For the cure: mix together the saltpetre, salt, black pepper and coriander, Bone out the leg of pork and then apply the ingredients inside and out. When I went to visit him early this fall, the farm was bustling with activity. ветчины, हैम (Ham) से अतिरिक्त नमक निकालें, consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Reigning over the sideboard like King Solomon on his throne was a ham cured by Uncle Billy. Put a layer of curing mix on the tray to act as a bed for the ham. That's when the smoke starts.” The idea in smoking is not to cook the meat but to let the smoke enhance its flavor. My first memory of Uncle Bill Long's ham goes back to a Christmas dinner long ago. Dry curing is another process used to make prosciutto and country ham. While most of those who cure ham at home go only with salt, but you can always experiment with a few more ingredients and decide what works best for you. “Three-year-old meat gets hard, red, and stringy,” he says. And don't forget: The meat will absorb the salt until it reaches equilibrium. As a result, a dry-cured ham will taste quite salty. Do not boil the ham for longer than necessary to remove the salt. Once all the fluid has been removed, apply the curing mixture. “I just mix it in till it looks right, like that,” he says, showing me the box of soap flecked with black specks of pepper. You must return product for refund or store credit. If there are a few bluebird eggs in February, which is not uncommon in North Carolina, he'll bring several 100-pound blocks of ice into the salt house to keep the ham cold until the weather returns to normal. Salt-cured by hand and smoked with natural hickory wood, these country hams are aged to a rich mahogany color. He returns again seven or eight days later and repeats the process, and then leaves the hams in the salt house for most of February. If Whole Ham is not available, Please consider the Virginia Gourmet Country Ham Slices. And like all things he cherishes from a simpler time (including his Model A pickup or his 1935 meat slicer), Uncle Billy's happy to tell you all about it — just as long as you're happy to listen. You can also try white vinegar to help mask the saltiness. The Genuine Smithfield Ham is a world-famous country ham – aged, smoked, and dry cured with salt for 6-12 months. “After four to five weeks, the salt content is stabilized — the same at the surface as at the center,” Uncle Billy says. “Curing” means preserving, typically via salt, sugar, nitrates, and/or smoke. “The salt is going to penetrate the meat quickly. If you wish, you can apply a salt free spice rub like my Meathead's Memphis Dust just before smoking. Want to use it in a meal plan? The next morning he pours a layer of salt on the table and begins to cover the meat with it, rubbing it in, moving the joints, adding more salt until it “starts feelin' stiff.” For his annual 24 hams, he buys 50 to 100 pounds of salt. (Any other starter would taint the meat.) The longer you soak it, the less salty it will be. In the summer when he prunes his fruit trees, Uncle Billy saves all the prunings down to the smallest twig. Folks who make liquor will tell you the same thing.” Although he has eaten the milder, 1-year-old hams his children seem to prefer, for Uncle Billy a ham doesn't reach its full potential until the third year. Cutting into a Traditionaly Cured Country Ham after 22 months! “I want it to be miserable — damp and cold.” But the secret that distinguishes his cured hams from others is the wood he uses for smoking. Uncle Billy uses this vintage sliver that "slices meat so thin you can read through it. Then his part of the process is over: The rest is up to the meat and time. which is Located in the NorthWestern Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Desalt the ham before cooking. He has peach and pear trees, but apple wood is his favorite, and he makes sure he has several armfuls. A woman from up north was in front of me. For the truest Southern dining experience, try our Uncooked Country Ham or Genuine Smithfield Ham packed in a traditional cloth sack. Cold-smoke the ham, if desired, for 12 hours. The few he has donated to his church's charity auctions have sold for as much as $75. Wiping the ham with a clean paper towel soaked in vinegar will remove any remaining mold. He repeats the process on the fresh side where the clavicle blade sticks up through the meat. “Oh, that's very salty,” she said. He learned it from his mother, Caroline, when he was a boy, and he's been doing it steadily, almost as a revival, for the last 15 years. “When it's blood-red fresh, it has a tremendous amount of moisture,” Uncle Billy says. I prefer … Sign in with your online account. Two-year-old hams hang on the second tier, and 3-year-old hams are on the bottom, so that my Aunt Mildred, who stands about 5 foot 3 inches tall in her stocking feet, can retrieve them easily with the help of a long pole made just for that purpose. The next day, at seven in the morning, he starts a small fire in the fire pit, using newspaper and the fruitwood kindling. Salt Dry Cured Local. “We used to say you used everything but the squeal,” laughs Uncle Billy. Salt cured hams are packed in salt/brine and left "out in the open" for 6 months or more. Broadbent's The ideal biscuit ham--not too dry, not too moist--ready for serving. This bed of curing mix should be … account? Ideally, for a100 pounds of fresh ham, you would need 8 pounds of salt, 2 pounds of sugar, and 2 ounces of saltpeter. He flicks on a bare light bulb, revealing a concrete floor with a sunken circular fire pit in the middle and a table to one side. Replace the water every 2 hours to reduce bacteria growth. When I ask him about it, he shrugs and kicks the ground with his boot. Now, this might sound like a bad thing but really it isn't. You can make cured ham yourself. When the new hams are ready for smoking, Uncle Billy takes the older hams and stores them temporarily in the salt house. You can make salt-cured ham in the fridge at a temperature below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, but if you're curing multiple hams, plan to do it in the colder months and use natural refrigeration. You can create your own brine or use a recipe. