Prep 24 hrs
Cook 960 hrs
An heirloom, butchering-time recipe. If you cannot find saltpeter, substitute Morton's Tender Quick, Curing salt or pink salt. From the Pennsylvania Dutch chapter of the United States Regional Cookbook, Culinary Arts institute of Chicago, 1947. Posted as a historical novelty.
- 100 lbs ham
- 3 ounces saltpeter
- 1 pint salt
- 1⁄2 lb brown sugar
After 24 hours
- 2 pints salt
- 1⁄8 lb black pepper
- Use only corn fed hogs.
- Mix the last three ingredients thoroughly and rub over the hams (being certain to get plenty in the hock) and let stand for 24 hours.
- Then rub the meat with the remaining salt and pepper.
- Let stand for five days and then rub meat again with fine salt.
- Set aside in a cool place for 30 days (a good curing temperature is approximately 40F).
- At the end of that time, hang the meat up and brush off salt.
- Have hams smoked at a good smoke house, smoking them for ten days with hickory or apple wood.
- When finished, dust entire surface of hams with ground red pepper; wrap carefully in brown paper, followed with muslin bags.
- Hang up with the hock down.
- Hams prepared in this manner will keep indefinitely, and flavor and quality improves with time.