09 May2013

A Fresh Ham…

by Marketman

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You will NOT believe how easy it is to make this fresh ham!! The hardest part was getting a butcher to sell me a whole ham from the hind legs of a pig. If I had known it was this easy to make a fresh ham at home, I would have done this a long time ago. Last Christmas, we had a couple of holiday parties, and at one of them, we served this ham, using a recipe I saw in Bon Appetit Magazine, and it worked quite well. My only suggestion would be to ramp up the salt a bit more. Once baked, and cooled, the ham sliced like a dream, yielding the palest of meats, uncharacteristically off white, rather than the redder or pinker meat of traditional hams. This had no preservatives or nitrates, but it could have used a bit more salt. Guests were universally “wow-ed” by the ham, though they also finished a leg of roast lamb that evening. At any rate, if you have been wondering if it’s impossible to make your own hams, this is one easy recipe to start with. I will get bolder this year and hope to try other ham recipes towards the holiday season 2013…

 

COMMENTS:

  1. millet says:

    thank you for this, MM! looks beautiful! would you say double or even triple the salt next time, you think?

    May 9, 2013 | 8:28 am

     
  2. Footloose says:

    To qualify as ham, it has to come from a pig’s hind leg or one has to be overly dramatic.

    Using nitrates and nitrites may cause cancer in the long run but totally avoiding them when curing meat may invite botulism in the short term. Botulin, whatever glamorous applications you might have heard about it, causes violent pain and if serious enough, paralysis and death. Mother used a minute amount of salitre (nicely named saltpeter in English) when making beef tapa as a precaution and on embutido to prevent them from turning an unappetizing grey. She noticed using it also warded off flies.

    May 9, 2013 | 8:46 am

     
  3. ami says:

    That looks awesome!

    May 9, 2013 | 8:52 am

     
  4. Khew says:

    If I’m not mistaken, this is actually a French Christmas tradition, ie, instead of roasting a leg of ham, they roast a leg of pork. Was reading another recipe which called for 4 cups of large grain Kosher salt for brining. A large turkey apparently takes 2 cups, so I guess 4 for a huge leg of pork seems logical.

    May 9, 2013 | 9:50 am

     
  5. Marketman says:

    Footloose, you are absolutely correct, but local butchers have a penchant of distinguishing between pata from the hind legs (premium) and pata from the front legs… So to make sure, I had to point to my thighs and go down on all fours to describe that I definitely wanted the meaty “ham”… :)

    May 9, 2013 | 10:05 am

     
  6. Lalaine says:

    Thank you for being ever so gracious with your recipes and the recipes you chance everywhere. To think you do not get any financial gain from doing this and also, thanks for keeping this blog ad free. You do not know how we appreciate it!

    May 9, 2013 | 10:24 am

     
  7. Kasseopeia says:

    Footloose, I laughed out loud at the second option for “ham”. Thank you for that.

    May 9, 2013 | 11:48 am

     
  8. Natie says:

    MM..on “all fours” ..hope the floors were clean and free of remnants of recent katays….hard to visualize, but amused!!

    We get lots of these cuts here, but local butchers are the best source..Spanish groceries have good ones for Pernil..

    May 9, 2013 | 1:31 pm

     
  9. elit says:

    W-O-W!

    May 9, 2013 | 3:41 pm

     
  10. anna says:

    i wonder if substitutions can be made like turkey breast instead of pork and what non-alcohol can i substitute for the whiskey/bourbon…

    May 9, 2013 | 4:47 pm

     
  11. Josephine says:

    Hi MM. Greetings from san Sebastiàn aka Ham Heaven. I might contemplate the home made variety when I’ve finished digesting this lot…thinking of you.

    May 9, 2013 | 10:51 pm

     
  12. Charly says:

    Here in LA I use a product called tender quick by Morton, as a substitute for saltpeter.

    May 9, 2013 | 11:22 pm

     
  13. khi says:

    hi, mm! i have been wanting to make my own ham for ages. in fact, i remember you had a post here a long time ago asking what us, your readers, want to see here and i requested for ham. and here it is, finally!! my question is, do you now know what the tagalog/common term for the leg part is? i want to be able to go to the butcher and request for the part using the correct term so he knows EXACTLY what i want :-)

    May 9, 2013 | 11:45 pm

     
  14. risa says:

    I am attempting corned beef which is on its 3rd brine day. I am looking at a pancetta recipe but I’m wondering where to hang it in this horrid hot weather!

    Wala lang. Excited.

    I will now search your archives for pancetta.

    May 9, 2013 | 11:45 pm

     
  15. Footloose says:

    @Charly, I have been using that great product for years even if I have to get it from across the border. It has the correct proportion of saltpeter to salt and safe as long as their guidelines for use are observed. Morton is now owned by a Canadian company called Windsor but they don’t market it here. Go figure.

    If you do not have any consequential health concerns, it can be mixed with 4 parts sugar and used for making tocino, longaniza and lots of other cured porky treats.

    May 10, 2013 | 12:58 am

     
  16. Betchay says:

    Yeah, sounds easy with very professional results! Will have to try this when we get back home from our vacation.See, MM even on vacation I have to check on your posts…it is addicting! :)

    May 10, 2013 | 2:25 am

     
  17. sonny sj says:

    @khi, i think the correct tagalog term is PIGI.

    May 10, 2013 | 1:26 pm

     
  18. arf says:

    MM, makakatulong kaya sa flavor nung meat kung i-bbrine yung ham bago i-cure gamit yung bon appetit recipe?

    May 13, 2013 | 5:00 am

     
  19. Marketman says:

    arf, the cure is similar to a brine, so just increase salt in cure if you prefer the ham saltier.

    May 13, 2013 | 11:04 am

     
  20. kristin says:

    will definitely try this!

    May 15, 2013 | 12:56 am

     
  21. Jun Balangue says:

    Once I did it with only kosher salt, whole black pepper and sugar plus fresh herbs and cure it inside the ref for 4 weeks. You need to drain the water extracted from the meat every day. After a month, the meat has bind together like a real ham but I still boiled them on a pineapple juice, cloves, bay leaves, etc and then roast it in the oven to brown. The result! The best ham we’ve ever had :)

    May 24, 2013 | 8:06 am

     
  22. Junb says:

    Once I did it with only kosher salt, whole black pepper and sugar plus fresh herbs and cure it inside the ref for 4 weeks. You need to drain the water extracted from the meat every day. After a month, the meat has bind together like a real ham but I still boiled them on a pineapple juice, cloves, bay leaves, etc and then roast it in the oven to brown. The result! The best ham we’ve ever had :)

    May 24, 2013 | 8:07 am

     
  23. Kirk says:

    Any recipe for this?

    Jun 8, 2013 | 9:56 pm

     
 

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