Traditional Irish Hams
We produce dry cured artisan hams from the herd of free range Tamworth and Gloucestershire Old Spots pigs we raise on our farm. These hams are produced by traditional Irish curing methods. The free range pork legs are first trimmed and boned. We use a low salt cure (50% less salt than other cures) so these hams do not need soaking overnight. The boned pork legs are rubbed with the dry cure and left to cure for 3 weeks. The cure is then washed off and the hams are hung to dry for 3 more weeks. As the hams have been dry-cured they are best gently poached in a liquid such as water or cider.
Put ham in a large pot and cover ham completely in cold water. A large deep stock pot is ideal as the ham must remain completely submerged during the whole cooking. Bring to the boil and boil for five minutes. Discard this first boiling water and re-cover the ham with fresh cold water. Add onions, carrots, bay leaf, a few black peppercorns. Bring to the boil and poach gently for 25 minutes to the 1 lb plus 30 minutes. Check the internal temperature of the ham with a chef's temperature probe - it should read 75 degrees Centigrade or higher. When the ham has reached 75 degrees Centigrade internally remove from the pot. Score the rind carefully along each side of the tying strings, and remove the rind only. Retain the fat on the ham and score in a diamond criss cross pattern. Mix up a glaze made of equal parts muscovado sugar, dry mustard powder and marmalade - you can add whiskey to this glaze if you like. Put the ham in a roasting tin – pat the glaze carefully on to the ham and finish in a hot oven (200 degrees C) for five minutes to each 1lb – check every few minutes – the aim is to melt the glaze only, not burn it. Remove from oven and carve to serve hot with parsley sauce, or cool as a whole ham and serve cold with a fruity chutney.