Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Brined Fresh Ham Steak

First day of the brine
Updated and Revised November 2021

I've been on a "mission" of sorts to brine a fresh ham (pork). I've seen all kinds of techniques, watched so many videos I lost count, all the while thinking there has to be a "safe" way for a home cook to do this.
After 3 days curing in the refrigerator

The reason I wanted to do it is none of my local family farms who we buy all of our meat from sell cured hams or ham steaks. Now I wish they would, but understand why they don't. While the processing plant does offer this service, it takes months to get the product back, and being small farms as they are, I imagine it's simply time they don't want to invest when they can sell the uncured pork product very easily.

So ... there I was ... trying to figure this one out. It had to be a wet brine I could refrigerate. I didn't want to start with a whole ham, but rather with a ham steak, so if there were any "tweaks" I needed to do, I could figure those out with the ham steak. I also do not use "pink salt" or any product containing nitrates or nitrites, therefore this ham steak will never be a bright pink color, but rather stay a grayish color.

While it doesn't taste "exactly" like a ham, it is pretty darn good and very close to a "ham flavor" without a lot of time and effort spent on months of curing.

All cooked and ready to eat
1 fresh pork (ham) steak
1/2 cups kosher salt
1/2 cups sugar
2 bay leaves
2 tbls. mustard seeds
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 sprig fresh rosemary
2 tbls. minced garlic
1/2 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 ribs celery, coarsely chopped
water to cover
Glaze: (optional)
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup whole-grain mustard
1/4 cup honey

Mix first 9 ingredients together in a bowl. Place fresh pork ham steak in a large glass 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Add mixed ingredients and add enough water until pork is submerged. Cover and refrigerate 3 days, turning pork once.

When read to cook, remove from brine and discard brine. Soak pork ham steak in fresh cold water 30 minutes prior to grilling.

Grill fresh pork ham steak 7 1/2 minutes per side over medium high heat. Baste on glaze (if using) during the last 5 minutes. Serve remaining glaze with ham steak if desired.



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