Webster County University of Missouri Extension is holding a “Country Cured Ham Workshop” for youth and adults on Tuesday Jan.7, 2020 from 4 p.m.-9 p.m. or Jan. 11, 2020 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m..
Those registering for the workshop should choose the day and time that’s works for them.
Everything will be supplied and all attendees will leave with a ham ready to hang in an unheated building with good ventilation so the curing process can take place.
To register for the classes, or for more details including cost, contact the Webster County Extension office at 417 859-2044 or visit the office in person.
Before refrigeration many Missourians cured hams and pork bellies as a method of preserving food. Country cured hams are not cooked, just preserved, the combination of salt, sugar and other spices preserves the meat without refrigeration.
“Country cured hams may bring back fond memories for older people but may be an acquired taste for younger people,” said Kyle Whittaker, County Engagement Specialist in Agriculture and Environment with University of Missouri Extension.
Smoke houses were a common fixture on many farms and rurual homes prior to refrigeration. The smoke houses were not used to actually cook the meat but to give the preserved hams a smoke flavor.
Whittaker says ham selection and the correct amount of cure applied is key to your success when curing hams. That is why the Webster County MU Extension is offering this workshop.
Those attending will learn how the curing and aging process works, in addition paricpants will learn how to smoke and prepare a country cured ham for exhibiton or a meal. Participants will also be given instructions on the aging process and how to smoke the ham for flavor.
Many youth have opportunities to exhibit cured hams at local, district and state fairs during the summer. A country cured ham makes an excellent 4-H/FFA project and a great meal for everyone according to Whittaker.