Smoked Sweet Cured City Ham

Post Reply
User avatar
Butterbean
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 1774
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2012 04:10
Location: South Georgia

Smoked Sweet Cured City Ham

Post by Butterbean » Sat Dec 14, 2019 22:45

Had most of a pig to process less the wobbly bits and things got a little complicated with my mind wanting to go in so many directions so I just took a pause and went back to basics and used a method taught by my mentor and I also referred to Marianski's recipes to fill the voids in my memory. I also used Cure 1 rather than saltpeter which I think would really upset Russell - my mentor. He was a strong advocate of its use and was good enough to leave me a life long supply in his will which I'll admit I do use from time to time.

Anyhow, my wife loves City Hams so in an effort to please ...... well you know how it goes.

To begin with I made a 69 degree brine and to this I added 1/4 cup of homemade ribbon cane syrup and a half pound of dark brown sugar to each gallon of brine. This brine includes Cure 1 per label.

I weighed the hams and calculated 10% of their weight which gave me the amount of injection brined I needed. Since this is a strong brine I
then diluted the brine to around 45 degrees and injected the hams with 10% of this diluted brine then set the hams in a tub and submerged them in the brine and kept refrigerated for five days.

Image

Image

On day five, I removed them and rinsed them off well then let them sit to equalize for a day or so.

I then took them out of refrigeration and hung them to dry and come to room temperature. This took a while.

Once dry I hung them in the smokehouse and cold smoked them for five or six hours till I was pleased with their color.

Image

They were then removed and submerged in a pot of boiling water and the water was kept on boil for 15-20 minutes. After this time the flame was reduced and the water temp was lowered to 180F and I poached the hams till the internal temperature hit 152F. I then removed the hams and allowed them to cool then they were placed in the refrigerator.

Here is the end product. Nothing fancy, just downright wife pleasing good. The flavor is very hammy with a hint of salt and a wisp of sweetness with a faint aroma of the pecan smoke. Simply good.

One thing which is important to note is this is a strong brine and timing is critical keep good notes on your time and don't do as I have done in the past and forget about your hams for seven days else you will need to soak them to remove salt. However, if you follow this time schedule to the day and hour you will have a nice gentle ham. However, if you want a country ham, leave it in this brine for a day per pound but don't exceed 14 days - and always remember to give it time to equalize.

Image

Image
User avatar
Scogar
User
User
Posts: 53
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2019 23:28
Location: Atlanta GA

Re: Smoked Sweet Cured City Ham

Post by Scogar » Sun Dec 15, 2019 02:05

Looks and sounds awesome Butterbean
User avatar
Scogar
User
User
Posts: 53
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2019 23:28
Location: Atlanta GA

Re: Smoked Sweet Cured City Ham

Post by Scogar » Tue Jan 21, 2020 12:31

Butterbean wrote:
Sat Dec 14, 2019 22:45
They were then removed and submerged in a pot of boiling water and the water was kept on boil for 15-20 minutes. After this time the flame was reduced and the water temp was lowered to 180F and I poached the hams till the internal temperature hit 152F.
Why boiled? Most everything else I have seen has you bring up to the 152F by keeping submerged in something like 165-170F water? Are you less worried about the fat melting or is this really not a risk with the ham? I'm suspecting its the latter and the boiling water cuts the time to bring up to temp by a great deal.

Thanks in advance
User avatar
Butterbean
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 1774
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2012 04:10
Location: South Georgia

Re: Smoked Sweet Cured City Ham

Post by Butterbean » Tue Jan 21, 2020 13:17

Boiling helps cook the pork skin making it soft and easy to slice. It also seems to act like a sear on a steak because the hams seem to plump up and draw in moisture when they hit the boiling water. Don't know if that's the proper term but that's how it appears to me. Of course once it hits the water the water temp drops considerably but for that time you just needn't worry about the temp and you really don't render much fat.

Here is a link to what Marianski says about why some boil the ham for about 15 minutes. IMO, you can see a noticeable change in the ham after it has boiled for a few minutes. It seems to swell. (Particular reference is made at the last of the link just before the section on cooling)

https://www.meatsandsausages.com/hams-other-meats/hams
Post Reply