This little piggy

ham2Sometimes I think that if I were a pig I’d just sit around and lick myself all the time. But the reality that I’m all too aware of is that pigs tend to wallow in their poo. No matter. At the end of their life, the noble swine gives up the tasty victuals with unbelievable grace.

This week, I’ve been taking advantage of this delicious animal. You see, I bought a local pig, had it butchered and yesterday was Ham Day. But it takes more than a week to get to ham-deliciousness. First you have to cure it. So I did. Soaking and injected with a tasty brine for about 8 days is how it worked out for our schedule.

Then we fired up the smoker. I couldn’t find applewood, so I went for hickory. All day long those two nine-pound hams soaked up the beauty. Once we hit about 140 degrees Fahrenheit, it was time for a few coats of glaze. There are many glazes out there, some come in a packet attached to the store-bought ham so readily available.

I couldn’t help it. I made up my own glaze recipe, and I can’t imagine a better one. Well, guess what, Bobby Flay? I’m willing to share.

Wilson’s Ham Glaze

4 oz. agave nectar

3 oz. stone ground mustard

2 oz. mango smoothie mix ( or just whiz up  a halfa mango or so)

1/4 tsp cayenne (I forgot to tell Andrew Three Floyds this part–I hope he reads it here)

Here’s the play-by-play:

Jake injects the curing brine.

Jake injects the curing brine.

Been in the smoke for just a short while at this point.

Been in the smoke for just a short while at this point.

Shortly before glaze application.

Shortly before glaze application.

On goes the Agave Glaze of Champions.

On goes the Agave Glaze of Champions.

The finished product, eight days and eight hours later.

The finished product, eight days and eight hours later.

Sublime. Goodness Gracious, but Pig is good. We paired it with a bottle of Goose Island’s 07 Pere Jacques and couldn’t have been happier. Well, if pigs had more than one belly, I could be happier, but that’s not exactly happening…


6 Responses to This little piggy

  1. Alan says:

    Actually, pigs do not wallow in their own (or anyone else’s) poo. Given enough space, they hold it until they can poop away from where they eat (unlike cows or other farm animals that just do it when they feel the urge). Pigs have no sweat glands, so in hot weather they wallow in water or mud, but just to keep cool. So don’t worry. That pig you’re eating hasn’t been swimming around in poop soup. Looked might tasty.

  2. Wilson says:

    Well, Uncle Smarty-Pants, I didn’t say they crapped in their food dish. I spent a summer working on a hog farm, and some of the hog houses had false bottom floors for the crap and pee to fall through, to be pumped away from time to time. Some of the hog houses, and the outside hog lots, on the other hand, were mud and crap filled. Until I cleaned them out. Pigs may hold off to crap away from their feeding trough, but they don’t wield a broom.

  3. Bailey says:

    Mmmmmmmm. Ham. Gargle.

    Couldn’t you have worked some beer into the glaze somehow? Just for the sake of it?

  4. Wilson says:

    That Pere Jacques would have been a good choice. Or Chimay Blue or Nostradamus. Or a Scotch ale or doppelbock. I have a second ham that I didn’t glaze, which went straight to the freezer to await the holidays. Maybe I’ll beerify that one and report back.

  5. leigh says:

    Oh. Jesus. Looks awesome. I’ve just finished off some belly that I wil be posting about soon – and I concur, Pork is not only the most versatile meat, but on the whole, everything you do with goes with beer!!

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