Saturday, 22 September 2012

Air Dried Ham: Day 282

Around the middle of December last year I bought a leg of pork with the aim of producing another air dried ham. After three weeks packed in salt it was washed in white wine vinegar, lovingly wrapped in a muslin shroud and hung up in the rafters of the garage to dry. Now nearly nine months later it was time to examine the fruits of my labours ...
After nine months hanging in the garage a dark green mould could be seen through the muslin wrapping.  Mind you, in view of some of the recent projects, it could just be an accretion of sawdust.

After unwrapping it was apparent that the mould was restricted to the cut surface of the ham. The skin was spotless, incredibly hard and a deep tan in colour.

There was absolutely no odour emanating from the ham and the next stage was to give it a thorough washing in white wine vinegar before paring away the outer surface. It was then a case of lugging the bacon slicer in to the kitchen and loading the ham in to the cradle.

 The first few slices were very dry and more akin to Jerky than ham but after a few more cuts we were rewarded with millimetre thin slices of a prosciutto type delicacy. It has a robust flavour with a saltiness that screams out for an accompaniment of wine or beer. I think it fair to say that I'll be starting the cure on another in the next month or so.

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