Mel’s Diner

Sharp Knives, Raw Meat and Fire


According to Bruce Aidell, a York-Style ham is, “Mildly cured (that means not too salty).  After brining it can be cooked in a court-bouillon, or…you can smoke your ham..”)  I had a uncured ham (or pork roast to the rest of the world) and decided to try this.  So, off we go!

I brined it for six days before cooking it in Bruce’s court-bouillon.  I found it, contrary to Bruce’s assertions, to be fairly salty.  Not over the top, but a bit too salty for my tastes.  Maybe I would brine it for 4 to 5 days instead of the full six, but still, it was VERY good.


Mild Ham Cure

  • 1 pound (2 Cups Morton’s Kosher Salt, 3 cups of Diamond Crystal Salt)
  • ½ pound (1 Cup) Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 Gallon Ice Water
  • 8-10 pound Fresh Ham or Boston Butt

Put salt, sugar in a 3-gallon or larger plastic tub, stainless-steel, crock or glass container.  Add ice water and stir until salt is completely dissolved.  Submerge the pork in the brine and weight down with a plate.  Refrigerate.  After three days, remove pork and stir the brine and return the meat.  Refrigerate another three days.  Remove pork and discard brine.


  • 24 oz. lager beer
  • 2 quarts of water
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 4 sprigs of fresh thyme or 2 teaspoons of dried
  • 16 whole black peppercorns
  • 6 juniper berries
  • 2 unpeeled onions, each studded with 4 cloves
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut in half
  • 4 garlic cloves (I forgot this)
  • 2 celery stalks
  • ¼ cup of cider vinegar

Combine all ingredients and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.  Add the ham.  Continue to cook at a simmer or just below until meat is tender and has an internal temperature of 145 to 150 degrees, about 2 hours.


April 14, 2008 - Posted by | Main Dish, Recipe

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