Tag Archives: home cured ham

Christmas Recipes…Home Cured Ham & Bacon…

Christmas Ham and Bacon (2)

I have home cured my own ham/ bacon for a long time now…

Those of you who know me are well aware of my aversion to anything processed and ham/ bacon is no exception to that rule. The ham you purchase from the shops is just slimy, and not nice at all….The bacon of doubtful origins at best especially where I live now…In the Uk you could get some lovely home cured kinds of bacon and hams not so here or if there is I have not found them….I have also been experimenting with various different ways of curing bacon and ham which may be more healthy…

Bacon contains nitrates which some people have an aversion to using or it causes headaches and other adverse symptoms.

Today I am using celery juice..just put the celery into the juicer and out the other side and viola this lovely vibrant green juice.

Now celery also contains nitrates but they are naturally occurring nitrates although for some people it may still cause headaches but if your aversion is to chemicals only then celery may be a better way to cure your bacon.

I used 2 Kilo’s Pork Belly.

For every Kilo of Pork use I used:

  • 2 parts rock salt to 1 part sugar.
  • 4 cloves garlic.
  • 2 bay leaves
  • A bunch of Lemon Thyme.
  • 20/30 Mustard Seeds,
  • 12 Pepper Corns,
  • Celery Juice as required to make the mix damp.

Lets Cook!

Finely slice bay Leaves and lightly crush with other spices in Pestle & Mortar.

Combine with Sugar and Salt and mix with liberal amounts of celery juice until damp.

Rub into the Pork.

Belly pork bacon Naturallly cured

Place Pork in a sealed container or bag ( I used a brining bag). Turn halfway through the week. That is why I like using the brining bags as it is much easier to turn the pork belly over.

Store in the fridge for 5 Days.

After 5 days remove the belly pork and wash thoroughly.

Cook in the oven @ 100 C for 2 hours. Cool and slice.

Home cured belly Streaky bacon

It also looks lovely and pink ( no grey) which means the natural nitrates in the celery juice had worked their magic.

All I need now is a home-made smoker and some lovely flavoured woods. Maybe use some maple syrup, honey, someone suggested coffee..some nice tea springs to my mind so many options…A different blend of herbs or cut of meat…

Have you made your own bacon and if you did what did you use?

Now the tester…How will it taste?

Home cured Bacon frying

Naturally cured with celery juice

It smells like bacon, looks like bacon and made a lovely sandwich….  Most households have some who love thick bacon and some who like thinner bacon the beauty of making your own bacon is everyone can have their bacon sliced to their own requirements …How cool is that?

If you start experimenting now you can have some lovely home-cured bacon for Christmas or as a lovely present for someone you love …

My next two ham recipes are using Salt Petre I made the conscious decision that for the amount used and the dilution per litre of liquid that as the body can cope and disperse with the nitrate I would use that rather than getting botulism which the body generally doesn’t cope with. Also for the number of times, I make ham we are not eating it day in day out week after week the risk is minimal and considering the number of chemicals which are in foods by cooking my own food from scratch I have control. That is my decision. It is also extremely likely if you buy your ham ready to cook that nitrates have been used in the curing process I believe I use far less than any ham I buy ready to cook.

Christmas Ham Recipe.

A piece of Pork…top of leg……mine was 3 kilo.

Suitable plastic( not metal) container to brine meat in.

Ingredients for the Rub:

  • 4 tbsp salt (coarse)
  • 2 tbsp  Sugar.
  • 1/2 tbsp Saltpeter(saltpetre) See note at the end of the post 
  • Ingredients for Brine:
  • 5 litres water
  • 900 gm salt (coarse)
  • 2 tbsp Sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp Saltpeter.

Day one:

Mix the dry rub, and rub the ham, making sure it’s well covered. If using a 7-8 kilo ham you will need a double batch.

Place the ham in a large container, cover with a clean tea towel and leave in a cool place, like the fridge.

