Boiled Ham

Boiled Ham (Szynka tylna gotowana). Most professional butchers cure hams with bone inside and only after curing the bone is removed. It is not so crucial how well you remove the bone, poached hams are normally cut into smaller pieces, anyhow. A lot of people buy deboned ham what makes entire operation faster, cleaner and more enjoyable. Bigger hams will not fit into the pot and are usually smoked and cooked inside the smoker.

ham (rear leg)5 kg11 lbs.
Ingredients per 1000g (1 kg) of meat
salt220 g12 Tbsp.
  1. Pump spray ham with 6 - 7% of it's green weight ( 0.3 - 0.35 kg, 10 - 12 oz) of brine (salt, water and Cure # 1). About 7 - 9 syringe injections. After pumping immerse ham in the remaining brine and place in a refrigerator for 10 - 14 days.Turn over meat once every few days and keep an eye on the brine. The meat must be completely covered with brine, use weight if needed. Any symptoms of liquid going murky, accumulation of foam or slime on top or unpleasant smell, require brine change. Check the meat as well but that is very unlikely that it might be going bad. If brine's color becomes reddish don't worry it's normal. If you do it first time, check brine on a daily basis, you will sleep better at night.
  2. Once curing is done, check the meat and it's smell and color. Place hams for 3 hours under running water. You may place them in a large pot, but you will heve to change water once in a while.This time may be shorter if smaller pieces of meat are rinsed. After one hour get a tiny piece from inside and boil or fry it to see that the taste is what you are looking for. Then wash them briefly in warm water 86 - 104 F (30 - 40 C) and clean them on outside by scrubbing with a brush or knife. That removes any accumulation of salt crystals that may prevent proper smoke penetration.
  3. After rinsing hang hams or place them on wire screen over the sink or some other vessel. Let them drain for 12 - 24 hours.
  4. Now it's the time for the bone removal if your ham has one and getting rid of any gristle, sinew and elements that we feel are not needed. Roll up the ham and tie it with butcher twine - twice lenghtwise and every 2" (4 - 5 cm) across. Make on one end a hanging loop for smoking. Even up any irregular areas for uniform shape.
  5. Apply warm smoke, 86 - 104 F (30 - 40 C ) for 3 - 4 hours until light yellow to light brown color develops.
  6. Hams are placed in boiling water and boiled for 15 min. Water temperature is then lowered to 176 - 180 F (80 - 82 C) and hams are poached at this temperature until the inside temperature is 154 - 158F ( 68 - 70 C).The estimated time is about 50 min for 1 kg of weight. This time includes 15 min of boiling.
  7. Shower with cold water until the internal temperature is reduced to 110 F (44 C). Hang at room temperature for 1 hour then place in refrigerator.

As you will notice there is absence of ingredients like bay leaf, garlic, even pepper. A lot of people claim that hams or butts cured only with salt and nitrite have a chracteristic "meaty" taste and flavor and anything else lowers quality. Try it, you can always sprinkle pepper and garlic over it to taste if needed. The final shape of the product should remain of an iregular cone with a cut-off top.

Cooking calls for hams to be boiled for the first 15 min. Latest market instructions skip boiling and go directly into poaching at 154 - 158 F (68 - 70 C), nevertheless everybody is in agreement that hams have always tasted better if submitted first to this short boiling process.

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