Homemade Ham Recipe - Shaye Elliott (2024)

Our pig, Wallace, used to eat slop from a bucket, lay in the sunshine, roll in his mud bath, and enjoy life. He was my garbage disposal for food scraps, extra milk from the cow, and organic garden waste.

Now, Wallace is serving a different purpose: feeding my family. With this Homemade Ham Recipe.

Homemade Ham Recipe - Shaye Elliott (1)

As much as I love our homemade bacon, I've yet to decide on a favorite cut of pork from our homegrown hogs. Because after this ham was cured, smoked, and served alongside poached eggs for breakfast, I surely thought I'd die of happiness.

The texture. The taste. The pleasure of knowing it was organic, homegrown, and home harvested pork. Stick a fork in me, baby. I'm done.

Don't let the thought of curing your own ham at home deter you from enjoying such awesomeness. As with all things homemade, a little bit of extra effort pays off ten-fold in taste and experience. Food with a history and food made with your own two hands has such a rich, significant value. Though it takes a bit of time, the active work time to home cure a ham is roughly .192334 seconds.

You can do it! I have the utmost faith in you.

Homemade Ham Recipe - Shaye Elliott (2)

You will need:

– 1 fresh pork roast, preferably from the leg(you can get this cut from your butcher!). Local and organic pork will be best. The roast can include a bone or not, or skin or not – it makes no difference. We kept the bone in all of our roasts when we cut them because I love the flavor that bones give to meat. Traditionally, the ‘ham' was made from the butt/leg of the pig, though most any roast will do.

Sea salt

Cane sugar

Freshly ground black pepper

Kitchen scale

Large bowl

Steps:

1. Dry the ham with a rag to absorb any extra moisture. Weigh the roast and write down this number.

Homemade Ham Recipe - Shaye Elliott (3)

2. For every pound of meat, weigh out 15 grams of sea salt and 2.25 grams of sugar. My roast was 7 pounds, so I used a total of 105 grams of salt and 15.75 grams of sugar. And yes, you want this to be precise (hence the kitchen scale). To this salt and sugar, you can add whatever spices you'd like – rosemary, all spice, cloves, thyme, etc. I chose to keep mine simple and added only a small bit of freshly ground black pepper.

Combine the spices in a bowl and use your fingers to mix them together.

Homemade Ham Recipe - Shaye Elliott (4)

3. Rub the meat with the salt/sugar mixture. Get into every crevasse that you can find. Really work it in there. If you have a bone-in roast, pay special attention to that area. Make sure that the roast is coated.

4. Place the roast in a large bowl and set it in the refrigerator. You'll leave it to cure here for a few days. Measure the diameter of the roast and add ‘3' to that to figure out how many days it will cure. My roast was 7 inches across. 7+3= 10 days total for curing.

Let the roast be. The salt will do it's magic.

See?

Homemade Ham Recipe - Shaye Elliott (5)

5. After the proper curing time, remove the ham. At this point, the ham can be baked and glazed with whatever you'd like (honey? herbs? molasses?) or smoked. We chose to smoke ours. Threehours over some apple wood in a simple homemade smoker worked justfine. We used a small grill (like this) and covered a make-shift teepee around it with canvas (like this). There are a million setup options for smoking: I'll let you get creative.

If you'd prefer, roughly halfway through the smoking process, the skin of the ham can be removed (if your roast came with skin, that is). Some prefer to leave it on. Some take it off. That's totally up to you.

The ham should be smoked and cooked to an internal temperature of roughly 170-180 degrees (use a meat thermometer… you'll want to make sure that it's cooked thoroughly.)

If you'd rather not smoke your ham,the ham can bebakedin a 350 degree oven until the same internal temperature is achieved.

Homemade Ham Recipe - Shaye Elliott (6)

Ta-da! That's it! See, not too bad, huh? Though it takes a bit of time and commitment, the results are (dare I say) breathtaking.

That is, of course, if your breath is taken away by such culinary delights. Mine, of course, is.

Enjoy this homemade ham recipe. Delight in your effort.

And Amen.

Homemade Ham Recipe

Homemade Ham Recipe - Shaye Elliott (7)

  • 1 fresh pork roast (preferably from the leg (you can get this cut from your butcher!). Local and organic pork will be best. The roast can include a bone or not, or skin or not – it makes no difference. We kept the bone in all of our roasts when we cut them because I love the flavor that bones give to meat. Traditionally, the ‘ham’ was made from the butt/leg of the pig, though most any roast will do.)
  • Sea salt
  • Cane sugar
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Kitchen scale
  • Large bowl
  1. Dry the ham with a rag to absorb any extra moisture. Weigh the roast and write down this number.
  2. For every pound of meat, weigh out 15 grams of sea salt and 2.25 grams of sugar. My roast was 7 pounds, so I used a total of 105 grams of salt and 15.75 grams of sugar. And yes, you want this to be precise (hence the kitchen scale). To this salt and sugar, you can add whatever spices you’d like – rosemary, all spice, cloves, thyme, etc. I chose to keep mine simple and added only a small bit of freshly ground black pepper.
  3. Combine the spices in a bowl and use your fingers to mix them together.
  4. Rub the meat with the salt/sugar mixture. Get into every crevasse that you can find. Really work it in there. If you have a bone-in roast, pay special attention to that area. Make sure that the roast is coated.
  5. Place the roast in a large bowl and set it in the refrigerator. You’ll leave it to cure here for a few days. Measure the diameter of the roast and add ‘3’ to that to figure out how many days it will cure. My roast was 7 inches across. 7+3= 10 days total for curing.
  6. After the proper curing time, remove the ham. At this point, the ham can be baked and glazed with whatever you’d like (honey? herbs? molasses?) or smoked. We chose to smoke ours. Three hours over some apple wood in a simple homemade smoker worked just fine. We used a small grill and covered a make-shift teepee around it with canvas. There are a million setup options for smoking: I’ll let you get creative.
  7. If you’d prefer, roughly halfway through the smoking process, the skin of the ham can be removed (if your roast came with skin, that is). Some prefer to leave it on. Some take it off. That’s totally up to you.
  8. The ham should be smoked and cooked to an internal temperature of roughly 170-180 degrees (use a meat thermometer… you’ll want to make sure that it’s cooked thoroughly.)
  9. If you’d rather not smoke your ham, the ham can be baked in a 350 degree oven until the same internal temperature is achieved.

For other great meal ideas, no matter what your dietary restrictions, check out the meal planning service I use: Real Plans.

Homemade Ham Recipe - Shaye Elliott (8)

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Homemade Ham Recipe - Shaye Elliott (2024)
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