Now mix the brine in a pot and cook up and cook for 10 min. Remove the pot from the heat. Remove the foam when it stops bubbling and leave the liquid to cool and save in a cold place. I put it in the fridge.

Day two:

Pour the cold brine over the ham so it is covered.

Store the ham somewhere cold. If you have  a larder or cold store that is great I keep mine in the fridge

Turn the ham from time to time during the curing time. Use clean tongs and plastic gloves.

Let the ham brine for 14-20 days.

IF the brine goes cloudy, make new brine and replace the old brine with that and keep curing it.

Warning: Wear gloves even when dry rubbing. Clever clogs here didn’t the first time and I had a skin reaction all my own fault.

When the ham is cured use your favourite recipe to cook and voila a lovely ham.

I have cooked mine all ways usually I cover with water, bring it to the boil and then drain off all the water. Add fresh water and all my spices…I add a couple of bay leaves, cinnamon stick, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, about 3/4 cloves, a star anise and maybe a cardamom pod also about 2 tbsp of brown sugar…I cook for 20 mins per 500 gm of meat and then allow to cool overnight in the cooking water it is then ready to eat.

Ham- cloves- home cooked

Ham with scored skin studded with cloves

I have also once it has finished cooking scored the fat and studded with cloves, brushed with honey and put in the oven for 20 minutes.

My third way of making ham which I did last Christmas was to use loin of pork instead of the leg. It is also much quicker to brine than a whole leg and only takes between 4-6 days depending on the size of your meat and how salty you like your ham.

I used 2 kilos of Pork Loin.

Ingredients for Rub:

  • 2 tbsp salt (coarse)
  • 1 tbsp  Sugar.
  • 1/4 tbsp Saltpeter(saltpetre)

Ingredients for Brine:

  • 2 1/2  litres water
  • 450 gm salt (coarse)
  • 1 tbsp Sugar
  • 1/4 tbsp Saltpeter.

Mix the ingredients for the rub together and rub over the pork loin.

Place the ham in a large container, cover with a clean tea towel and leave in a cool place, like the fridge.

Now mix the brine in a pot and cook up and cook for 10 min. Remove the pot from the heat. Remove the foam when it stops bubbling and leave to cool and save in a cold place.

Day two:

Pour the cold brine over the ham so it is covered.

Store the ham cold.

Turn the ham from time to time during the curing time. Use clean tongs and plastic gloves.

Let the ham brine for 4-6 days.

Tip: The first time I used loin I left it for 4 days the second time I left it for 5 days which suited our taste… It is always wise to do a test run I think as personal tastes vary.

If I am making crackling ham I buy pork with the skin on and score the fat….when I get to the boiling stage I added water to just below the fat and then when it was cooked I covered the meat with foil leaving just the fat exposed then oiled and salted the fat put it in a high oven to crisp of the crackling…It went down a storm everyone loved it…A bit more work but crispy crackling with your ham…Awesome!

Ham- crackling-home cooked-sliced-platter

Home cooked ham and crackling

Most of the time I but my pork loin without the fat…When curing ham or bacon the meat must be fresh and not frozen.

I hope you are enjoying my Christmas recipes please let me know in comments and also what are your favourite maybe you cook something I haven’t tried or heard of…Please let me know…

About Carol Taylor:

Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetable ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use contain to improve our health and wellbeing.

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS

Connect to Carol

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a great week xx

 

 

Retired No One Told me! Weekly roundup…Bubble berries, Bread and Bacon…

Welcome to my weekly roundup slightly late as it has been one of those weeks…A bitty week when I haven’t got as much done…Do you get them???

