FoodHome-cured pork roast outshines store-bought deli meat every holiday season

Home-cured pork roast outshines store-bought deli meat every holiday season

Maturing pork loin from a stocking
Maturing pork loin from a stocking
Images source: © Adobe Stock

3:01 PM EST, December 11, 2023

Every Christmas Eve, our family table boasts a home-cured pork roast, an annual tradition that I kick-start every early December. The process, albeit time-consuming, is relatively straightforward and yields a savory treat to treat your loved ones during the festive season. Here is the full recipe.

Home-curing pork roast is undoubtedly one of the simplest methods to prepare homemade deli meats. All it takes is a thin slice of this seasoned meat to deliver a burst of flavor in your mouth.

Creating the perfect home-cured pork roast using a stocking

Extra care must be given to every step in the preparation of the home-cured pork roast to avoid spoilage. Various additives during the curing process play a key role, however, the quality of the meat is paramount. I recommend choosing an all-natural product, ideally a light-colored, fresh ham from a trustworthy source.

Salt is critical in the creation of a delicious home-cured pork roast. Its role isn't merely to add flavor, but it acts as a bacteriostatic agent, exerting a dehydration effect on the product. Curing salt is highly recommended as it effectively eliminates bacteria that produce botulinum, known as sausage poison.

The idea of using a stocking in the preparation process might catch some by surprise. This isn't a whim, but a tested strategy to achieve the perfect ham. The stocking acts as a semi-permeable barrier on the surface of the meat, preventing it from drying out too quickly. It's elastic nature allows it to exert pressure on the meat, enhancing the dehydration process.

See how to make pork maturing in a stocking
See how to make pork maturing in a stocking© Adobe Stock

Recipe for home-cured pork roast in a stocking


  • 2.65 lb of fresh ham
  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 1/3 cup of curing salt (alternatively, a 50/50 mix with non-iodized kitchen salt)
  • Marjoram, garlic, ground black pepper, sweet ground red pepper
  • A single stocking


  1. Clean the pork roast, removing any membranes, and pat dry with paper towels.
  2. Dust the roast with sugar and pat it in firmly, ensuring the sugar crystals infiltrate the meat's fibers. Cover and refrigerate for 36 hours.
  3. Every 8 hours, drain any accumulated juices and flip the roast.
  4. After 36 hours, rinse the sugar from the roast.
  5. Dry the roast before generously salting it, again pressing it firmly into the meat fibers.
  6. Cover and return the meat to the refrigerator for 36 hours, continuing to drain juice as it accumulates.
  7. Let the meat marinate in mixed spices for another 36 hours in the refrigerator.
  8. Transfer the roast into the stocking, tightly tying it at least three times.
  9. Hang the meat in a breezy, warm place (between 60.8 – 64.4°F) for a minimum of 5 days. The longer, the better the results.
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