Sunday, 14 October 2012

Ham, ham and a bit more ham!

Last time around we made a Wiltshire cure ham from one leg, which even if I say so myself, was delicioso! We also attempted a Italian style parma, but unfortunately as we'd over wintered the pigs, the climate was not right and about 2 months in of hanging in the barn, the flies and maggots destroyed our ham in less than a day!

So this time we decided to up the game and make 4 hams! 2 in the tried and tested Wiltshire Cure, 1 Suffolk cure and again we have taken a risk and tried another parma style ham.  Recipe for Wiltshire Cure below.

After 21 days of soaking in their different brine's the three wet hams were taken off to our local Smokery.  I am currently awaiting the telephone call to go and collect these said hams! Can't wait to try them.

With the dry ham, after 20 days of being packed in salt inside a wooden wine box, weighted down with two bricks, this week I removed the leg for parma from it's salt brine. I then washed it down and rubbed with white wine vinegar. I wrapped in two thick muslin cloths, then encased in a double layer of chicken wire and hung in the barn. With a bit of luck in 6 months time we will be eating parma ham!

Our recipe for Wiltshire Cured Ham

First make the basic brine.

For Basic Wet Ham Brine

2kg coarse salt
50 g of saltpetre
6 litres of water.

Bring all of above to boil, stirring to dissolve salt. Boil hard for 10 mins, skimming any froth.  Leave to cool.  Transfer to large tupperwear box and put in fridge or outside if below 3 Degrees Celsius.

Make sure your meat and brine are chilled and cure your meat in this basic brine for 2-3 hours in the fridge.

Wiltshire Cure

1.5kg salt
3 litre of bitter
2 tins of lyles black treacle
30 juniper berries
30g crushed black peppercorns

Whilst your leg is brining in basic brine, boil all ingredients for Wiltshire Cure.  Leave to cool and place in fridge.

Once your ham has been in basic brine for 2-3 hours, drain completely and transfer into Wiltshire cure.  Weight the ham down (I usually use a 2 litre sterilised plastic lemonade bottle filled with fresh clean, cold water).  Leave in brine for 4 days per kilo. Mark on a calendar or your diary so you remember!

After you have left for allotted time, remove ham from cure, wipe dry with a muslin and hang in cotton pillowcase for 24 hours.

Then smoke!

Once you have smoked your ham, cook on a low heat for 2 - 3 hours. Slice and enjoy!