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Homemade Ham Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 fresh pork roast preferably from the leg (you can get this cut from your butcher!). Local and organic pork will be best. The roast can include a bone or not, or skin or not – it makes no difference. We kept the bone in all of our roasts when we cut them because I love the flavor that bones give to meat. Traditionally, the ‘ham’ was made from the butt/leg of the pig, though most any roast will do.
  • Sea salt
  • Cane sugar
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Kitchen scale
  • Large bowl

Instructions

  • Dry the ham with a rag to absorb any extra moisture. Weigh the roast and write down this number.
  • For every pound of meat, weigh out 15 grams of sea salt and 2.25 grams of sugar. My roast was 7 pounds, so I used a total of 105 grams of salt and 15.75 grams of sugar. And yes, you want this to be precise (hence the kitchen scale). To this salt and sugar, you can add whatever spices you’d like – rosemary, all spice, cloves, thyme, etc. I chose to keep mine simple and added only a small bit of freshly ground black pepper.
  • Combine the spices in a bowl and use your fingers to mix them together.
  • Rub the meat with the salt/sugar mixture. Get into every crevasse that you can find. Really work it in there. If you have a bone-in roast, pay special attention to that area. Make sure that the roast is coated.
  • Place the roast in a large bowl and set it in the refrigerator. You’ll leave it to cure here for a few days. Measure the diameter of the roast and add ‘3’ to that to figure out how many days it will cure. My roast was 7 inches across. 7+3= 10 days total for curing.
  • After the proper curing time, remove the ham. At this point, the ham can be baked and glazed with whatever you’d like (honey? herbs? molasses?) or smoked. We chose to smoke ours. Three hours over some apple wood in a simple homemade smoker worked just fine. We used a small grill and covered a make-shift teepee around it with canvas. There are a million setup options for smoking: I’ll let you get creative.
  • If you’d prefer, roughly halfway through the smoking process, the skin of the ham can be removed (if your roast came with skin, that is). Some prefer to leave it on. Some take it off. That’s totally up to you.
  • The ham should be smoked and cooked to an internal temperature of roughly 170-180 degrees (use a meat thermometer… you’ll want to make sure that it’s cooked thoroughly.)
  • If you’d rather not smoke your ham, the ham can be baked in a 350 degree oven until the same internal temperature is achieved.