The Laclede County University of Missouri Extension is holding a country cured ham and country cured bacon (pork belly) workshop for youth and adults.
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 and pork bellies may bring back fond memories for older people but may be an acquired taste for younger people. Smoke houses were a common fixture on many farms and rural homes prior to refrigeration. The smoke houses were not used to actually cook the meat but to give the preserved hams and pork belly smoke flavor.
Ham and pork belly selection and the correct amount of cure applied is key to your success when curing hams and pork bellies. This is why the Laclede County MU Extension is offering a “Country Cured Ham/Bacon Workshop”. Those attending will learn how the curing and aging process works. In addition particpants will learn how to smoke and prepare a country cured ham.
The workshop is one hour on Jan. 25 from 4 to 8 p.m. There is a registration fee for the supplies and the ham/bacon. Those registering for the workshop should choose the time that works for them: 4, 5, 6, or 7 p.m.. before January 11. Everything will be supplied and everyone will leave with a ham ready to hang in an unheated building with good ventilation so the curing process can take place or a pork belly. Participants will also be given instructions on the aging process and how to smoke the ham/pork belly for flavor.
To register for the classes before Jan. 11, or for more details, contact Laclede County Extension office at 417 532-7126 or visit the office in person. The class will be taught by Kyle Whittaker, Webster County MU Extension Agriculture and Environment Specialist.
University of Missouri Extension programs focus on the high-priority needs of Missourians to improve lives, communities and economies by providing relevant, responsive and reliable educational solutions. MU Extension programs are open to all. More information on this topic is available online at http://extension.missouri.edu.