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Old 05-15-2009, 01:40 AM
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Default Preserving meat with salt



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1Select the meat you want to preserve.

Step
2Wash the meat with lukewarm water to avoid cooking it and trim off any undesirable parts.

Step
3Pat the meat dry with a clean towel.

Step
4Apply your favorite unsalted herbs and spices to the meat for a rich flavor.

Step
5Rub the coarse salt into the meat thoroughly and cover it entirely with a layer of salt. This eliminates bacteria present and prevents its further production.

Step
6Hang the meat in a room that is about 59 degrees Fahrenheit and let it air-dry for roughly 3 weeks. Check the meat about every two days to make sure it doesn't smell bad.

Step
7Use running water to wash excess salt from the meat and pat it dry with a clean towel. Then cook and enjoy.


My family made alot of prosuto when i was a kid and i remember they would use salt to preserve it.It lasted forever from what i remember. I have heard of people just burrying meat in salt especially fish and it would last indefinitley.Ive been trying to find new ways to preserve meats incase of a long power outage.Anyone have any experience with this?
Old 05-15-2009, 01:44 AM
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Imagine living in an era when there is no refrigeration. None at all. If you live in a town you might get ice delivered to your house every week or so during the spring, fall, and winter, about twice or three times a week during a Southern, Texas, or Southwestern summer. However, if you live in the country, you're not going to have ice except as a special treat a few times a year. Of course, if the creek nearest your property freezes over during the winter-thick ice, not thin-you might go down and saw chunks of ice out of the creek. Unless you've got well-insulated underground storage for it, it's not going to last much past the middle of June. So-how are you going to preserve meat for late spring, summer, and early fall eating?

Meat was dried-the stuff called 'jerky' from what Native Americans called it, though the practice seems to be world-wide. In sub-Saharan Africa exactly the same stuff is called 'biltong.'

It was pickled. It was smoked. Those were about the only ways of preserving meat.

According to DR. CHASE'S RECIPES OR INFORMATION FOR EVERYBODY, the thirty-sixth edition of which came out in 1866, here are some recipes for preservation of meat without refrigeration. One of the recipes for preserving beef deals with hundred-pound lots, which would not be unusual on a farm or ranch. First you would thoroughly cover the beef in salt 'to draw out the blood.' After the beef remained in the salt for twenty-four hours you'd drain it and pack it into a wooden barrel. Then you'd prepare the preserving brine. This would consist of seven pounds of salt, one ounce each of saltpeter (potassium nitrate, also used in making gunpowder) and cayenne pepper, one quart of molasses, and eight gallons of 'soft water.' That was usually rainwater caught in barrels and allowed to settle until all the dust went to the bottom of the barrel. This you'd bring to a boil and 'skim well.' You'd then let it cool, pour it over the beef, and put a lid on the barrel.


Now, obviously, this stuff is gonna be mighty salty when you take it out of the barrel. What you'd do to get rid of the salt would be parboil the stuff-throw it in a pot of water and boil it for fifteen or twenty minutes. After that you could cook it in whatever way you wanted to. Unfortunately, parboiling has an unfortunate effect on the meat. It makes it about as tough as boot leather. After the meat was parboiled but before it was cooked a good cook took a heavy metal skillet and pounded the meat with the edge of it to tenderize the stuff.

By the end of summer, the onset of autumn, this preserved beef would be getting a mite 'high,' to say the least. The primary reason rich brown gravies and tangy sauces were invented was not to 'enhance the flavor of the meat,' but rather to disguise the fact that it was pretty far on the way to being rotten.

To preserve mutton-the hams only-you were advised to put the mutton hams into a weak brine for two days. Exactly how much salt made a 'weak brine' isn't mentioned. After that, for each one hundred pounds of mutton hams put six pounds of salt, an ounce of saltpeter, two ounces of saleratus, and a pint of molasses into six gallons of water and pour it over the mutton in the barrel. You would leave the mutton in the brine for two to three weeks and then take it out, dry it, and apparently dry it as you would jerky. According to a note, the saleratus kept the meat from getting hard.

There were several methods of curing hams, all of which involved smoking them. Mr. Thomas J. Sample of Muncie, Indiana, writing in 1859, prepared his hams this way. To what Mr. Sample called a 'cask of hams'-he apparently used large casks, for this recipe is for twenty-five to thirty hams-he allowed them to lie in salt for two or three days. He then packed them in casks and poured his brine over them. The water-he doesn't give a quantity-had to have enough salt added to float a 'sound egg or a potato.' That's a lot of salt. To that he added a half-pound of saltpeter and a gallon of molasses. He then left the hams in this brine for six weeks. After that time he took them out, drained them, dried them, and smoked them. Dr. Chase adds that immediately dusting them, upon removing them from the smoke, with finely-ground pepper will keep flies off.

