Dry Cured Ham ...... Suffolk Ham

Air dried cured Meat Techniques

Dry Cured Ham ...... Suffolk Ham

Postby BriCan » Fri May 28, 2010 5:44 am

As been asked to see the recipe for this wonderful mouth watering ham I am endeavoring to comply with the request, being technically challenged on these things (posting :oops: ) and not the things I produce which it seems to be second nature.

The following is what I have done from the concept without any alterations and have been told by a very good friend who comes from the area where they was first produced that what I have created is as close as any one can get.

As follows

I basically do what we call an English cure, take a leg of pork and rub in curing salt, place rind side down in a non-metallic container elevated up from the bottom so that it will not sit in the liquid that comes from the leg. Place a light coating of salt on the top of the leg. Cure for three days per inch ... remember we are curing to the 'center', so if the height of the leg is fifteen inches then we are curing for seven inches.

The liquid brine:

I use the following:-

8 pints of Fullers ESB
3 of 4 tins of Tate & Lyle treacle 907 gm
40 juniper berries
30 gm whole black peppercorns

Place the beer in a large pot (restraining yourself from taking a nip to make sure said beer was still good), run boiling water in sink or tub so that you can place tins of treacle in to warm up so that they can be emptied easily.

Place the peppercorns and the juniper berries in a plastic bag and crush. Add to the beer and treacle mixture in the pot. Place on stove and bring to a boil, turn down and simmer for 1 (one) hour, leave to cool.

This brine can be kept in the fridge for over a week by itself.

after leg has been cured in the salt two week I usually rinse with tepid water and then place in cold water for a couple of hours, this removes excess salt, this is the same process I do when making my Schinken.

Normally the leg is then placed in the cooked brine solution for three days for every Kg of meat, for me this would get very expensive (beer wise) so I place the leg in a vacuum pouch and add 1 Lt of the brine and vac pack. I turn the bag every day without fail so that the liquid penetrates all sides.

At the end of the time take out of the brine rinse with cold water and hang to dry (1 or 2 days depending on temperature and humidity)

Cold smoke for an eight hour period for as follows, 2 days of smoke, 1 day of rest then 1 day of smoke, do any combination so long as you do the resting part in-between.

The following are a few photos that managed to take:


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Suffolk Ham

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Suffolk Ham with side (streaky) bacon

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Suffolk Bacon

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Suffolk Hams. if you look closely to the ham on the left you can see some of the juniper berries and peppercorns (crushed) on the outside.

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Another view of the Suffolk ham

Now that I have seemed to have mastered posting of photos I will have to dig out others

Robert

But again, what do I know. :)
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Postby grisell » Fri May 28, 2010 8:07 am

That looks fantastic! :)
André

I have a simple taste - I'm always satisfied with the best.
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Postby wheels » Fri May 28, 2010 3:17 pm

Robert

Can you elaborate on this bit please:

I basically do what we call an English cure, take a leg of pork and rub in curing salt, place rind side down in a non-metallic container elevated up from the bottom so that it will not sit in the liquid that comes from the leg. Place a light coating of salt on the top of the leg. Cure for three days per inch ... remember we are curing to the 'center', so if the height of the leg is fifteen inches then we are curing for seven inches.


Do you have a specific dry cure that you use, a certain salt, type of sugar, type of curing salt, spices, herbs etc?

Phil
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Postby BriCan » Sat May 29, 2010 3:49 am

wheels wrote:Robert

Can you elaborate on this bit please:

Phil


Will answer this tomorrow my time as I have pushed the limit on the work load. I keep this there will be another 12 plus stitches. :oops: :cry:

Robert

I am beginning to get a hand on uploading the photo's

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Postby BriCan » Sun May 30, 2010 8:08 pm

Phil,

sorry about the delay, orders come in and being a one man show right now takes a toll, 80+ seafood pies, Cumberland sausage 150 lbs, and that was only half of it. One client has requested dry cured duck sausage, custom not the run of the mill stuff. :roll:

Another client has put on for the world cup a breakfast & lunch on the recommendation of a friend sight unseen or tasted.

It now reminds me of a quotation; 'I thought I saw light at the end of the tunnel, but it was only some silly bugger fetching me more work' :?


wheels wrote:Robert

Can you elaborate on this bit please:


I basically do what we call an English cure, take a leg of pork and rub in curing salt, place rind side down in a non-metallic container elevated up from the bottom so that it will not sit in the liquid that comes from the leg. Place a light coating of salt on the top of the leg. Cure for three days per inch ... remember we are curing to the 'center', so if the height of the leg is fifteen inches then we are curing for seven inches.

