Featuring the Formula for Success Curing Method
Occasionally the stores come out with some great prices on larger cuts of beef and pork, and recently a buddy and I took advantage of one of these sales to stock up our freezers with whole pork shoulders for future pork bbq caters.This last time out we noticed alongside the shoulder roasts some whole pork leg roasts at the same price of $.99/lb. ‘Why not give home-cured ham making a shot?’ we thought, and what follows is the result of that cook.
This is Dizzy Pig Home Cured Ham version II – a re-working of the most popular Dizzy Pig curing project to date.
- 4-5 cloves garlic
- Curing Brine (measurements depend on project weight)***
- Water to cover pork leg completely and snugly in a non-reactive brining vessel (such as a food grade pail or small cooler), plus extra for injecting
- Salt or Morton’s Tender Quick at 3% of project weight*
- Sugar (light or dark brown recommended) at 2% of project weight*
- .05 oz ‘pink salt’ per pound of project weight* (use only in conjunction with straight coarse sea or kosher salt. Omit if using Tender Quick!)
- 3 Tbsp pickling spice
- 3 Tbsp Dizzy Pig seasoning (your choice; Cow Lick, Raging River, Swamp Venom, Jamaican Firewalk, Shaking the Tree and Pineapple Head all seem to be tasty ideas to me!)
- Glaze for Basting:
- 1/4 cup mustard
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/8 cup orange juice
- 1 Tbsp of Dizzy Pig seasoning you used in the curing brine
- In a large stock pot, add water (can use half of necessary amount to infuse ingredients and add remainder as ice cold water later to facilitate cooling), salt (or Tender Quick if using), sugar, cure (if using), pickling spice, Dizzy Pig seasoning and garlic. Bring to hard boil for 10-12 minutes to infuse the brine with aromatic flavors and dissolve salt and sugar.
- Cool brine in non-reactive curing vessel (food grade pail or cooler works well for this larger project) until curing brine is 36-38°F.
- Strain brine and draw off approximately 4 cups of curing brine for each ham being cured.
- With meat injector/syringe, pump as much as 4 cups of brine into the ham, being sure to reach areas close to the bone. This ensures complete and even curing of the ham ‘right to the bone’.
- Immerse injected ham into curing vessel and refrigerate for 8-10 days
- Hot smoke until internal temperature of ham reaches approximately 135°F. At this point, begin to baste with glaze consisting of: [b]1/4 cup mustard,1/4 cup honey,1/8 cup orange juice, 1tbsp of the Dizzy Pig rub[/b] you used in the curing brine
- Glaze every 15 minutes until internal temp rises to 145-150°F
- Enjoy the best ham you’ll ever eat!
*** Project weight is total of trimmed meat weight in pounds, plus amount of water necessary to cover, calculated at 8.3 lb/gallon. For example, a 20 pound whole ham plus 2 gallon of water to cover would create a total project weight of 20 lb meat plus 16.6 lb of curing brine, or 36.6 lb total ‘project weight’. If still unsure of how to calculate salt/sugar/cure amounts for your particular project, read the intro to the Formula for Success and follow the in-depth instructions there.