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Page:The White House Cook Book.djvu/175

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MEATS. 155

The best way for keeping hams is to sew them in coarse cloths, white- washed on the outside.

TO CURE ENGLISH BACON.

THIS process is called the "dry cure," and is considered far prefer- able to the New England or Yankee style of putting prepared brine or pickle over the meat. First the hog should not be too large or too fat, weighing not over two hundred pounds, then after it is dressed and cooled cut it up into proper pieces; allow to every hundred pounds a mixture of four quarts of common salt, one quarter of a pound of saltpetre and four pounds of sugar. Rub this preparation thoroughly over and into each piece, then place them into a tight tub or suitable cask ; there will a brine form of itself from the juices of the meat, enough at least to baste it with, which should be done two or three times a week ; turning each piece every time.

In smoking this bacon, the sweetest flavor is derived from black birch chips, but if these are not to be had, the next best wood is hickory; the smoking with corn-cobs imparts a rank flavor to this bacon, which is very distasteful to English people visiting this coun- try. It requires three weeks or a month to smoke this bacon properly.

Berkshire Recipe.

TO TRY OUT LARD.

SKIN" the leaf lard carefully, cut it into small pieces, and put it into a kettle or saucepan ; pour in a cupful of water to prevent burn- ing ; set it over the fire where it will melt slowly. Stir it frequently and let it simmer until nothing remains but brown scraps. Remove the scraps with a perforated skimmer, throw in a little salt to settle the fat, and, when clear, strain through a coarse cloth into jars. Re- member to watch it constantly, stirring it from the bottom until the salt is thrown in to settle it ; then set it back on the range until clear. If it scorches it gives it a very bad flavor.

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