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VENI - HAM? any one tried it

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by uk roe hunter, Nov 22, 2008.

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  1. uk roe hunter

    uk roe hunter Member

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    Hi guys,
    I have quite a glut of venison at the moment (Premium-- i googled them to death! :) )

    I picked up a recipe book by an author called Hugh Fearnley- Whittingstall. He is quite a cult figure over here at the moment. He sugests salting venison and hanging it like a ham.

    So i have a tunnel boned haunch of venison in about 6 lb of salt with a big weight on top, i have to wait until thursday then get it out and wrap it in muslin and hang it for about 4 months in the garage.

    I know some of you guys make jerky, i quite fancy that aswell.

    So has anyone tried this Veni ham recipe? how did it go?

    uk roe hunter / interlock
     
  2. Shawnee

    Shawnee member

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    Along "That Dark and Bloody River"
    A once-standard procedure here is similar to the one you describe except it uses less salt and doesn't take nearly as long.

    Once the deer has been shot, the carcass is gutted and allowed to hang in <44 degree air with the hide on until all body heat has dissipated. Leaving the hide on prevents "casing" (the formation of a crust all over the surface of the newly-shot meat). Then the hide is removed with special attention paid to removing connective membrane, subcutaneous fat and the flesh that was the "edge" formed by the cut made to gut the animal.

    The muscles of the haunch are separated to remove connective tissue then the whole is dipped or wiped with plain salt brine. Next a "paste" or "rub" (about 2lbs. pickling salt combined with 2/3 cup each black pepper and cinnamon (or allspice) is rubbed well onto/into every surface. The next step is to wrap loosely with muslin (some don't bother with this) and hang outdoors in a sheltered spot for 4 to 5 weeks. Obviously the outside temperature needs to be <44 degrees and >32 degrees (frozen meat doesn't "age"). Of course it's easier to hang the ham in a controlled-temperature locker I seriously doubt that hanging longer than 6 weeks will add anything positive to the enterprise.

    If you hang it in a garage you should keep track of the temperature because warmer temps - say 48 or 49 degrees - can hasten the breakdown and may change the "curing" to simply rotting. If it reaches those higher temps for only a couple hours a day and then drops below 40 degrees for most of the time there should be no damage.


    HTH
    :cool:
     
  3. moosehunt

    moosehunt Member

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    I haven't tried your dry-cure approach, but I have brine cured them identically to how pork hams are cured, then smoked as in ham production. The results were excellent--maybeso even better than excellent! Enjoy!
     
  4. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    Sounds like you'll be making venison prosciutto, air dried and salted type of ham from Italy.
     
  5. nathan

    nathan Member

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    Thats a long process indeed. If done wrong, it can turn disastrous. No pun intended.
     
  6. Shawnee

    Shawnee member

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    Location:
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    The best venison haunch and backstrap (tenderloin) I've ever had was home-cured and smoked slooooooow over Hickory coals in an old-time farm smokehouse in the vicinity of Winchester and Tullahoma (more or less).

    I've smoked a lot of it in those el cheapo cylinder-shaped smokers that leak heat/smoke all over (Cabela's Specials:rolleyes:) and it has been pretty good - but nothing like the stuff I came across in Tennessee.

    :cool:
     
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