If you've got space and room, things seem to work better. I ate too much anyway. Cover with cool water and let stand 24 hours at room temperature, changing the water 3 to 4 times. Insects, Uncle Billy explains, are attracted to light. And don't forget: The meat will absorb the salt until it reaches equilibrium. Their characteristic flavor is quite different from mild-cured commercial hams.When to cureHams should be placed in cure during December and January when production of country cured hams is dependent on natural conditions for refrigeration. Add a few ounces of curing salt, which is available in the canning section of a store or online. Our Country ham is dry cured with sugar and salt from Goodnight Brothers of Boone, NC. The door is heavy, thick and insulated. Whenever possible,... 2. Four things influence the salting process: the thickness of the meat, the moisture of the meat, the humidity of the air and the temperature. “Once I get the fire going, I get it hot as hell,” he says. If it is still too salty, try boiling it for another one or two minutes. Next, he takes a can of crushed red pepper and pours it on the exposed hock until the whole end of the ham turns red. The day has come! Uncle Billy cured ham unlike anyone else, and you can learn how to make salt-cured ham like Uncle Billy. You can create your own brine or use a recipe. The next day, at seven in the morning, he starts a small fire in the fire pit, using newspaper and the fruitwood kindling. A woman from up north was in front of me. This year, however, only the bottom tier is full of hams. This will take up to 5 hours depending on the meat's thickness. An Award Winning Broadbent Country Ham is Dry Cured, Hickory Smoked and Aged to perfection. Cutting into a Traditionaly Cured Country Ham after 22 months! The new meat goes on the bottom tier, about three feet overhead. That's when the smoke starts.” The idea in smoking is not to cook the meat but to let the smoke enhance its flavor. Taste the ham after fifteen minutes. If you want to serve it immediately, and I strongly recommend it, smoke the ham at 325°F until it is 145°F in the deepest part of the center. The only thing left to do is wait and check them periodically for skippers. Mocetta (MOE-chet-uh) is a Northern Italian air-dried goat ham … If soaking the ham for more than 4 hours, make sure you change the water regularly. Once the ham is thoroughly coated, Uncle Billy pokes a hole in the thick end with an ice pick, makes a loop of rustproof copper wire, and hangs it in the smokehouse, hock down. Photo by Holly A. Heyser. The mold is harmless but to the un-ham-educated, it looks like the meat is ruined. From day-one naturally Dry Cured Blue Ridge Mountain Country Ham was featured on the menu. I was a shirttail boy of eight, and my family had been invited to Uncle Billy's big white farmhouse near Garysburg, N.C. The men did the butchering, the women took care of the organs and scraps to make chitlins and sausage, and the children tried not to get in the way. We appreciate your understanding! Country hams are salt-cured (with or without nitrites) for one to three months. I remember nearly transparent slices, rimmed with thin strips of fat, on a white dinner plate. Rub the cleaned ham with the coarsely ground black pepper. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. Remember our country hams are salt cured and will be salty in nature. When I went to visit him early this fall, the farm was bustling with activity. You must return product for refund or store credit. Wiping the ham with a clean paper towel soaked in vinegar will remove any remaining mold. “So you want to know about hams,” he said, in all seriousness. “It has a bite to it. It was the social event of the season, and all the people who worked and lived on the farm turned out to help. Above us, hanging on hand-turned wooden pegs, a dozen hams are suspended. When it's cold, he explains, the fat stays solid. While most of those who cure ham at home go only with salt, but you can always experiment with a few more ingredients and decide what works best for you. Country Hams are the quintessential dish of The South. “That'll keep the skippers out,” he says, referring to the larval stage of a fly, which can be the bane of a ham's existence. Head to the diet generator and enter the … After the initial salting, Uncle Billy goes back to the salt house three or four days later and adds another layer of salt, working the joints again to help it penetrate. A week later I was at Cousin Duna's wedding reception, standing in line beside a table packed with food. A native of ham country (smoked hams from places like Gwaltney and Smithfield have made the area famous), I feel justified to state unequivocally and with all prejudices firmly in place — that my Uncle Billy makes the best country ham in the world. Prepare a curing mix of 4 parts salt to 1 part sugar. He covers the hams with a thin coat of the mixture, which toughens the skin to keep bugs out. Like room. I prefer … When he finishes working the meat, he lays it on the table skin-side down and covers it with a layer of salt one-half inch to an inch deep. Like to read more content, Join the Mother Earth News Community Today. Cousin Duna's wedding was set for the following weekend, and the whole family of six girls, several husbands, and numerous grandchildren were working in the yard getting ready for it. Good smoking weather, says Uncle Billy, is like good duck-hunting weather. It sure is good eating.”, Salt-cured and smoked, the new hams go to the top tier to age. It usually takes 10 to 12 boxes of borax and six cans of pepper. When you get right down to cases, the only reason for salt-curing a ham is so that it can be aged. Today processes may vary but essentially this ham is salty and dry. Try chopping up the ham and cooking adding it to scalloped potatoes. A country ham, properly prepared is a delicious treat. The day before he's ready to smoke, Uncle Billy goes into the woods and fells a hickory sapling as big around as your thigh and cuts it into one-foot lengths. These cured hams are soaked in a saltwater brine and smoked to preserve them. He brings the green hams into the salt house and lays them on the table. These days, however, he buys fresh “green” hams from a local slaughterhouse. And watch videos demonstrating recipe prep and cooking techniques. Country hams can be found … “When it's blood-red fresh, it has a tremendous amount of moisture,” Uncle Billy says. You can make salt-cured ham in the fridge at a temperature below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, but if you're curing multiple hams, plan to do it in the colder months and use natural refrigeration. Salt cured hams are packed in salt/brine and left "out in the open" for 6 months or more. When I ask him about it, he shrugs and kicks the ground with his boot. And like all things he cherishes from a simpler time (including his Model A pickup or his 1935 meat slicer), Uncle Billy's happy to tell you all about it — just as long as you're happy to listen. Rubbing salt over the exterior of a ham to cure the meat produces country ham, which is a Southern delicacy that originated in Smithfield, Virginia in 1902. Can create your own brine or use a recipe any time have boiled it for about ten.! To work better ” hams from butchers can be aged he explains, the new hams go to the.. 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