“Take the hams as soon as the pig is sufficiently cold to be cut up, rub them well with common salt, and leave them for three days to drain; throw away the brine, and for a couple of hams of from fifteen to eighteen pounds weight, mix together two ounces of saltpetre, a pound of coarse sugar, and a pound of common salt; rub the hams in every part with these, lay them into deep pickling-pans with the rind downwards, and keep them for three days well covered with the salt and sugar; then pour over them a bottle of good vinegar, and turn them in the brine, and baste them with it daily for a month; drain them well, rub them with bran, and let them be hung for a month high in a chimney over a wood-fire to be smoked.”
Obs.—Such of our readers as shall make trial of this admirable receipt, will acknowledge, we doubt not, that the hams thus cured are in reality superior to those of Westphalia. It was originally given to the public by the celebrated French cook, Monsieur Ude. He directs that the hams when smoked should be hung as high as possible from the fire, that the fat may not be melted; a very necessary precaution, as the mode of their being cured renders it peculiarly liable to do so. This, indeed, is somewhat perceptible in the cooking, which ought, therefore, to be conducted with especial care. The hams should be very softly simmered,* and not over-done. They should be large, and of finely-fed pork, or the receipt will not answer. We give the result of our first trial of it, which was perfectly successful the ham cured by it being of the finest possible flavour.
Obs.—When two hams are pickled together, a smaller proportion of the ingredients is required for each, than for one which is cured by itself.
* We have not had the trial made ourselves, but we think they would be even finer baked than boiled.