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Page:Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management.djvu/737

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put into this pickle cold, having been first rubbed with saltpetre and salt, and allowed to remain 24 hours, not forgetting to make a deep incision under the thick part of the tongue, to allow the pickle to penetrate more readily. A fortnight or 3 weeks, according to the size of the tongue, will be sufficient.

Time.—Small meat to remain in the pickle 2 weeks, hams 3 weeks; to be smoked from 2 to 3 weeks.


Ingredients.—1½ lb. of coarse sugar, 1½ lb. of bay-salt, 6 ozs. of saltpetre, 1 lb. of common salt.

Method.—Sprinkle each flitch with salt, and let the blood drain off for 24 hours; then pound and mix the above ingredients together and rub it well into the meat, which should be turned every day for 1 month. Hang it up to dry, and afterwards smoke it for 10 days.

Time.—To remain in the pickle, 1 month; to be smoked, 10 days.Sufficient for 1 pig.

How Pigs were formerly Pastured and Fed.—In feudal times immense droves of pigs were kept in England by the barons and franklins, the swine-herds forming a regular part of the domestic service of every feudal household. Their duty consisted in daily driving the herd of swine from the castle-yard. or outlying farm, to the nearest wood, chase, or forest, where the franklin or vavasour had, either by right or grant, the liberty—called free warren—to feed his pigs off the acorns, beech nuts, chestnuts which lay in abundance on the ground. In Germany, where the chestnut is largely cultivated, the amount of food furnished by the trees in the autumn is enormous, and both wild and domestic swine have for a considerable part of the year an unfailing supply of excellent nourishment.

1130.—TO CURE HAMS. (M. Ude's Recipe.)

Ingredients.—For 2 hams, weighing each about 16 or 18 lb., allow 1 lb. of moist sugar, 1 lb. of common salt, 2 ozs. of saltpetre 1 quart of good vinegar.

Method.—As soon as the pig is cold enough to be cut up, take the 2 hams, rub them well with common salt, and leave them in a large pan for 3 days. When the salt has drawn out all the blood, drain the hams and throw the brine away. Mix sugar, salt and saltpetre together in the above proportion, rub the hams well with these, and put them into a vessel large enough to hold them, always keeping the salt over them. Let them remain for 3 days, then pour over them 1 quart of good vinegar. Turn them in the brine every day for a month, then drain them well, and rub them with bran. Have them smoked over a wood fire, and be particular that the hams are hung as high as possible from the fire; otherwise the fat will melt, and they will become dry and hard.

Time.—To be pickled, 1 month; to be smoked, 1 month. Sufficient for 2 hams of 18 lb. each.