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Suffolk Cure

Suffolk Cure is a sweet cure applied to hams.

The ham spends 1 month in brine, then is cured in a sweet solution of sugar, salt and saltpetre or stout, spices and molasses (or black treacle.) Lighter recipes will use cider instead of stout. The stout doesn't have to Guinness. For instance it can be a local stout, such as the brown porter called Old Growler made by Nethergate Brewery in Clare, Suffolk.

The ham is turned every day during this sweet stage.

Then, the ham is smoked over a fire of applewood and/ or oak chips for about 5 days, then hung for several weeks to a month.

The outside skin becomes shiny black or deep mahogony, depending on the cure.

A brined ham of 24 pounds/ 10 kilos will lose about 4 1/2 pounds (2kg) during the cure.

Not every ham succeeds, about 1 in 200 fails.

Cooking Tips

To cook: soak overnight first in water. Then bake covered in foil, in about 2 inches (5 cm) of cider. Allow 25 minutes per pound (450g) at 350 F / 180 C.

Language Notes

Also called "Suffolk sweet-cured hams".


Ardennes Dry Ham; Bradenham Ham; Brine-Cured Ham; Butt End Ham; Country Ham; Devilled Ham; Fresh Ham; Gammon; Ground Ham; Guijuelo Ham; Ham Steak; Ham; Irish Ham; Leoncini Roasted Ham; Limerick Ham; Los Pedroches Ham; Pannonia Ham; Spanish Ham; Suffolk Cure; Taylor Pork Roll; Virginia Ham; Wachholder Ham

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Also called:

Suffolk Sweet-cured Hams


Oulton, Randal. "Suffolk Cure." CooksInfo.com. Published 16 June 2004; revised 28 September 2007. Web. Accessed 03/19/2018. <http://www.cooksinfo.com/suffolk-cure>.

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