Friday, July 25, 2014

Eating Clean {Homemade Deli-Style Ham}

I have many food allergies and sensitivities, notably to gluten and dairy products. This rules out many foods, such as the obvious bread and cheese, but also some less obvious foods, such as sandwich meats.

At least here in Belgium, I have yet to find a commercially-sold deli-style meat that is just meat

So, I have to make my own.

This ham tastes delicious, but looks a tad, eh, not so delicious. It's gray on the outside. That's because I don't use saltpeter, which is what gives ham its traditional pink color. Feel free to add saltpeter to the brine mix if color is an issue for you.

Also, I used half Guerande salt {what we commonly call "fleur de sel"} and half Himalaya salt, just because. Feel free to use whatever salt you have on hand. For the spices, I chose 2 cloves of garlic, a couple Juniper berries, one whole clove as well as fresh sprigs of bay, thyme and sage. You could really add any spices you like though, and even no spices as well.

Also, play with the salt levels. I like a fairly salty ham so this is the amount I use. If you prefer a less salty taste, use a bit less, if you like a really salty ham, use a bit more

Homemade Deli-Style Ham
{Brine Cured}

  • 1 ham, about 1 kg or 2 lbs
  • 1 liter water, boiled (more or less to cover the ham)
  • 1/2 cup salt of choice
  • Various spices
  1. Place ham and spices in a dish.
  2. Dissolve the salt in the warm but not boiling water. Allow to cool to about 40°C/100°F, then pour over the ham (the ham must be fully submerged).
  3. Cover the dish and refrigerate for 3 to 5 days {I prefer 5 days}.
  4. Drain water and remove spices. Bake covered for about 45 minutes {150°C/300°F} or until a meat thermometer reads 75°C/160°F.
  5. Refrigerate for 24 hours before slicing.


  1. Replies
    1. I agree! It's really simple and full of flavor!I hope you enjoy it :-D