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Dry Cure for Bacon & Ham
Yield: 100 Lbs meat

8 lb salt
2 lb sugar
2 oz saltpeter

Prepare the mixture with extreme care. Take half of it and put the
rest aside. Use the half you have taken to rub the meat very
thoroughly all over, rind sides as well. Stuff salt hard into the
holes where the bones come out in the hams and into any cavities.
Success lies in getting salt into the meat quickly, it's a race
between salt & bacteria. If the latter win, you may lose an awful
lot of valuable meat. Unless the weather is too warm - 36F or 2C
is ideal but don't let the meat freeze, if you follow these
instructions, the bacteria won't win. Cover all surfaces with the
salt and leave on a salting tray, or a shelf, or in a box (with
holes to let the pickle - the juices drawn out by the salt- to
drain away, with all the joints carefully packed on top of each
other. Be careful when doing this first salting to put roughly the
right amounts of salt on each piece; not too much on the thinner
bacon sides, but plenty on the hams.

After three days give another good rubbing with half the remainder
of the salt. Put the meat back in a different order to ensure even
distribution of the salt all round. After another week, haul it
out again and rub well with the last of the salt mixture. Put it
back. Now leave it in the salt for 2 days per lb for big joints
such as ham, and 1 1/2 days per pound for small joints and bacon.
If you calculate on roughly a fortnight for a big side of bacon
and three weeks ofr a large ham, you won't be far wrong.

Take the joints out at the allotted time, scrub them lightly with
warm water to get the loose salt off, string them and hang them up
for a week or a fortnight in a cool dry place. Then either smoke
them or not as the fancy takes you.


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