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Wade

This years Christmas gammon is under way

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Following the same basic recipe as before but it is easier using the larger joints - https://www.woodsmokeforum.uk/topic/890-christmas-gammon/

Weigh out the spices for 2 litres and simmer for 5 minutes in 2 litres of water

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Place on the lid and allow to cool to room temperature

Strain off the liquid into a bowl and leave in the fridge overnight. In the morning any gritty bits will have settled and the spiced water can be decanted and used to make the injection brine

The cure is weighed out for each joint and added to the quantity of spiced water = one tenth of the weight of the joint.

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Mix well until the cure ingredients have fully dissolved. This can take a while if the water is still cold.

Place the joint into a large roasting tin and prepare the injector

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Inject as much of the curing brine into the meat as possible. Diagonally in one direction and then diagonally back on the other side

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Some of the brine will come out of the meat but do not worry - let it collect in the tray

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Place the joint into a vac pack bag or ziplock bag and add all of the excess brine into the bag before sealing

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Place in the fridge and turn daily for 10 days. The injected brine will diffuse through the meat from inside and the excess brine will diffuse in from outside.

The only thing left is to then sit back and enjoy a glass of wine while we wait.

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We're off to Bookers this Wen/Thur for pork for our next lot of bacon and sausages......may get a small joint to have a go at this. 👍

 

Ice.

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Mine have been curing for just over 2 weeks now waiting for a dry 16 hour spell to smoke them. Hopefully to the back end of this week, will finally get to smoke them.

Prep was a little bit messy (more me that though) but easy enough to do, and the smell is wonderful from all the spices. Fingers crossed they have cured ok I got the butcher to cut the rind off mine and leave a small layer of fat around it, would it have been better to leave it on?

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Started mine on Friday, you're right about it smelling like Christmas. 

After the two weeks curing period, should I leave it to air dry for a couple of days before smoking?

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9 hours ago, Icefever said:

We're off to Bookers this Wen/Thur for pork for our next lot of bacon and sausages......may get a small joint to have a go at this.

If you have room in your freezer the 7 Kg whole legs are good value at Booker. Once cured cut into joint sizes before smoking and then freeze what you wont eat over the next couple of weeks.

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2 hours ago, sotv said:

I got the butcher to cut the rind off mine and leave a small layer of fat around it, would it have been better to leave it on?

In the past I have removed the rind from mine too however last year a customer was disapointed that there would be no crackling. This year I have left it on.

According to the US FSIS, if you leave the rind on they say that you need to reduce the weight of meat by 10% when perforning the cure calculations - as they assume that the skin does not take up the cure in the same way as the meat body. My own lab testing has shown that this is NOT the case, and when I contacted the FSIS to query this they informed me that the information was based upon advice they were giving prior to 1995 but that the details of the research that led to them giving this advice had now been lost in time. The UK and EU do not appear to have any guidelines regarding whether the calculations need to me modified when the skin is left on - and so I do not adjust my calculations.

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2 hours ago, markie_q said:

After the two weeks curing period, should I leave it to air dry for a couple of days before smoking?

Don't bother to air dry in the fridge for more than a couple of hours - or maybe overnight. Once smoked though it is best to leave for several days (wrapped and in the fridge)  to allow the smoke flavours to diffuse inwards.

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Just put them out to smoke, a little unsure on one piece , it may have turned? No smell (which I believe you would expect) just a little duller in colour on one end and firmer to the touch. (hoping it is just overcured)?

Photo's enclosed

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I am not sure mate. @Wade is the best advice on this. 

 

Black is bad  Green and white can be washed with vinegar etc..is what I have learnt from this forum on curing meats for the longer term

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That does not look good.  It may be discoloration due to insufficient mixing of the cure before it was applied - but it could be microbiological. If it smells ok I would cut off the end until there was no more discolouration (and then some more). Also untie and unwrap to see if the discoloration has gone through the centre. If it looks ok you could then cook it soon and hot and fast. 

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I decided to bin that piece in the end, no smell as such. just looked different to the other 2. Better safe than sorry.

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9 minutes ago, Justin said:

Excellent effort mate

Thanks. It's a great recipe from Wade. Smells amazing. 

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5 hours ago, markie_q said:

Smells amazing. 

Enjoy the fruits of your labour Markie.

Ice.

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Is this right fellas? I have just bought a 1.3kg  piece of boned rolled leg. And as it is an injection brine  10x concentration  means what please?

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Edited by Justin

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17 hours ago, Justin said:

@WadeIs cure no 1 same as the Woodchurch curing salt dry cure mix for bacon?

No. my Cure #1 is 6.25% Nitrite but my WoodSmoke Curing Salt is 0.6% Nitrite. I supply both so please be careful which you use.

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17 hours ago, Justin said:

Is this right fellas? I have just bought a 1.3kg  piece of boned rolled leg. And as it is an injection brine  10x concentration  means what please?

The easiest way to remember is to treat it just like making your dry cure bacon when weighing out the cure/salt/sugar. As this is going to be injected (rather than applying it to the surface) you need to dissolve it in water (with or without the infused spices). 

To make the 10x brine - weigh out the water that is 10% the weight of the meat. In this case you would use 1.3 litres / 10 = 0.13 litres (or 130 ml)
Dissolve the salts in the water, mix till dissolved and then inject it all.

The reason we use 10x is that the maximum amount of water that the pork will take up is ~10%. You will find that not all of the brine will remain in the meat once it has been injected and any excess should be added back into the curing bage with the meat before it is sealed.

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@WadeI only have the 6% bacon cure here, could you send me some cure no 1 urgently?  How much please mate? I only  need 3.12g for this but a small pack will be helpful

Edited by Justin

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Hi Justin - sorry I think there may be some confusion. My answer "no" was to whether the Cure #1 and the Woodsmoke Curing salt were the same.

Yes you can use the Woodsmoke curing salt in the brine - you just need to adjust the quantity to compensate for the different amount of Nitrite and Salt

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I hope this helps

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Just an idea when using ziplock bag for curing, use displacement method to expel air. I have  a hand pump for the ziplock bag I can use but displacement is easier and better.  I do have external vac machine but with liquids it is not the best method.   A chamber vac machine would be fine but those are more expensive to buy for a home set up

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