Pauline's Ham

I hope you all had a great Christmas and got all the pressies that you asked for. We had a superb turkey from Clump Farm, a farm that's only about half a mile from here. That along with home-cured ham and bacon, home-made sausage and home-smoked cheese made for some great food.

Now, the ham was one of the best flavoured I've made, even if it did nearly cause a divorce! You see, whilst you may think that saying that my 'bread rolls are just like the supermarket's' is a compliment, most cooks will not. Likewise when Pauline said: "Can you cure a ham to taste like the supermarket's". Well, I ask you, what would you think? Anyway, when she got back from the hospital we discussed the ham further and I came up with a revised cure. Funnily enough it has a lot more salt; something that the family had always said they didn't want when I suggested it before regarding my bacon! Sometimes I think that I can't win, but with just me in the house and three women, I guess I can't!

Pauline's Ham

I have revised the Pauline's Ham cure - it's still got the same great taste, but is more economical and is now even safer than ever.

The revised recipe and further details are here » »

The recipe below is for reference purposes only. See link above for revised recipe

Pauline's Ham

Water 2810gm
Salt 680gm
Muscodavo Sugar 405gm
Cure #1 105gm
Juniper Berries 2
Cloves 2
Black Pepper Corns 4
Bay Leaves 1
Coriander seeds 4


Weigh the spices then bash them about a bit. Put the water, salt, sugar and spices (in fact, everything except the Cure #1) into a pan and bring to the boil. Stir to dissolve the salt and sugar. Leave to cool.

Using water, make the weight back up to the original amount - that is the original weight of the water, salt, sugar and spices, added together. That's the total weight of everything except the Cure #1.

Mix the Cure #1 into the cooled brine mixture stirring to ensure that it is dissolved.

Weigh the meat and calculate 10% of its weight. Inject this weight of brine into the meat ensuring that you get brine into all areas of the meat.

Now put the meat into the remaining brine and put it in the fridge for around 5 - 7 days, turning the meat every day or two. My meat weighed 6kg so I gave it the full 7 days.

The meat was then rinsed, dried off, and left to dry further in the fridge overnight. You could smoke it at this stage if you wanted.

The other change I made was to the cooking method. I 'steamed' this ham, keeping the temperature above the water to 80°C. The ham is cooked when the temperature of the centre of the meat reaches 75°C. I have found that this method results in less flavour loss and also less weight loss in the finished ham and that by cooking to 75°C, as against 72°C, it gives a more tender product. An alternative would be to cook it in a vacuum bag or boil-able 'roasting' bag in water at 75 - 80°C.

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There are seven comments



I’ve got a 12lbish leg in at the moment in at the moment. The meat is looking reddish? I doubled up on the all of the above amounts to create enough brine that it covered the meat based on the container I had. Just that 210gm of Cure #1 seemed a lot compared to other recipes but all proportional I guess. Hoping for a nice Ham for Xmas over in the USA. Thanks for the hard work Wheels on your blog. Currently got the ham and about 15lbs of bacon on the go all using your recipes. There’s several of my ex-pats friends over here who are quite happy that’s I’ve found a hobby!



Neal, - 08-12-’11 02:36

Hi Neal, I have done this cure with a lot less liquid by using a vacuum bag and just putting 100 – 200 ml of brine cure in with the meat (after injecting, of course). Otherwise, it’s a case of trying to find a container that’s about the same size as your meat.
You’ll never be short of friends if you make good bacon!

Phil, (URL) - 08-12-’11 19:53

Hi Phil,

Thanks for the reply. No problem with just doubling up on all of the quantities. The redness in the meat is normal though?. In all fairness I’ve only ever tried a few hams and can’t really remember how they looked during the process.

Again Thanks for the hard work.



Neal, - 09-12-’11 04:44

It’s odd, the outside colour of meat varies so much when curing. I wouldn’t worry about the external colour it can be quite scary even after cooking. The inside should be fine though.

Phil, (URL) - 09-12-’11 19:58
Ian Breckon

Hello – Love the website for being very interesting and informative.

1) Can you advise of your favourite beef sausage recipe or a beef pork mix recipe?

2) I am keen to have a bash at the ham making and I am enquiring about the actual detail of the cooking methods you use for cooking ham.
I saw a slow cooker in a picture with a thermometer and the ham in a bag and you mentioned ‘steaming’

Is there a posting in the site that describes the methods for ‘boiled’ and ‘baked ham’ or could you point me to a link to find out more. I’v had a good look round but cannot pin point a location.

We normally boil purchased hams/gammons/bacon joints in a pan – it seems slices of cooked hams purchased from a buther have a better texture.

Looking forward to hearing from you

Thanks & Regards

Ian Breckon, - 03-12-’13 09:02

Thanks for the kind comments Ian. I see that you found the answer to your second question at

As to the first question, regrettably I don’t have any recipes for fresh beef sausages. But I know a man who does!

You’ll find some here:

…and some here:

I hope this helps.

Phil, - 03-12-’13 19:01

Is this a suitable wet cure method for back bacon? Or for that matter any pork wet cure? As far as salt and cure ratios to meat and liquid?

Guy, - 03-12-’20 17:56

I'm somewhat incapacitated at present so replies may take some time. Please post urgent enquiries at the forum.

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