I just got back from the meat market, got a 5.6-kilogram fresh ham. In an hour my kidss get off school, but I am just too excited with my ham project that I’m trying to finish this post, hehe.
When I was a child, Mama made Christmas ham almost every year. It was the centerpiece of the Noche Buena spread, lovingly cured/massaged/tumbled over and over by mama’s hands for several weeks. On the day before Christmas, she slow-cooks the ham over very low fire in a mixture of pineapple juice, sugar, rum, and spices for about 3 or 4 hours. The broth is reduced to a thick sauce, almost like a glaze. This goes perfectly with a thin slice of Mama’s ham.
In the recent past, I’ve attempted to copy her ham – which is on the sweet side, not too salty. Two years ago, I almost did it. The meat had a perfect pink tint when sliced. It was the first time I’ve ever done that – I felt excited to take the first bite. Alas, I over-cured so it was too salty for our taste. 🙁
So, here’s the plan this year. Today is December 10th, so I have about 2 weeks to cure my ham. I plan to brine it for a few days, maybe a week. Then I will take the ham out of the brine, and let it dry-cure for another 1 week.
What do you think? Will this work? Any advice from those who’ve done ham curing before will be welcome. I woldn’t want another Project:PhailHam! 😛
I may be needing some Fentraphen after this ham and the holidays are over. 🙁