Sunday, January 12, 2014

Venison Ham

I am not talking about just a venison ham, the rear quarter of a deer, but real sugar cured ham made from venison instead of pork.  I have made Canadian and Buckboard bacon in the past with cures and decided to cure a venison ham the other day just to see how it would come out.  I did not have any Morton Sugar Cure on hand, which is my go to product for curing meat, so I just threw together a cure and was amazed at how good the resulting product was.  I am sure I will be experimenting some more with this until I get it just right, but it is something you should try if you like cured meats.

My cure was as follows:

2 cups of brown sugar
2 cups of kosher salt
1 tablespoon of garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon of cloves
1/2 teaspoon of allspice
1 level teaspoon of pink curing powder (Prague Powder)

This was all mixed very well and I packed it all around the venison ham and put it into a large plastic food bag placed in a large bowl in the refrigerator for two weeks. I turned the ham in the bag over daily until two weeks had passed. At the end of two weeks of curing I rinsed the ham in cold water, soaked it for twenty minutes in a cold water bath and then rubbed it with a heavy coat of black pepper.  It was then baked on a rack in a pan until an internal temperature of 160 degrees was reached.  It was quite a surprise to my wife and I how good this ham tasted.  We are going to slice it paper thin to use in several ways and are planning to cure at least a couple more deer hams this season.  I plan on going for three weeks on the next ham to make sure the cure penetrates all the meat.  I think you could do a deer backstrap in about 7-10 days.  I also want to smoke one of these hams with oak wood to see how that turns out.  Give it a try, it is not hard and the flavor is wonderful,  I think you will enjoy the results and you will have made it yourself.  Wild Ed


Borepatch said...

Holy cow, this looks good.

Tom McKeand said...

Does curing extend the shelf life of meat? I ask because I have been asked about storing meat with out refrigeration.

Wild Ed said...

Tom it can but the ham would most likely have to be smoked and hung in a cool place. I know when I was young my grandfather had hams hanging inside a small rock house they called the spring house. It stayed cool about 4 months out of the year. I would read one of the major publications on curing and preserving meat before I depended on it. I know that cured meats last much longer than non-cured in the refrigerator. Ed

ChileFarmer said...

Ed that looks fantastic. I cure mu pork about the same way. I use cure #1. I like it better than Morton's I like being able to control my salt. CF