13 January, 2008

Ham Serial Part One: Aquisition and Cure

Say what you will about the Southland(I complain about it enough), but I can drive about three miles to a small abattoir where if you find no lamb in the cold case, the man behind the counter will check in the back. When he comes back from the back, he has an entire carcass slung over his shoulder. He flips on the band saw and three swipes later Bonne Femme has fixins for Rogan Josh. While we are there I decide to buy a ham.

I bought a ham today. One of the smaller ones, six kilos (14.5 pounds). I take it home. I need to trim it and start it to cure.

I first remove what I believe is the aitch bone. I haven't had my meat class yet.

It's a small flattish bone that makes the socket for the ham bone. Meanwhile I set the brine on to boil: four gallons of water, three pounds of salt, six ounces of pink salt, 2 ounces of pickling spices in a sachet. While I'm waiting for it to cool, I'm going to watch 3:10 Yuma.

Okay it's after midnight now and I am in a South Suburban basement with twenty-seven pounds of pork. The movie was real good, and the brine has chilled enough to get going.

Along with the ham I have some pork belly left over from Sausage Mania Part Deux. I'll get colonial and throw the whole lot in the pot.

A plate for weight and into the fridge. I'll check on our briny bits in a few days.

That's it for now from studio B. Stay tuned. Happy curing.


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