(Bordyke Receipt.) After the hams have been rubbed with salt, and well drained from the brine, according to our previous directions, take, for each fourteen pounds weight of the pork, one ounce of saltpetre in fine powder, mixed with three ounces of the coarsest sugar; rub the meat in every part with these, and let it remain some hours, then cover it well with eight ounces of bay-salt, dried and pounded, and mixed with four ounces of common salt: in four days add one pound of treach, and keep the hams turned daily, and well basted with the pickle for a month. Hang them up to drain for a night, fold them in brown paper, and send them to be smoked for a month. An ounce of ground black pepper is often mixed with the saltpetre in this receipt, and three ounces of bruised juniper-berries are rubbed on to the meat before the salt is added, when hams of a very high flavour are desired.
* We have not been able to make the trial ourselves, but we think they would be even finer baked than boiled.
Ham, 14 lbs.; saltpetre, 1 oz.; coarse sugar, 3 ozs.: 8 to 12 hours. Bay-salt, 1/2 lb.; common salt, 4 ozs.: 4 days. Treacle, 1 lb.: 1 month. To heighten flavour, black pepper, 1 oz.; juniper-berries, 3 ozs.
The degree of soaking which must be given to a ham before it is boiled, must depend both on the manner in which it has been cured, and on its age. If highly salted, hard, and old, a day and night, or even longer, may be requisite to dilate the pores sufficiently, and to extract a portion of the salt. To do either effectually the water must be several times changed during the steeping. We generally find hams cured by any of the receipts which we have given in this chapter quite enough soaked in twelve hours; and they are more frequently laid into water only early in the morning of the day on which they are boiled. Those pickled by Monsieur Ude's receipt need much less steeping than any others. After the ham has been scraped, or brushed, as clean as possible, pare away lightly any part which, from being blackened or rusty, would disfigure it; though it is better not to cut the flesh at all unless it be really requisite for the good appearance of the joint. Lay it into a ham-kettle, or into any other vessel of a similar form, and cover it plentifully with cold water; bring it very slowly indeed to boil, and clear off carefully the scum which will be thrown up in great abundance.
So soon as the water has been cleared from this, draw back the pan quite to the edge of the stove, that the ham may be simmered softly, but steadily, until it is tender. On no account allow it to boil fast. A bunch of herbs and three or four carrots, thrown in directly after the water has been skimmed, will improve it. When it can be probed very easily with a sharp skewer, or larding-pin, lift it out, strip off the skin, which may be kept to cover the ham when cold, and should there be an oven at hand, set it in for a few minutes, after having laid it on a drainer; strew fine raspings over it, or grate a hard-toasted crust, or sift upon it the prepared bread of page 114, unless it is to be glazed, when neither of these must be used.
Small ham, 3 1/2 to 4 hours; moderate sized, 4 to 4 1/2 hours; very large, 5 to 5 1/2 hours.
We have seen the following manner of boiling a ham recommended, but we have not tried it:- "Put into the water in which it is to be boiled, a quart of old cider and a pint of vinegar, a large bunch of sweet herbs, and a bay-leaf. When it is two thirds done, skin, cover it with raspings, and set it in an oven until it is done enough: it will prove incomparably superior to a ham boiled in the usual way."
After having soaked, thoroughly cleaned, and trimmed the ham, put over it a little very sweet clean hay, and tie it up in a thin cloth place it in a ham kettle, a braising pan, or any other vessel as nearly of its size as can be, and cover it with two parts of cold water, and one of light white wine (we think the reader will perhaps find cider a good substitute for this); add, when it boils and has been skimmed, four or five carrots, two or three onions, a large bunch of savoury herbs, and the smallest bit of garlic. Let the whole simmer gently from four to five hours, or longer should the ham be very large. When perfectly tender, lift it out, take off the rind, and sprinkle over it some fine crumbs, or some raspings of bread mixed with a little finely minced parsley.
Unless when too salt, from not being sufficiently soaked, a ham (particularly a young and fresh one) eats much better baked than boiled, and remains longer good. The safer plan is to lay it into plenty of cold water over night. The following day soak it for an hour or more in warm water, wash it delicately clean, trim smoothly off all rusty parts, and lay it with the rind downwards into a coarse paste rolled to about an inch thick; moisten the edges, draw, pinch them together, and fold them over on the upper side of the ham, taking care to close them so that no gravy can escape. Send it to a well-heated, but not a fierce oven. A very small ham will require quite three hours baking, and a large one five. The crust and the skin must be removed while it is hot. When part only of a ham is dressed, this mode is better far than boiling it.