By Tristan Henry

July 7, 2020

Whole quarters come to us in many sizes - often they necessitate breaking down, either to fit in the freezer or to stretch the mass of meat and enjoy each cut on its own merits. Every now and then, though, we find ourselves with a surplus, or an interesting quarter that inspires something just a little different. This will be a go-to for any predator leg I find in my possession - especially if its a cougar or smaller black bear, but it works equally well with the rear- quarters from smaller deer or antelope.

You will need:

1 Ham (works with ANY meat: Bear, Mountain Lion would be preferable, but venison works great too)

Kosher Salt

Instacure (Sodium Nitrite)

Brown Sugar

Pickling Spice

Bay Leaves

Juniper Berries (optional)


1. Brining: combine the following Brine Ingredients in hot water then dilute with cold water or ice: For each gallon of brining liquid; dissolve 9oz or 260g Each of salt and Dark Brown Sugar and 1 Tsp Instacure along with 1/2 cup Pickling spice and several crushed Bay leaves. Optionally one may add Muddled Juniper Berries, Extra Cloves to taste.

2. Doc Ham by perforating thoroughly with a pick, fillet knife or large fork making sure to allow liquid to penetrate the thickest parts of the leg.

3. Submerge the ham in the chilled solution and allow the ham to brine for 4 days agitating regularly.

4. Discard brine and re-submerge the ham in cold water for 6-12 hours. This will help moderate the saltiness resulting from a longer cure while still allowing all the deeper tissue to be reached by the brine.

5. Remove & pat dry before taking to the smoker.

6. Smoke over fruitwood, at about 200 degrees until the ham reads your desired temperature. You can choose to baste your ham if you’re into that, Honey or any sweet syrup will do - lately I’ve been using sorghum syrup as it’s mellow & provides a little depth like brown sugar, but not so much as molasses. I pull venison at 140 and predator meat at 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

Enjoy Fried with your Morning Eggs, sliced on a Sandwich


Keep reading For a Properly Memorable Sunday Brunch