Brine

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.