I have wet cured a lot of tongues in the past few years. Its a long process. About 12 days but the end result is so amazing. Cured deli meats like tongue, corned beef, pastrami are expensive if you go to a decent deli to get it so I love doing it myself.
As I said I generally cure beef tongues and then cook them in boiling water to make “pickled” tongue but today I decided to cure a picnic ham and will eventually roast it.

Ironically, I usually use the curing recipe from The Book of Jewish Food by Claudia Roden and I am sure she would be perturbed to know I adapted it to a ham.  This book had a beautiful dust cover but like so many of my book – the kids destroyed it.


1. Gather your ingredients:
4.5 lb hunk of meat (here a picnic ham)
4 chopped garlic cloves
1 TB mixed pickling spices
2 crumbled bay leaves
1 tsp black peppercorns
1/3 cup Turbinado suagr
3/4 cup kosher salt
2 tsp of pink curing salt (I got mine at Williams Sonoma)

 2. Prick your meat all over with a fork. The skin was hard to get through I had to stab it with a sharp knife.

 3. Put your meat in a large pot and rub the salt mixture all over it.

 4. Cover completely with cold water. You do not want any pieces of the meat sticking out. Put in the fridge for 10 days – flip the meat over once a day if you can remember.

Its been about 10 days since I wet – cured the ham. You can cure the meat for a few days up to a few weeks depending on how big the cut of meat is and how cured you want it (or how much patience you have)
5. You want to pour of the curing liquid, rinse the meat, and then let it soak in the fridge with fresh water for a few hours (if you only cured it a few days) to 24 hours to get some of the salt off
 Then you cook the meat however you want. If it is a tongue I boil it for several hours. In this case, the ham, I roasted it. See that recipe here

One thought on “Curing Meats

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