Monday, 1 October 2012

I'm making air dried ham

Well, that's the plan. My curing chamber stands empty, devoid of meaty treats. I've read posts/articles on the internet where the authors proclaim fermented sausages to be the pinnacle of the art of charcuterie. This is probably true  but I would argue that producing a decent air-dried ham is up there too. Sure, grinding up raw meat, fat and spices; stuffing it all into casings; hanging the sausages up for weeks at various temperatures/humidities; and ending up with decent fermented sausages is challenging. Hanging up a cured pig leg smeared with lard on the other hand, less so. The challenge with ham comes in keeping it under stable conditions for the months/years required for it to cure and age properly.

The whole thing that started me experimenting with curing meat was the thought of making some proper air-dried ham. Buying a whole pig leg is a bit of an investment, particularly when I'm still having trouble with case hardening with some things. I was in the supermarket the other day and de-boned pork leg roasts were on offer, so I thought "What the hell, let's do it!". In my head that "let's do it!" was in the voice of Family Guy's Joe Swanson.

I'm loosely basing my effort on the recipe here. I say loosely because I'm aiming for a German-style cured smoked ham – a black forest schinken (a recipe for which can be found here). The problem with the second recipe is that, living in a flat, I don't have anywhere to put a container holding 12 L of brine for 2 weeks at 4°C (the fridge is a no go). Therefore, I'm going to mash both recipes together and see what emerges; kind of like a toddler let loose on a shiny new pack of Plasticine.

"Look, I've made a ham"

No comments:

Post a Comment