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. He tells me about how, every January when he was a boy, they'd kill 30 to 40 hogs fattened on corn and peanuts to feed the family and the farmhands. Like room. A week later I was at Cousin Duna's wedding reception, standing in line beside a table packed with food. If you've got space and room, things seem to work better. Mix the Curing Ingredients Mix 2 pounds (0.9 kg) of non-iodized salt and 1 pound (0.4 kg) of white … A modest man of 64 and a churchgoer, he would scoff at such praise — but he wouldn't deny it. Uncle Billy opens the heavy latch on the door, and we step inside, enveloped by the darkness and the sharp smell of smoke and aging meat. Country hams are the traditional hams that date back to the days before refrigeration. When the humidity is high, it's ideal. We stop in front of the salt house, a cinderblock building with plaster walls and tables to one side. Step 2 Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil and pour over the brine … You can soak a ham for up to 72 hours to remove the saltiness. “Put them together and you never have to worry about chemicals to keep the bugs out. He stresses that cold dampness is what you need. From day-one naturally Dry Cured Blue Ridge Mountain Country Ham was featured on the menu. Already a Member? At MOTHER EARTH NEWS for 50 years and counting, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. With the proper mix of sugar, spices, temperature and patience you can cure your own country ham. And watch videos demonstrating recipe prep and cooking techniques. When he finishes working the meat, he lays it on the table skin-side down and covers it with a layer of salt one-half inch to an inch deep. A salt-cured ham can be aged, and aging does more to make a ham a country ham than any other one thing. It sure is good eating.”, Salt-cured and smoked, the new hams go to the top tier to age. It usually takes 10 to 12 boxes of borax and six cans of pepper. Add a few ounces of curing salt, which is available in the canning section of a store or online. Taste the ham after you have boiled it for about ten minutes. A native of ham country (smoked hams from places like Gwaltney and Smithfield have made the area famous), I feel justified to state unequivocally and with all prejudices firmly in place — that my Uncle Billy makes the best country ham in the world. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. The door is heavy, thick and insulated. Ham, generally, is the cured hind leg of a pig, and will comprise a cut somewhere between the shank (the ankle) and the rump. Country hams are not generally smoked, but this is a matter of personal taste. Under six months a ham is still pork, the meat pale and pink, but after that a ham starts to become a ham with full flavor and red meat. The new meat goes on the bottom tier, about three feet overhead. When it's cold, he explains, the fat stays solid. (It’s one of the ways we kept meat edible before refrigeration came around.) I found Uncle Billy behind the house wiring lights to one of the half-dozen outbuildings scattered around the place. He stays with it all day, adding wood and adjusting the fire until he goes to bed that night. “I wait until it bums down. This is venison ham. Calories, carbs, fat, protein, fiber, cholesterol, and more for Cured ham (Pork, low sodium, lean and fat, cooked). Many people like the flavor of hams that have been cured country style. Whenever possible,... 2. If soaking the ham for more than 4 hours, make sure you change the water regularly. Should the skippers get in anyway, he'll put his hams in the freezer for a day and scrub the smokehouse until “it's as clean as a hospital.”, “The old generation had all these little things they did,” Uncle Billy says. Broadbent Country Hams are dry cured, meaning they are hand rubbed with a cure mixture, then aged at least six months for milder hams, nine months for our Broadbent Grand Champion Hams and eighteen months for our Heritage Hams. Three wooden tiers ring the smokehosue rafters. Cooked Country … Head to the diet generator and enter the … It was my first-ever dry-cured ham, and it does not come from a pig. Their characteristic flavor is quite different from mild-cured commercial hams.When to cureHams should be placed in cure during December and January when production of country cured hams is dependent on natural conditions for refrigeration. Method: When dry curing ham cover the hams completely with a layer of salt for 3 days. The day before he's ready to smoke, Uncle Billy goes into the woods and fells a hickory sapling as big around as your thigh and cuts it into one-foot lengths. When you get right down to cases, the only reason for salt-curing a ham is so that it can be aged. Hi, thanks for stopping by. Next, he takes a can of crushed red pepper and pours it on the exposed hock until the whole end of the ham turns red. Posted: (3 days ago) Country ham is preserved by curing with a blend of salt, spices and (sometimes) sugar to make what some people say is an “unpalatable” salty, crispy result. don't have an online Country ham is preserved by curing with a blend of salt, spices and (sometimes) sugar to make what some people say is an “unpalatable” salty, crispy result. Get Country Ham Recipe from Food Network You can also find 1000s of Food Network's best recipes from top chefs, shows and experts. This was strong stuff, I was told — an acquired, grown-up taste, like okra or good bourbon. Today processes may vary but essentially this ham is salty and dry. Step 1 Place kosher salt, brown sugar, pickling spice, and pink salt in a container large enough to hold the brine and the ham. Survival Skills, Garden Planning, Seed Saving, Food Preservation, Natural Health – Dozens of courses, 100+ workshops, and interactive Q&As. Canadian Subscribers - Click Here Doing so can result in tough, dried out, or unappetizing ham. * These carefully prepared hams make for the perfect gift or flavor-packed centerpiece for a special meal. “I'll be 65 in February, and I plan to retire. This is where fresh ham is rubbed with a dry mixture of salt and other ingredients. “It has a bite to it. In early March, Uncle Billy takes the hams from the salt house, fills a metal washtub with warm water and washes them “just like a baby.” He then mixes borax (found in the detergent section of your local grocer) and black pepper at a ratio of about a half can of pepper to a 32-ounce box of detergent, although he won't admit to exact measures. There, among 30 or 40 relatives, we lined up (children first) to cruise the sideboard, plates in hand and help ourselves to my aunt's Southern cooking. Country Hams are the quintessential dish of The South. You could hang it on the back porch, and it would be fine all summer.”, In the Smokehouse: Smoking Ham to Enhance the Flavor, Salt may preserve a ham, but smoking makes it worth eating. Dana & the Old Virginia Ham Shop Family * Please contact us within 7 days of receiving your shipment for return instructions. I still remember taking small forkfuls of the ham (a taste that can only be described now as dark, hard, mysterious, and smacking of salt, smoke and spices), carefully lacing it between bits of soft rolls, and then dousing the whole thing with red-eye gravy. This will take up to 5 hours depending on the meat's thickness. Then I put the green wood on the fire. Nothing was wasted or thrown away, not even the hair, which was saved for stuffing mattresses or making plaster. Already a Member but Unfortunately we cannot issue refunds for taste preferences. If it is still too salty, allow the vinegar or lemon juice to soak in for another ten to fifteen minutes. The top tier is for new meat. So if you keep it dark, you'll keep it safe. According to the USDA, salt-cured hams are not properly cooked but the salt reduces the water content in the meat, which helps prevents pathogens from reproducing. Shafts of light beam down through cracks in the roof. This year, however, only the bottom tier is full of hams. Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST). Mix all these ingredients well and divide them into two equal batches. Rubbing salt over the exterior of a ham to cure the meat produces country ham, which is a Southern delicacy that originated in Smithfield, Virginia in 1902. The top tier is for new meat. “So you want to know about hams,” he said, in all seriousness. A country ham, properly prepared is a delicious treat. Uncle Billy smokes it until it turns a rich mahogany color. A day or two before you plan to serve the ham, place in a very large oval kettle, sawing off hock, if necessary, to fit ham in. The result is a more subtle, milder flavor that still retains our distinctive country-cure … The only thing left to do is wait and check them periodically for skippers. If you want to serve it immediately, and I strongly recommend it, smoke the ham at 325°F until it is 145°F in the deepest part of the center. Country hams can be found … I present to you: mocetta. Country hams are salt-cured (with or without nitrites) for one to three months. The day has come! Cover with cool water and let stand 24 hours at room temperature, changing the water 3 to 4 times. A Little Brine. The commercial boys wouldn't think of building this big a space for a few hams. We appreciate your understanding! She picked up a ham biscuit and took a delicate bite. The door is heavy, thick and insulated. Salt Cured Country Hams. however you can find picnic shoulders at Walmart for 12-16 bucks, the have a red and White AVA sticker on them, I used these the first time I tried curing my own ham, and they came great and tasted the same, the meat is a tad tougher (at least it was to me) the second time i let it cure an extra day it was perfect, Cousin Duna's wedding was set for the following weekend, and the whole family of six girls, several husbands, and numerous grandchildren were working in the yard getting ready for it. Remember our country hams are salt cured and will be salty in nature. Unlike the salt house, which is built thick and tight, ventilation is key here. If the fat starts to drip, then the fire is too hot. I was a shirttail boy of eight, and my family had been invited to Uncle Billy's big white farmhouse near Garysburg, N.C. Aging has got more to do with it than anything I do. I remember nearly transparent slices, rimmed with thin strips of fat, on a white dinner plate. ", Natural Cold Storage: Fresh Food in Winter, Keeping Crops