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> Mutton Hams, a well-known specialty
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Posted: 21-Jul-2003, 08:03 AM
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Mutton hams are a well-known specialty reflecting the lack of pigs in Scotland in days gone by. This 18th century recipe is an ideal dish for those whose religious principles forbid them to eat pork but who would enjoy the flavour. In the 1700s mutton hams were a famous Scottish border specialty and a major export overseas from Glasgow. Today, especially in the north, geese and beef joints are still cured and smoked. Note that the brine mixture below can be used to cure beef, pork, duck or geese.

· 1 gigot (leg) of mutton, about 10 lbs.
· 8 pints water
· 1-1/2 sea salt (best) or coarse salt
· 2 oz saltpetre
· 1 lb dark brown sugar
· 2 oz allspice
· 1 oz peppercorns
· 1 tbsp coriander seeds
· 8 crushed juniper berries

1. Boil all ingredients for 5 minutes, cool.
2. Strain into deep, clean crock or bucket, immerse meat totally.
3. Keep covered in dry place under 60°F (28°C).
4. Leave beef, mutton pork for 10 - 14 days, depending on size.
5. Leave large goose 4 days, duck 2 days, glblets removed.
6. When removed from brine, wash, soak for 4 hours in clean water.
7. Make peat or hardwood fire, add juniper branches or berries to smoulder in embers.
8. Hang meat over fire for 10 - 14 days, or send meat out to be smoked.
9. All meats and birds are delicious without smoking if boiled as follows:
10. Boil for 30 minutes per lb, use only cold water to start (hot seals in salt).
11. Add any root vegetables desired.
12. Add 1 tsp dry mustard to keep meat moist.
13. If serving cold, leave meat in stock to cool.
14. With beef, pork, mutton serve Caper sauce or Lang Kail.*
15. With duck, goose serve Onion sauce.

* Lang Kail (kale): Kail boiled, strained, chopped, seasoned, mixed with butter.

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