Dry Cured Cornish Ham

The traditional way of producing hams in Cornwall was for many years a dry curing and drying process which has much more in common with continental European tradition than the familiar way we produce these products today. A ham joint would be placed in a bussa (a Cornish large earthenware jar) and covered in salt and left until the ham was ready to be used. An alternative to this was to “pickle” the joint in a salty brine and bay leaves for five weeks then this would be removed and dried near a stove or in a chimney stack and once dry cut and used as needed. These processes would have been applied to the curing of other meat joints such as tongue.