Cooking Ham

We eat quite a lot of ham in this household, most of it made using the Pauline's Ham recipe. However, over time I've adapted it slightly and I now just inject the ham and then place it in a bag with about 100gm of the brine.

Injecting a ham to increase it's weight by 10% can be a bit of a kerfuffle - getting that last couple of percent in can be like squeezing a 'big girl' into a pair of size ten jeans! I've come up with a different method which I'll try on my next ham, it involves injecting the ham to increase it's weight by 7½% and then dry curing it. I got the idea from a member called Oddley on the sausagemaking.org forum. You'll probably know the name as Oddley's recipes have already featured on the blog.

Anyway, on to the title of this post - cooking ham. There are no doubt 1001 ways of doing this but for cold eating the best I have found is to put the meat on a trivet over water and cook it, with the lid on, with the temperature around the meat at 75 - 80°C. Cook it until the internal temperature of the meat is 75°C. This will take quite a few hours.

Cooking Ham

Why do it this way? Well, I've found that any hotter and the meat not only loses more weight but there is also a tendency for the individual muscles to separate which leads to problems when slicing it. This method needs meat that is not salty, but that's not an issue as I formulate my hams to be fairy low in salt anyway. For bought hams, I'd use the same temperatures but actually immerse the ham in water. If your oven has low enough settings you could also use this for either method.

For small hams that are saltier, like the Black Ham I made recently, I use my slow cooker. I cook the ham on high until the water temperature reaches about 77°C and then turn the cooker to its keep warm setting. With my cooker this holds the temperature steady for the rest of the cooking. Again, I use the same temperatures as with the other methods.

If you are worried that the ham may be too salty, taste the cooking liquid after about ½ an hour and if it is salty replace it with fresh.

The cooked and sliced Ham

My Pauline's ham recipe wouldn't win any prizes, but it's quick, easy, and yet still makes a better product than you'll buy at the supermarket.


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There are five comments

NCPaul

I don’t know why that wouldn’t be a prize winning ham. To start with, you wouldn’t be competing with very many people, the cooking method is perfect and the curing is done well. Sometimes making a simple thing perfect can be very difficult. Looks great to me.

NCPaul, - 04-01-’11 20:57
Phil

Thanks Paul.

Phil, (Email ) (URL) - 05-01-’11 18:07
Tamara

This looks great, when you have cooked ham like this how long does it keep for – well that’s if it doesn’t get polished off right away!

Tamara, (Email ) (URL) - 07-01-’11 09:12
Phil

Hi

I don’t keep the injection cured hams long after cooking (Everyday and Pauline’s ham) without vac-packing and/or freezing. However, they freeze extremely well in vac-pacs.

The Black ham is a different matter, I’ve never tested it but It could be kept (raw) for months and I would think that it will keep at least a month after cooking as long as the conditions are right. Personally, when it’s cooked, I would just wrap it in greaseproof/parchment and keep it in the fridge.

Phil, (Email ) (URL) - 07-01-’11 14:28
Ian Breckon

Hello – re my message earlier today – I have found the instructions for the cooking method for Ham, just need to know if you have any good recipies for Beef sausages if you would be so kind.

My email is I.breckon@tiscali.co.uk

Ian Breckon, - 03-12-’13 17:41

I'm somewhat incapacitated at present so replies may take some time. Please post urgent enquiries at the www.sausagemaking.org forum.

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