Cool During Hot Weather: 13 Ways to Beat the Heat, Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price. If ham is very salty, salt crystals will be visible. The ham will be blond when it comes in, with a clear white skin. Three wooden tiers ring the smokehouse rafters. He brings the green hams into the salt house and lays them on the table. He covers the hams with a thin coat of the mixture, which toughens the skin to keep bugs out. It was the social event of the season, and all the people who worked and lived on the farm turned out to help. There was turkey with oyster dressing and cranberry salad, rice and gravy, and hot rolls for dipping and shoving. The best way to discourage the insects is to keep the smokehouse clean and dark. These cured hams are soaked in a saltwater brine and smoked to preserve them. Prepare a curing mix of 4 parts salt to 1 part sugar. If it is still too salty, try boiling it for another one or two minutes. Mocetta (MOE-chet-uh) is a Northern Italian air-dried goat ham … Above us, hanging on hand-turned wooden pegs, a dozen hams are suspended. Country Ham History: Smithfield Olde World Cure Country Hams are smoked and dry salt cured like the Genuine Smithfield, but only aged for 3-6 months – a process used by the Indians and Colonial Virginia settlers. Uncle Billy cured ham unlike anyone else, and you can learn how to make salt-cured ham like Uncle Billy. Rub the cleaned ham with the coarsely ground black pepper. The first few days are critical until the salt gets to the bone. Like to read more content, Join the Mother Earth News Community Today. “Then you have preserved your meat. … I remember squash casserole, candied yams, butterbeans and snaps, and collards boiled hard and long into a wonderful deep green mush. Soak it in water. As with so much else on a farm, says Uncle Billy, the first thing you need for successful ham-curing is the right weather — a cold snap in January with temperatures in the high 20s to low 30s at night. “Once I get the fire going, I get it hot as hell,” he says. Uncle Billy shows off one of his famous salt-cured hams. Country hams can be found whole in the south–often wrapped in the netting used for smoking–or you can buy it … The mold is harmless but to the un-ham-educated, it looks like the meat is ruined. You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues. He cuts a few extra armloads of young sassafras, which grows wild along a nearby fence row, and stores it all in a dry place until March. As it penetrates the meat that salt will disappear like melting snow.”. Perfect Petite Ham for Easter, Christmas,Thanksgiving, New Year's, Every Day & Entertaining Ham. The desserts were nearby: plum pudding and fruitcake, ambrosia and pecan pie, and, of course, my Aunt June's legendary caramel cake, which had faithful fans in three countries. “They'll eat the damn meat up.”. The proof of the pudding is in the eating, isn't it?”, Uncle Billy has never sold a ham, despite receiving many offers to buy them. After the initial salting, Uncle Billy goes back to the salt house three or four days later and adds another layer of salt, working the joints again to help it penetrate. Removing Salt from a Ham 1. Good smoking weather, says Uncle Billy, is like good duck-hunting weather. Four things influence the salting process: the thickness of the meat, the moisture of the meat, the humidity of the air and the temperature. If your ham is too salty, dilution is a great way to remove some of the salty flavor. None of these kids are interested in doing it, so these will be the last of them.”. He was known far and wide for serving his style of Country Ham with the homemade from scratch southern biscuits his mother made at Rays Starlight Restaurant, in … Photo by Holly A. Heyser. “That'll keep the skippers out,” he says, referring to the larval stage of a fly, which can be the bane of a ham's existence. The smoke is the important thing; that's why the smokehouse is well ventilated. The smokehouse sits next to the salt house, a square, white clapboard building of pine siding and cedar shingles, with a pointed red roof that is as high as the walls are tall. * Virginia Country Ham is cured in salt. The key to keeping good hams…is to keep your smokehouse locked.” He leads the way down a path in the yard, shooing tame ducks from underfoot, to where two small buildings back up to a soybean field. These days, however, he buys fresh “green” hams from a local slaughterhouse. If possible, you will want to desalt the ham before you cook it. A ham has two sides, the skin side and the fresh-meat side. They are usually hardwood smoked (usually hickory and red oak), but some types of country ham, such as the "salt-and-pepper ham" of North Carolina, are not smoked. Like cheese, almost all have mold growing on them. After a few months, the hams often grow a thin patina of mold on the skin, which Uncle Billy says “suits them just fine. An Award Winning Broadbent Country Ham is Dry Cured, Hickory Smoked and Aged to perfection. In the Salt House: Salt Curing and Preserving Ham We stop in front of the salt house, a cinderblock building with plaster walls and tables to one side. Deep red on the inside, covered with cloves and a mahogany glaze of molasses and brown sugar on the outside, its aroma filled the dining room. International Subscribers - Click Here “Well,” I offered, “it's a bit of an acquired taste.”. Try chopping up the ham and cooking adding it to scalloped potatoes. They can control the humidity and the temperature. 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