Great to make a silky-textured, flavorful ham!
Put all of these ingredients in a large saucepan or stock pot. Note, if you don’t have some of the herbs/spices, don’t fret! The main ingredients are the salt, water and whatever sugar you choose. If you are trying to cut back on sugar, you can even skip that too.
- 7.5 pints water
- 1 1/2 cups honey, molasses, maple syrup or sugar (your preference)
- 4 tbsp. sea salt
- 10 coriander seed
- 10 peppercorns
- 10 juniper berries (if you can find them, if not, don’t worry)
- 3-4 bay leaves
- 1-2 sprigs fresh thyme
- Whatever other fresh or dried herbs you want to try (ideas: ginger root, dried hot peppers, sage, basil, rosemary, etc.)
Heat the mixture, stirring occasionally until salt and honey are dissolved. Cool the mixture. Put the meat to be brined into a large non-metallic container. Pour the cooled brine mixture over the meat, covering it. Cover the container and keep it in a cool place or refrigerator for 3-4 days (longer for huge hunks of meat). After 3 days, remove the meat, rinse it off and dry. Rub the meat with olive oil or lard and bake in a 225 degree oven . Cook the meat covered for the bulk of the cooking time,(about for 40 minutes per pound, or until internal temperature is between 148-150 degrees), then uncover for the last 30 minutes to crisp up the fat if you like. Let the ham rest for 10-15 minutes before carving. For best results, slice thinly and serve with a gravy made from pan drippings.