked on dried sheep dung and hay.
And you all rock, thanks for years of tips and tricks.
 
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Odie Oskarsson

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Nov 12, 2018
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Hampton, Va
Welcome to the fam! Look at "POPs" wet cure postings. I use it for turkey and bacon. Cooking over poop has to affect the flavor! You sure your family didn't cook it over a steam vent?
I wouldnt be surprised if I used pops cure i dont recall exactly but that would be a likely candidate, the poop is stil used commercially to produce it today, cheers.
 

Odie Oskarsson

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Nov 12, 2018
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I have talked to my grandfather about it and he says i am on the right track (he remembers from when he was a boy helping out) but everything was on a much larger scale, whole hind quarters and the like.
 

jcam222

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So in curing it does it become like ham? Sounds interesting. Ive always thought about just trying to hot smoke lamb to try it.
 

Odie Oskarsson

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Nov 12, 2018
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Many places in the World are forced to use "alternate" fuels for their fires.
There just isn't any wood available in their locations.
Sheep poop is essentially partially digested grasses , I'm sure many tonnes of bison jerkey was smoked on buffalo chips.
 

atomicsmoke

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Welcome. I can't wait to see more icelandic dishes and meats.

So this hangikjot is served raw or cooked?

If served raw like a prosciutto is better to dry cure-it needs to lose that moisture anyway.

Bunch of folks here, myself included, have done lamb prosciutto. I smoked mine....i assume the process would be the same for hangkjot except the use of sheep dung.
 

Odie Oskarsson

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Nov 12, 2018
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Hampton, Va
Welcome. I can't wait to see more icelandic dishes and meats.

So this hangikjot is served raw or cooked?

If served raw like a prosciutto is better to dry cure-it needs to lose that moisture anyway.

Bunch of folks here, myself included, have done lamb prosciutto. I smoked mine....i assume the process would be the same for hangkjot except the use of sheep dung.
Its primarily served cooked but many people do serve it raw ala prosciutto, the dry cure is the proper way, I'm just going for quick at this point, in time for christmas. I had not thought of searching lamb proscuttio, I will give that a shot, thanks.
 

daveomak

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basically did a wet cure of 1 tsp cure #1 to a half gallon of water, some table salt and some sugar ( i forget the exact proportions) cured for about a week and smoked in my cold mes 30 with an Amps for 4 days (this was a 3 lb chunk of boneless lamb, icelandic of course).
So essentially i am looking for a wet cure equivalent to a dry cured "country lamb" tips and such, i will plan earlier next year and do a full on dry cure.

Welcome and morning...
Your initial curing process was "close" to what the FDA recommends..
1/2 gal water = ~ 4#'s and the 3# boneless lamb is 3#'s of meat... Sooo, you had 7#'s total... cure#1 is used at a rate of 1 tsp. for every 5#'s of stuff to attain a Ppm nitrite at 156 Ppm..... So you were a little light on the nitrite but close enough a ~ 111 Ppm nitrite.. no problems...
Commercial processors use a curing brine of ~ 25-50% cure / brine based on the weight of the meat...
So for a 3# boneless hunk of meat, 1# of water would be used and the salt, cure and sugar would be based on a 4# weight of stuff..
4#'s at 0.25% cure#1, 2% salt and 1% sugar would be the base for a cure /brine.... ~1816 grams of meat and water .. 4.5 grams cure#1.. 36 grams kosher salt.. 18 grams of sugar.. would be the ~ chemical make up of the brine / cure.. Submerge the meat in the brine / cure for at least 2 weeks while refrigerated at 34-38F, turn daily...
For a dry cure, use the above amounts in a dry rub... 0.25%, 2%, and 1%... If the meat is thicker than 2", apply 1/2 the rub, twice, at 7 day intervals.. 7 days per inch is the accepted penetration rate of cure...
When dry curing with cure#1, and curing thick meat, cure#1 may be applied at up to 625 Ppm for a loooong term curing process... HOWEVER, salt and sugar should be spread out over the curing time.. You don't want the salt and sugar content to increase above the 2% / 1% respectively...
When you plan the dry cure, we can reexamine the process at that time... Dave
 
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Odie Oskarsson

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Nov 12, 2018
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Welcome and morning...
Your initial curing process was "close" to what the FDA recommends..
1/2 gal water = ~ 4#'s and the 3# boneless lamb is 3#'s of meat... Sooo, you had 7#'s total... cure#1 is used at a rate of 1 tsp. for every 5#'s of stuff to attain a Ppm nitrite at 156 Ppm..... So you were a little light on the nitrite but close enough a ~ 111 Ppm nitrite.. no problems...
Commercial processors use a curing brine of ~ 25-50% cure / brine based on the weight of the meat...
So for a 3# boneless hunk of meat, 1# of water would be used and the salt, cure and sugar would be based on a 4# weight of stuff..
4#'s at 0.25% cure#1, 2% salt and 1% sugar would be the base for a cure /brine.... ~1816 grams of meat and water .. 4.5 grams cure#1.. 36 grams kosher salt.. 18 grams of sugar.. would be the ~ chemical make up of the brine / cure.. Submerge the meat in the brine / cure for at least 2 weeks while refrigerated at 34-38F, turn daily...
For a dry cure, use the above amounts in a dry rub... 0.25%, 2%, and 1%... If the meat is thicker than 2", apply 1/2 the rub, twice, at 7 day intervals.. 7 days per inch is the accepted penetration rate of cure...
When dry curing with cure#1, and curing thick meat, cure#1 may be applied at up to 625 Ppm for a loooong term curing process... HOWEVER, salt and sugar should be spread out over the curing time.. You don't want the salt and sugar content to increase above the 2% / 1% respectively...
When you plan the dry cure, we can reexamine the process at that time... Dave
So, seven days later, i followed your cure guidelines (i like the math, math makes things easy) i injected 15% volume and cured 6 days in the fridge (set at around 40) cured 6 full days and left to dry open in the fridge overnight, 6hr cold smoke flat then i netted and smoked another 4 hrs (i intended another 6 but i had a flare up, probably due to my mes 30s door being a little too far open and the wind kicked up) it looks spot on, i will report in the morning with the results, i have pics but i have not figured out how to post them, i also started a venison hindquarter using this method (on blind<ish> faith)
 

Odie Oskarsson

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Nov 12, 2018
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Hampton, Va
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Odie Oskarsson

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Nov 12, 2018
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Hampton, Va
End result, sorry no pics, it was a typical Thanksgiving madhouse by the time i put the lamb out.
I let the lamb rest overnight in the fridge. 2 1/2 hrs before dinner I put the lamb in a large pot and covered with cold water, brought the water to a simmer and held at a simmer until the IT registered 130°f (about 50 min for this piece), killed the fire and let sit in the water until i could handel it(about 30 min) pulled out and let rest for 20ish min and then sliced and served. This is the traditional way to cook hangikjot.
This was as close to the commercially produced hangikjot as you could want, my whole family agreed, so if you want hangikjot and are not in Iceland this is about as close as it gets. Thanks daveomak for the cure math it was extremely helpful. I can't wait to try the dry cure one.
 

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