It’s all well and good if one has learned to debone a fresh leg of pork, but of what profit is it if there isn’t a winning method to turn it into a beautiful, moist, salty and smokey ham?
Such has been my dilemma for several years. The wet-cured (brined) hams always came out tasting more like a simple smoked meat and nothing like ham as we know it. Thankfully, on the heels of this year’s bacon success comes another. This time in the form of a dry-cured boneless ham which was then smoked in oak wood and finished using cherry. It was absolutely perfect!
If you’d like to make pork butter with me along with many other amazing prepared and cured pork recipes including prosciutto, capicola, bacon, guanciale, pate, rillettes, and more join us December 8-9 for our Homestead Hog Butchering Workshop in Brinkhaven, Ohio!
With the exception of the smoking, we used all the ingredients as suggested… even the saltpeter. Though the amount is small, I figured we would find a method that worked really well and tasted wonderful and then tweak it in the future. Next year, I intend to follow this recipe and use the saltpeter with half of the hams to see if it can be done just as well without. Sure we’ll lose the nice pink color, but I’m more concerned about what impact, if any, it has on the flavor.
But that is a worry for another year. In the meantime, I intend to enjoy our home cured hams with Roasted Asparagus this spring and smothered in Cinnamon & Maple Fried Apples this fall!