I could spin you a yarn to appear to be wise and knowledgeable but all in all most if not all curing processes are very simple. If we keep the anagram in mind one cannot and should not go to far wrong… ‘Kis’

wheels wrote:Do you have a specific dry cure that you use,


Please do not take this the wrong way; I seem to use words that were told me by the old ones, English cure; is the same as my German friend dose while making Schinken so he would in all doubts call it a 'German cure' ie just salting it down. I seem to recall that someone real polite reminded me that there are people around hear we're working in the dark - we've probably never made the recipe, and are unlikely to know it's source - so any answers will be 'stock answers' that will generally cure the problem in the majority of cases. :)

It seems that I need to be reminded once in a while. :wink:

The whole process is a dry cure but incorporating a wet brine, sounds like a contradictory of words. :) If you think of the dry cure as the same process as doing Prosciutto, the deference being that we are doing the dry curing with an ‘all purpose curing salt’, and not a salt and saltpetre combination.

I can now hear the question of why use the ‘all purpose curing salt’? reason being that this is a ‘complete’ mix that was produce quite some time ago to eliminate beginners making the big mistakes that can lead to potential hazards. I use it due to the fact of 911 the restrictions in North America brought on by our friends down south followed by the government of the day up north deeming it to be an ‘explosive’ therefore it is on the restricted list and you will have to fill out so many papers that it is just not worth it. Mined you I cannot wait for my next shipment of spices. :)

I do not have any photos of a leg being dry cured but the following photos of the dry cured bacon will give you the same idea.
If you take a good handful of the curing salt and rub it into the skin side of the leg to start, rub good and hard as well as long, how long you ask? I usually go until I see it starting to sweat or that your salt is looking wet. Turn the leg over and repeat the other (meat) side next place in a non-pores container – elevated off the bottom so that the meat dose not sit in the liquid. If it dose sit in this liquid it might and will make the meat go hard.

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Belly of pork salted with curing salt.

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Belly of pork salted with curing salt.


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Belly now covered with spices.


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Curing tub with the inserts.


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Curing tub with excess liquid that has come out of the pork, this is the liquid you 'do not' want the product sitting in. :cry:

Remember the old days when they talk about a ‘salt box’ these was made for dry curing and had holes in the bottom to let the liquids drain out, personally have used a ‘salting trough’ a slab of marble that slopes to one end and to the front with a groove along the edge to channel away the liquid.

I put the legs down for seven days then rotate, top to the bottom and the bottom ones on top also empty out the liquid if I deem there is to much to leave for another seven days as the legs will be down for a total of fourteen days.

wheels wrote:a certain salt,

Not at this time as I have only just set thing up in the new location, but given time I will be getting back into using different types of salts.


wheels wrote: type of sugar,

Again due to the cost out this way I stick to what is in my budget, the darkest demerara sugar as well as a light/medium demerara sugar. I hope to have a couple of different Muscovado sugars on the next shipment.

Take 1 Kg of curing salt add to that ½ Kg each of two different Muscovado sugars, mix well and use this on your bacon. I do my Irish and Lancashire short back this way.

wheels wrote:type of curing salt,

As stated above.

wheels wrote:spices, herbs etc?

Spices, now there’s one for you. Follow the procedure for dry curing the legs … salting then dust the meat side with the spices great for making European dry cured bacon.

European (German Black Forest area) this is from my good friend who’s smokehouse I ran for some time while he was sick.

Bulk Spice:
125 gm white pepper
25 gm nutmeg
25 gm mace
25 gm cardamom
200 gm sugar (white)

Store in a non-pores ‘opaque’ container

Food for thought ???

If my ramblings are getting too long, please let me know. :oops:

Robert
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Postby wheels » Sun May 30, 2010 8:41 pm

Your 'ramblings' as you call them are fine. I'm sure that we're all interested in the methods of a commercial curer who still uses the old methods where he can, rather than inject with phosphates etc and never mind the quality like many.

Thanks for taking the time to explain your process.

Oh, by the way, over here the light at the end of the tunnel's had to be turned off to save money! :lol:

Phil
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Postby BriCan » Mon May 31, 2010 3:34 am

wheels wrote:Your 'ramblings' as you call them are fine. I'm sure that we're all interested in the methods of a commercial curer who still uses the old methods where he can, rather than inject with phosphates etc and never mind the quality like many.


