The hind quarter of a deer is also called venison ham. It is a food that has served as a staple in the lives of pioneers in North America. "The Canadian Settler's Guide," published in 1857, used no measurements in instructing newcomers on preserving venison. The guide simply told cooks to make a mixture of sugar, salt and a very small amount of saltpeter, rub in on a ham every day for three weeks and put it in a smoke house for three more weeks. Modern recipes are a little faster, but they are likely to produce a result just as good. The key here is keeping temperatures low since venison is lean. High heat will dissolve any fat on the animal, and dry it out.
Things You'll Need
- 5-8 lbs. venison hind quarter
- Large barrel-shaped barbecue with a good thermometer
- Meat thermometer
- Hickory or oak wood chips
- 2 cups salt
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 4 tbsp. pepper
- Apple cider vinegar
Mix 2 cups salt, 2 cups sugar and 4 tbsp. pepper. Rub this mixture on the ham evenly. Cover and refrigerate for one to two days.
Start a small fire in a large barbecue grill. Make sure the grates are open just enough to keep the fire lit. This will suppress oxygen intake in the fire and produce a lot of smoke.
Rinse the spice rub from the ham with apple cider vinegar. Place the ham inside the grill, on the opposite end of the grill from the fire, and close the lid. Keep heat below 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Smoke the meat until it reaches an internal temperature of 135 degrees Fahrenheit.