Mangalitsa Country Ham

Again, sorry for the lack of posts. I have been pretty busy, but will try to catch everyone up on what has been going on slowly but surely. So, the country ham has been cured, dried, smoked and will hang for a while (we're going for at least sixth months, but we'll see what happens).

The ham was cured with a mixture of cane sugar, salt, cure 2 and some spices and allowed to cure for just a little over 1 day per lb. I wasn't sure if it felt soft because there is at least 2 inches of fat surrounding the meat or if it hadn't cured enough so i let it go a little longer. I rinsed it, patted it dry and we allowed a pellicle to form before Chef Windus cold smoked it for about 2 days. I rubbed the exposed meat with a mixture of lard, semolina and black pepper and red pepper flakes (i read a couple of recipes who mixed the spice rub in with the lard).

I can't wait to taste it. It smells great and the meat had a dark rosy red color to it after smoking. It smelled up the walk-in for a couple of days when it first went in. Smelled like a barbecue every time someone opened the door.

Now we wait...

Here is the ham the first day into the cure

Hanging to form the pellicle before smoking

After smoking. You can kind of see how the skin has become a deeper brown color


  1. Absolutely Beautiful!!!

    I've always wanted to try a country style ham, but always end up doing "plain old" proscuitto.

    I'll be interested to see how this turns out.


  2. Looking good. I am curious though about the ingredients of the lard mixture. Mostly, why semolina? But also, why add a source of flavor that covers less than 1/4 of the ham? I am intrigued! Can't wait to hear about how this turns out!

  3. The reason that I used the semolia is due to the fact that I have seen different recipes mostly using rice flour or the semolina mixed with lard and black pepper. I have done it this way before and it worked great. It keeps the what would be exposed flesh from getting too dry, and forming a hard crust. There is a lot less of loss when covering the meat.

    And the spice thing I have never tried before but had seen a couple of country ham producers in the south today that use this technique. i do not know if it will impart any flavor or not, but do know that if anything the extra pepper will keep unwanted creatures from trying to build a home.

  4. Damn that looks awesome. I'm still trying to get up the courage to tackle a ham but with post like this and a few others I've seen I'm starting to get ham fever. Now I just wish I had your walk in. Cheers.