Dry Cure for Bacon And Ham

Ready in 1h

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2 lb Sugar
8 lb Salt
2 oz Saltpeter

Original recipe makes 100 Lbs meat

Lbs meat  


Prepare the mixture with extreme care. Take half of it and put the rest aside. Use the half you have taken to rub the meat very thoroughly all over, rind sides as well. Stuff salt hard into the holes where the bones come out in the hams and into any cavities. Success lies in getting salt into the meat quickly, its a race between salt & bacteria. If the latter win, you may lose an awful lot of valuable meat. Unless the weather is too warm - 36=F8F or 2=F8C is ideal but dont let the meat freeze, if you follow these instructions, the bacteria wont win. Cover all surfaces with the salt and leave on a salting tray, or a shelf, or in a box (with holes to let the pickle - the juices drawn out by the salt- to drain away, with all the joints carefully packed on top of each other. Be careful when doing this first salting to put roughly the right amounts of salt on each piece; not too much on the thinner bacon sides, but plenty on the hams. After three days give another good rubbing with half the remainder of the salt (ie 1/4 of the whole). Put the meat back in a different order to ensure even distribution of the salt all round. After another week, haul it out again and rub well with the last of the salt mixture. Put it back. Now leave it in the salt for 2 days per lb for big joints such as ham, and 1 1/2 days per pound for small joints and bacon. If you calculate on roughly a fortnight for a big side of bacon and three weeks ofr a large ham, you wont be far wrong. Take the joints out at the allotted time, scrub them lightly with warm water to get the loose salt off, string them and hang them up for a week or a fortnight in a cool dry place. Then either smoke them or not as the fancy takes you. Recipe from "The Complete book of Self Sufficiency" by John Seymour Posted to MM-Recipes Digest V4 #4 by "Rfm" on Feb 01, 99

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