:oops:

Thanks for that guvnor, never bin called that before. :oops: Bin called a butcher who slings his hook more than once.:lol:


wheels wrote:Thanks for taking the time to explain your process.


If I can shed a small ray of light then I have done my job.

wheels wrote:Oh, by the way, over here the light at the end of the tunnel's had to be turned off to save money! :lol:


Please someone out there, remind this poor young lad that we are out in the Colonies and of such our light emanates from a branch with an oil soaked cloth wound around and lit by rubbing two sticks together. :roll:
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Postby wheels » Mon May 31, 2010 1:59 pm

:lol: :lol: :lol:
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Postby Andreas » Sat Jun 26, 2010 5:38 pm

I have a really stupid question, but here it goes. :oops:

Is this ham intended to eat straight away like a prosciutto or should it be cooked first? The smooking seems a bit short for just slice and eat.

Lovely looking pieces of pork though :)
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Postby wheels » Sat Jun 26, 2010 6:36 pm

There's no such thing as a stupid question on this forum!

It's to eat after cooking.

This is a good recipe, in keeping with the black Suffolk hams made by Emmetts of Peasenhall.

For people in the UK I believe that Emmetts use Old Growler Stout from Nethergate Brewery, Sudbury for their hams. This is unlikely to be available outside the UK.

Phil
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Postby BriCan » Sat Jun 26, 2010 8:03 pm

Andreas wrote:I have a really stupid question, but here it goes. :oops:


As told to me by the old fellows, there are no stupid questions; only the ones not asked. :lol:

Andreas wrote:Is this ham intended to eat straight away like a prosciutto or should it be cooked first?


This particular ham was meant to be cooked first then eaten, but saying that if left to age and air dried for a longer period of time you could/can use it the same as prosciutto.

Andreas wrote:The smoking seems a bit short for just slice and eat.


Smoking time is fine for as you say; for just slice and eat. The trick, and really there is no trick, ........ all you have to do is sit on your hands. :lol: You have to resist the temptation of picking up a knife and sampling the product. Ageing the product is a time honoured tradition which is part of traditional ways that is being lost with the larger producers. :cry:

Below is the Shinken that I do, time wise as follows:
1 week in salt
1 week in cooked brine
1 week of smoking :- 1 smoke, 1 rest, 2 smoke or any combination there off.
Drying and ageing .... there have been doing for 8 weeks on the thicker pieces before vacuuming which still ages them. :D :D :D

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What I used to make this was a Sow leg, I know there are people out there who will think and probably say that is the wrong thing to use. Traditionally the pork leg is around 9 - 10 Kg which most if not all recipes call for. Sow legs weight on an average 36 Kg. The problem with this is you are looking for a 25 - 30% loss when air drying. My German friend who is in his nineties learned from his mother who learned from her mother and so on.

There is less water in a Sow leg which means there is less weight loss, don't believe me, ..... try it :lol: but remember I only recommend for the shinken.
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Postby BriCan » Sat Jun 26, 2010 8:07 pm

wheels wrote:For people in the UK I believe that Emmetts use Old Growler Stout from Nethergate Brewery, Sudbury for their hams. This is unlikely to be available outside the UK.


When will you be shipping so that I could try this out, ....... besides that I am long overdue for a decent drink. :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Postby wheels » Sat Jun 26, 2010 8:45 pm

Pin, Firkin, Kilderkin, Barrel or Hogshead?

Nethergate's only been brewing since 1986 - I'd love to know who supplied before this going back in time - my guesses would be Greene King, Adnams or Tolly Cobbold - but it's anyone's guess.

Phil
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Postby BriCan » Sat Jun 26, 2010 9:04 pm

wheels wrote:Pin, Firkin, Kilderkin, Barrel or Hogshead?


Tun, please ... Hogshead is only 54 gals. I do not want to appear to be a p**s head, only a tad thirsty; ........ but besides that Governor, it’s for curing purposes. :wink: :wink: :oops: :lol: :lol:

Robert. :roll: hick :oops:
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Postby wheels » Sat Jun 26, 2010 11:21 pm

I'd love to, but it's not to be.

Are there any 'micro breweries' in your area that you could persuade to produce a stout? Personally, I fancy doing this recipe with a 'milk stout', I feel that the bitter hoppiness (sp?) of a true stout may be detrimental. However, very few breweries still make this, it was common in the 60's and 70's, but I guess it's gone out of fashion.

Phil

added: Oh, that Shinken looks superb by the way.
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