Friday, 9 December 2011

Air Dried Ham, Day 1

The working day was spent with my head down trying to complete the spreadsheet from hell. It's not fun and seems to have no real benefit or future use but its completion is mandated and so I spent many hours locating and manipulating data because a nameless individual says I have to...

... oh well, I've nearly finished and once I have the charmless cows who are demanding it will be off my back until the next contract is signed and that will be months away.

After work, I set to and packed the leg of pork in salt. This is the first stage of the process to produce an air dried ham. A good inch of table salt is poured over the base of the box. This is then sprinkled with cracked black peppercorns and coriander seeds. The boned leg is then weighed and the cavity created by the removal of the bone is packed with salt. It is then placed in the box and further salt is added until the leg is covered with at least an inch of salt between it and the sides and base of the box. There must also be at least an inch of salt covering the meat too.

A board is placed on top of the salt and it is weighted with bricks, these should be in the region of twice the weight of the pork leg. The salted leg is now left in a cool room for a period of time calculated using the metric of 3 to 4 days per kilo of pork. The leg is 6 kilos so it is going to be salted for about 21 days. It will be New Years Eve before it sees the light of day again.

In case anyone is interested, it took approximately 27 kilos of salt to pack the leg.

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