Known by this name at least since advertisements of the mid 1700's (eg: Sussex Advertiser - Monday 26 July 1762, p4), York Ham is ham made in or near York or Yorkshire. There is no definitive form, but it is typically a very soft, mild-flavoured wet-salted ham. Opinion varies as to whether York ham should be smoked. The persistent rumour that the first York Hams were smoked using wood from the ruins of York Minster is certainly untrue and, while Scott's of York, one of the most distinguished makers, don't smoke, others do. A detailed receipt is given in Acton 1845.
Original Receipt from 'Modern Domesic Cookery' by Elizabeth Hammond (Hammond 1819)
Hams the Yorkshire way.
First beat them well, and then mix half a peck of salt, three ounces of saltpetre, half an ounce of sal-prunella, and five pounds of coarse salt. Rub the hams well with this, and lay the remainder on the top. Let them lie three days, and then hang them up. Put as much water to the pickle as will cover the hams, adding salt till it will bear an egg, and then boil and strain it. Next morning put in the hams, and press them down so that they may be covered. Let them lie a fortnight, rub them well with bran, and dry them. The above ingredients are sufficient for three middling sized hams.
Gloucestershire Echo - Monday 10 December 1934
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