Tuesday, November 18, 2008

2 Year Investment

So i received 1/2 a pastured Tamworth heritage pig the other week. I split the whole pig with a chef friend and the price was unbelievable for the quality. We bought it from John and Marcia at Blue Haven Farms and the size and colour was amazing. The ham was 35 lbs , 20 once trimmed for prosciutto, needless to say it was massive! It will definately take closer to two years of hanging, if it even makes it that far without spoiling. We will see... I like learning things progressively. So i just wanted to cure this ham with salt and nothing else. Actually, i'm lying. i through a little instacure #2 in last minute after thoughts of this beautiful piece of meat going rotten. Not that cure # 2 will give me complete piece of mind but it will definitely help. 
I used coarse salt. 4% of the weight to be exact. and 1 g instacure #2 per lb of meat. i split the salt and cure mixture into 2/3 and 1/3. I used the larger batch of salt and cure and rubbed it all into the ham. Most of it on the exposed flesh paying special attention in and around the bone as well as on the top. I also rubbed it into the skin but dont be surprised if it just falls right off!
I put the ham into a clean bus pan with a rack underneath so that the hams dont sit in there own brine. i also weighted it 10 kg of weight, in this case, a large can of sauerkraut i bought in quebec. This initial salting and weighting period will run for two weeks. Then i will gently rinse any remaining salt and repeat the process with the smaller amount of salt mixture i reserved and weight for another two weeks. Once thats done, it will go through a fermenting period and then a hanging period.  I'll keep you posted.

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