Home cure ham

Well in the interests of making room in the freezer for the next 4 pigs over the next few weeks ive defrosted a large leg joint and making up the Cure to turn it into ham

cure is Salt Sugar black treacle Cider apple juice and a few herbs n spices
recipie form the river cottage handbook

nice smell boiling up now to chill before sticking the pork in for 2 weeks

then boil or bake to ham

Can I beg a step by step tutorial for us piggy virgins mate?

well more a recipe than a tutorial

20% salt to liquid for pork and 3-4days per kg in the brine (3-4deg best)

chuck in stuff to play with flavours etc

this is the River cottage cider cure

1.1kg salt
1ltr apple juice (not from concentrated)
1ltr Strong dry cider
2.5ltrs water

1kg Demerara sugar
1kg Black treakle (or Dark brn sugar)
30 juniper berries
30g black pepper corns
10 bay leaves
10 cloves

bring all to boil to disolve in the salt etc cool and chill to 3-4 deg

stick the pork in and weight keep in fridge cool place 3days per kg up to 4 days per kg

wipe down and hang to dry for 24 hrs

cold smoke if you like for 24hrs

hang in the porch etc over winter if it was 4 days per and smoked

in th fridge wrapped if only 3 days per and use soon ish

boil and bake as you would a ham maybe dont need so many flavours in the boil water with this one

we will see


Jul 24, 2014
I'll post up a bacon recipe if anyone is interested :) I do 4 or 5 a year and they're always a family favourite.

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Full Member
May 22, 2012
I've always been a bit scared of doing a whole ham, pricey mistake if it goes wrong, although the benefits of it going right are awesome. I just started a Lonzino and am also keen to try a dry cure sausage recipe this year
I've always been a bit scared of doing a whole ham, pricey mistake if it goes wrong, although the benefits of it going right are awesome. I just started a Lonzino and am also keen to try a dry cure sausage recipe this year

yeh thats my worry about a dry cure ham its 12mths hanging outside and may be wrecked

wet cure is a lot quicker and less likely to spoil but wont keep as long after


Jul 24, 2014
ok...for bacon its simple enough

Choice of cuts - Loin or Belly (Belly gives better flavour however loin is more meaty)
Salt - this is key, 2% salt to the weight of the meat.
Brown sugar (or muscavado sugar) - 5% sugar to the weight of the meat
2 shredded bay leaves
25g ground black pepper

Place all the cure ingredients in a clean, food standard container. A rounded bowl is ideal because it enables you to thoroughly mix the ingredients with no pockets of salt, sugar or flavourings caught in any corners.

Place a handful of this cure in the base of a food standard box or tray, big enough to hold the piece of meat. You might find the salad boxes in the bottom of your fridge are perfect for this. Add the piece of meat, skin side down, and lightly rub another handful of cure into it (you should use about a fifth of the total cure on this first day), making sure that the sides are also coated. You do not have to massage the cure hard into the meat.

Slide the salad box back into the fridge or, if you are using a separate container, cover it with a clean tea towel and put it in the fridge or a cool place such as a larder. Leave for 24 hours. In the meantime, store the cure in an airtight plastic box so it doesn’t absorb moisture from the air and become damp.

The next day, there will be a pool of liquid in the container with the meat - a mixture of moisture drawn out from the meat and dissolved cure. This is the curing process in action. Lift out the meat and pour off this liquid. There is no further culinary use for it. There is no need to be too fastidious and it is fine for there to be some residual traces of dissolved cure left in the box. Now put a fresh handful of the cure into the container and place the meat back on top. You can rotate the meat in order to even out the application of cure mix but this isn’t strictly necessary. As before, rub the meat with more cure mix – again, aim to use about a fifth of what you started with.

Repeat this process for up to 5 days. You will notice that the meat will get firmer and darker in colour and there will be less liquid to pour away each day as the meat cures and dries.

After 5 days of applying cure, take the meat out of the container and run it under cold water. Then clean the surface of the meat with a cloth soaked in malt vinegar and pat dry.

At this point, you can pop your meat back in the container (cleaning it out first) in the fridge or pantry. Alternatively, assuming that it is at the right time of year and you want to have a go at hanging something outside, you can find a spot out of direct sunlight where the air can get to the meat. Leave it there (loosely wrapped in muslin so no creepy crawlies get on it) for another 5 days. You do not have to do anything to it during this period. After 5 days (the same number of days hanging as it had in the cure), it will be ready to slice with a sharp knife or meat slicer and eat and it will be the best bacon you have ever had (well its always a favourite in my house).