Anyway, here I so get your favourite drink, a comfy seat, feet up and relax…

lady relaxing kindle-1867751_1280

Fruity Fridays is the first post of the week and what a pretty little berry it is…I love the name Bubble berry it suits it so well and made into a chutney on some lovely brown bread with some goats cheese it really is tasty…

Fruity Friday's The Inca Berry (1)

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/06/29/fruity-friday-the-inca-berry/

Thinking of food again..I had a lovely curry yesterday with my favourite black rice or raspberry rice as they call it …we grow a small amount on the farm and I really like it …

pork masala with black rice

My favourite curry and you can see how much I love coriander, can’t you? but look at that lovely rice it really has a beautiful taste… Recipe for the curry will follow soon maybe next week…

Travel Thailand was next and a lovely little temple very quirky… a mixture of old and new and one I had driven past daily for a few years and it was only after I moved away from the area that I visited it..so typical that you don’t often see what is on your doorstep…

qwirky figures

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/06/30/travel-thailand-wat-srisoonthorn-phuket/

I then got all … well, you know me by now and on occasions, something starts me thinking and away I go…All I will say is Quiet the mind and the soul will speak…

Melientha Soup

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/07/01/quiet-the-mind-and-the-soul-will-speak-ma-jaya-sati-bhagavati/

No to Diets and yes to healthy Eating…This week I talked about growing your own, communal gardens letting your kids help cook and garden which encourages them to eat and also to start to question exactly what is in your food…Be aware…Those pesky, greedy manufacturers have had their own way too long…We need to fight back…Don’t buy it! Simples!

vegetables-2299716_1280

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/07/03/healthy-eating-no-to-diets-eat-yourself-slim/

Before I knew it it was Wednesday… Carol’s Cookery Column over at Sally’s … Slightly different this week as it was a joint effort… I cooked and cured the bacon and ham, baked the bread and made some yummy Jalapeno Poppers and baked not deep fried so a bit healthier and our Sally made the Mayo…There is nothing like freshly made mayo and her banana dip caught my eye as well as being something different …If that hasn’t made you hungry then nothing will…More for us…hehe

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/04/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-cookery-and-food-column-with-carol-taylor-home-cured-ham-and-bacon/

Lastly, I had to reblog Debby’s post over at Sally’s, she is the Queen of the cruises after all and what I knew about cruising you could write on a postage stamp… I now feel equipped and all fired up to take a cruise… it was a very well written and informative post on the do and don’ts …Of cruising!

cruising Debby

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/02/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-travel-column-with-d-g-kaye-cruises-part-two-ship-tips/

I hope now you are rested and ready to go and have enjoyed the read…xxx

That’s all for this week let me know how you get on in comments I love to hear from you…

Connect to Carol( Moi)

Blog:https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest : https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

Enjoy the rest of your week, have fun, eat healthily and stay mindful xxx

 

 

 

A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.

Hello again. It’s that time methinks, I am loving this blogging and I hope you all are too.

Yesterday afternoon/evening was our Phuket Writers meeting coupled with a Thanksgiving dinner.  It didn’t take long before we all unanimously voted to ditch the meeting and start our merry-making in earnest. Having all bought a pot or two the banqueting began and what a feast transpired.

It was awesome. We  drunk ( too  much),  ate ( too  much ) and made merry ( haha you thought I was going to say too  much.)  You can never have too much fun……The after dinner conversation was lively….Very lively!…lol. thankgiving dinner

‘Twas a very merry band  of revelers who made their way home that night.

With Christmas fast approaching I am sure like me all your thoughts are turning to that Christmas Dinner or the preparation of. Not long now girls….

Loving cranberry’s like I do and never having thought how they are harvested …….

cranberry-387284_1920

Cranberries courtesy of Pixabay

Well, today most cranberries are “wet harvested.” This is done by flooding the bog with water so the berries float to the surface. This is the image most people associate with cranberry bogs. A lot of people think that cranberries grow under water. You learn something new every day…well I do….. I thought they grew on trees!

My frog is back.. .on his own…. though there is also a perfectly round sphere of frogs spawn on the tree branch.

001 004 005      Isn’t nature amazing?

