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Cured & Smoked Bobcat Ham Recipe

Cured & Smoked Bobcat Ham Recipe
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Meat from bobcats and mountain lions is white, delicate, and mild in flavor. Just like pork, it takes on the flavors of the seasonings used in a recipe. Another similarity to pork is the meat’s ease of curing. For this recipe, we wet cured a pair of bobcat hindquarters in the refrigerator for four days and then smoked them with a sweet and salty glaze based on honey and soy sauce.

This recipe can be scaled-up to work with a full mountain lion hindquarter. Our bobcat hindquarters weighed about 3 pounds, so multiply the recipe’s ingredients accordingly for larger hindquarters.

Serving the cured and smoked bobcat in thin slices on a charcuterie board is a great way to introduce people to the meat from large cats. Add some sliced cheese, crackers, olives, peppers, and cornichon pickles to give everyone a choice of toppings to pair with the sliced meat.

Brine Ingredients

  • 60 grams non-iodized salt
  • 40 grams white or brown sugar
  • 6 grams Instacure #1
  • Enough water to cover the meat

Glaze Ingredients

  • ⅓ cup soy sauce
  • ⅓ cup rice wine vinegar
  • ⅔ cup honey
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper

Directions

  1. Place the hindquarters into a narrow dish.
  2. Add the salt, sugar, and Instacure #1 to the water. Use only the recommended amount of Instacure #1. High concentrations can be dangerous. Stir well until the mixture dissolves completely. Pour the brine over the bobcat hindquarters, completely submerging the meat. Refrigerate the bobcat for 4 days, flipping the hindquarters daily so that all surfaces brine evenly.
  3. After 4 days in the cure, rinse the hindquarters well under running water and pat dry. Place the brined quarters on a sheet pan or platter and refrigerate overnight to form a sticky pellicle on the meat’s surface.
  4. Once the hindquarters are ready to smoke, blend the glaze ingredients.
  5. Smoke the hindquarters at 225 degrees for 4 hours or until the thickest part of the meat registers 165 degrees. Glaze the hindquarters with a grill brush as soon as they go on. Repeat with the remaining glaze every 30 minutes as the hindquarters smoke.
  6. To serve, bone out the meat in large pieces and slice into thin medallions. Serve with pickled peppers, olives, crackers, cornichon pickles, and sliced cheese.

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