Rita's Sweet Holiday Baked HamHam is one of the easiest of preserved meats to make which is most popular during Christmas holidays and liked by many people to have in their table for Christmas dinner. Making homemade ham is a fun and a good alternative to expensive processed ham which may contain harmful preservatives. Though it is not free of preservatives, it uses small amount of Prague powder to prevent botulism. With homemade ham recipes, you can do some experiments to make it as delicious and as tasty as possible depending on your liking.

Here are some Homemade Ham recipes that you can try right at your own home.

Homemade Ham Recipe 1
Meat Ingredient: Pork Loin

Brine Ingredient: (for 10 lbs of meat)
1 gallon Water, 1 cup Pickling Salt, 1/4 cup Sugar, 1/3 cup Prague #1 (Cure), 1 tsp Pickling Spice, 1/2 tsp Cloves

The brine is mixed in a plastic or stainless bucket large enough to hold the brine and meat. The following one gallon batch will do about 10 lbs of meat. The brine should be cooled to around 40F before the meat is placed in it. It should also be kept near that temperature during the brining period so that is another reason to make small hams…. you can find space in the fridge. Do not let it get below about 38F though because the cure ceases to function around there. Monitor the brine temp with a thermometer and just remove it for a while if it gets too cold.

The brining time is mainly a question of personal taste. The longer it stays in the brine, the saltier it gets. I find 4 days about right for a 3-5 lb piece of loin. You can speed things up by pumping brine into the meat with a syringe but that is probably overkill for small pieces.

Cooking Procedure:
For a garden variety “boiled ham”, the meat is removed from the brine, rinsed off and placed in water at 170F. It is held there until the internal temperature reaches 155F on a meat thermometer. This will take about an hour for a 3 lb piece.

After cooking, the ham is chilled in cold water for about 30 minutes and then put in the fridge overnight. Next day you will think you just returned from the deli.

Smoking Procedure:
If you have a smoker, there are may options here. If you just want a little smokey flavor, you can smoke it either before or after cooking, for about 5 hours. Smoking before cooking will produce a moister, less salty ham.

If you want a ham more like “country cured”, smoke it for 24 hrs @ 130F. Then slice a piece and fry it and you will think you died and went to heaven. Make sure it is fully cooked when you fry it as it has not yet been cooked. You can also cook it in the smoker to an internal temp of 155F but it will be even dryer and harder.
Recipe found at schmidling.com.

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Homemade Ham for Holidays Recipe 2
Ingredients
(for every 2kg of pork shoulder or your choice of portion)
2kg pork shoulder, salt, brown sugar, Prague powder, water

Mixture for Injection:
1 tsp Prague powder, 1/2 c salt, 1/4 c brown sugar, 1 c hot water

–Dissolve all ingredients in hot water, strain, and then set aside to cool and later inject evenly to all parts of the pork shoulder portion.

Mixture for Curing:
1 1/2 tsp Prague powder, 2 c salt, 1/2 c brown sugar, 8 c hot water

–Dissolve all ingredients in 4 c hot water then strain. After straining, add the other 4 c hot water. Set aside to cool and later use as soaking solution for injected pork shoulder for curing. Leave curing of pork in refrigerator for 4 days.

Cooking Ingredients:
1 can unsweetened pineapple juice (1000ml or so), brown sugar to taste, 4 c water

–Mix brown sugar and pineapple juice and flavor to taste (it depends on how sweet you want it to be). Add 4 c water and add to the 4-day old cured pork shoulder in a casserole and cook until slightly tender (not too much as the pork may shred when sliced if it is cooked too much).

After following the steps above, you will now have a lovely and delicious homemade ham! You can serve it as cold cuts or you can slice them up and cook them in the oven for about 10min at 350 Celsius. Very ideal since the holiday season is drawing near.
Recipe found at xomba.com

Where to Sell Your Homemade Ham?
1. Sell it to your friends, neighborhoods or officemates.
2. Sell it to Christmas Food Bazaars in your place.
3. Sell it to local food shops.

Sources: xomba.com, schmidling.com, pinoyfoodblog.com, Oct 2009
Photo: Rita’s Sweet Holiday Baked Ham by TRindell at Allrecipes.com

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