My garden always reveals something new every time I walk around it…the Pomelo fruits are now lovely and ripe…..I love the segments frozen and use instead of ice in my drinks…lovely and refreshing….The red ripe wax apple of which I have an abundance at the moment only resembles an apple on the outside in color.

fruit-2429368_1920

Picture Free from pixabay

It does not taste like an apple, and it has neither the fragrance nor the density of an apple. Called a Red Pear or Chom – poo in Thai. The very middle holds a seed situated in a sort of cotton-candy-like mesh. This mesh is edible but flavorless. But if I can get to them before the ants…which we have in copious amounts then I like them.

Enough of fruit methinks…I have the beautiful smell of roast Pork and Red Cabbage drifting in waves past my nostrils as I type so a visit to the kitchen beckons…best show willing.

Looking positive…it is the washing machine mans second visit within the half hour so fingers crossed he can get it working…………and on a Sunday…now that’s service…..The circuit board has shorted and burnt…hey ho…all good fun…….best go and see what progress has been made….. nada…got to order the part…..although he did try…….

Monday morning and it’s a lovely sunny one…No 2 son is on his visa run so early morning drop off at airport……..I feel a visit to Super Cheap coming on…got to get bits..stamens, glue etc for flowers…..need to make a table centerpiece for Crimbo ..

Next as promised my recipe for curing a ham.

Christmas Ham Recipe.

A piece of Pork…top of leg……mine was 3 kilo.

Suitable plastic( not metal) container to brine meat in.

Ingredients for Rub:

4 tbsps salt (coarse)

2 tbsps  Sugar.

1/2 tbsp Saltpeter.

Ingredients for Brine:

5 litres water

900gm salt (coarse)

2 tbsp Sugar

1/2 tbsp Saltpeter.

Day one:

  1. Mix the dry rub, and rub the ham, making sure it’s well covered. If using a 7-8 kilo ham you will need a double batch.
  2. Place the ham in a large container, cover with a clean tea towel and leave in a cool place, like the fridge.
  3. Now mix the brine in a pot and cook up and cook for 10 min. Remove the pot from the heat. Remove the foam when it stops bubbling and leave to cool and save in a cold place.

Day two:

  1. Pour the cold brine over the ham so it is covered.
  2. Store the ham cold.
  3. Turn the ham from time to time during the curing time. Use clean tongs and plastic gloves.
  4. Let the ham brine for 14-20 days.

IF the brine goes cloudy, make new brine and replace the old brine with that and keep curing it.

Tip: Wear gloves even when dry rubbing.

Ham home cured

When ham cured use favorite recipe to cook and voila a lovely ham.

Please excuse my photos because I am an amateur photographer and have on  my Xmas wish list the request for a better camera so you have genuine home pics taken with my bog standard digital camera with the occasional one that I think really will pass muster…in other words I am getting better folks….

On my recent writer’s retreat, we were given a subject and generally 15 mins to pen something. One afternoon we were given a piece of wrapped Salt Water Taffy and asked to open it together, smell and try it and write about our thoughts.

Salt Water Taffy by Carol Taylor.

Brilliant turquoise in colour, my fingers now sticky on my screen, sweet nothing on my tongue with a sort of fudge like texture.  Would I eat another?

“No”

The disappointment flooded over me when I realized it wasn’t blueberry flavour.

But, instead it invoked pictures in my memory of a hazy blue sea,  sail boats, men in boaters,  ladies in bloomers and those wonderful beach huts which are now so in vogue. Children running along with kites, donkey rides on the clean white sand. Ice Cream and Candy floss

How one tiny rectangle of sweet stickiness could evoke long forgotten memories of an idyllic childhood was truly amazing.

Long Live Salt Water Taffy.

Well, I could go on…but that’s for next time….I now have my bits and bobs to make flowers so will take pics and put instructions on my next blog……… my Thai lesson is tomoz so will give you an update on how that went and any thing else that pops up.

Also just for fun… I am going to see how many ways I can say ” Goodbye ”   and if you can guess what language then out of the goodness of my heart you will get…” nothing”…sorry…just my sense of humour.

 

So until next time Donadagohvi.

All photos are my own unless otherwise stated..