A Marylander, Mr. T. E. Hamilton, who took several first prizes at fairs with his hams, did it somewhat differently. First he rubbed the hams with fine salt and let them sit for two days. He then made a brine of four gallons of water, eight pounds of coarse salt, two ounces of saltpeter, one and a fourth ounces of potash, and two pounds of brown sugar. This he poured over the hams and let them pickle for six weeks. After that he took them out, drained them, dried them, and smoked them. Having eaten Virginia smoked ham myself-though it's been well over half a century-I can testify that the hams of Virginia and Maryland, which are very similar, are great.

To have pork chops or pork steaks for summer from the winter kill, this method was used. After pickling the pork 'until it is salty enough to be palatable,' you would fry it or cook it until it was about half to two thirds done. Then you would pack it into airtight jars in its own lard. According to Dr. Chase, when you took it out and finished frying it or cooking it, it would be as fresh as you could want. He mentions having handled beef in the same way, packing it in lard, and that it was preserved, as well. Bacon was also prepared like this. After being cured and smoked, it was cooked about half way, then packed in lard in airtight containers. According to Dr. Chase this worked on the same principle as canning, by excluding air from the meat.

One method Dr. Chase mentions would supposedly preserve meat for as long as three years. He recommended packing it in finely-ground charcoal. (Don't try this with modern charcoal briquettes. They've got a lot of petroleum products in them as well as charcoal-and not just the 'light the bag' kind.) Apparently this is the way the British Royal Navy packed meat for long voyages. Dr. Chase mentions that Captain Cook sailed three times around the world with the meat for his crews packed in powdered charcoal, and the meat was still edible at the end of the third year-long voyage.

Oh, yes-to preserve eggs, pack them in finely-ground corn meal. According to the recipe, eggs will keep 'perfectly fresh' for up to a year this way. Now-aren't you glad you live in the era of home refrigeration?
Old 05-15-2009, 01:46 AM
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Curing meat by using a salt brine was a widely used method of preserving meat before the days of refrigeration. This is the way we cured pork in Southern Alberta, however it would work for beef as well:

Recipe by Verla Cress (born 1940)

OK - Brine barrel filled half way up with 1 cup salt per 2 gallons of hot water (that's 32 parts water - 1 part salt), and a bit of vinegar -


OR
BETTER - Brine Barrel filled 1/2 way with 5/8 cup salt & 3/8 cup curing salt per 2 gallons hot water, and a bit of vinegar.

Cut your animal up into ham sized pieces (about 10 - 15 lbs each).


Put the pieces in the brine barrel and let it soak for 6 days. Now that your meat is salted, remove the meat from the brine, dry it off and put it in flour or gunny sacks to keep the flies away. Then hang it up in a cool dry place to dry. It will keep like this for perhaps six weeks if stored in a cool place during the Summer. Of course, it will keep much longer in the Winter. If it goes bad, you'll know it!


OR... FURTHER PROCESS IT BY:
Putting it in a brine barrel, filled half way up with 4 cups brown sugar to 3 gallons water - and a bit of vinegar (note: no salt): Inject some of the sugar brine mixture into the already salted meat with a syringe, then put the meat in the sugar brine for 3 days.

Remove the meat from the brine and smoke it for 3 days. Now put your smoked meat into flour or gunny sacks to keep the flies away and hang it up in a cool dry place to store. Smoked meat preserved like this should keep in the Summer for at least 4 months if stored in a cool dry place. It will keep much longer in the Winter, or if refrigerated.
Old 05-15-2009, 01:48 AM
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Pemmican prepared properly will last for many years and is a highly nutritious food source. It can be used in stews with tubers and corn meal added, cooked by itself, or eaten raw. If a mold forms on the pemmican ball, it is merely washed or scraped off, and the rest of the pemmican used. By itself, pemmican will keep people fit on long hikes or in other strenuous activity (because of the high fat content), and if used in conjunction with corn meal provides almost all of the nutritional needs required for continuous living and working. Only fresh greens need to be added to make a complete, well rounded meal!


Traditionally pemmican was prepared from the lean meat of large game such as buffalo, elk or deer. The meat was cut in thin slices and dried over a slow fire, or in the hot sun until it was hard and brittle. Then it was pounded into very small pieces, almost powder-like in consistency, using stones. The pounded meat was mixed with melted fat with a ratio of approximately 50% pounded meat and 50% melted fat. In some cases, dried fruits such as saskatoon berries, cranberries, blueberries, or choke cherries were pounded into powder and then added to the meat/fat mixture. The resulting mixture was then packed into "green" rawhide pouches for storage.
Old 05-15-2009, 02:33 AM
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Super informative! Thanks! The vietnamese have a dish which is essentially raw pork packed tightly with raw salt and a bit of some kind of liquid, and they age it for half a year or more, and then take it out and just eat it on the spot. I'd love to know how this form of pickling is accomplished, because I didn't think salt would keep something pickled indefinately, I thought you needed alum and vinegar?
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Old 05-15-2009, 03:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustaFarmgirl View Post
Super informative! Thanks! The vietnamese have a dish which is essentially raw pork packed tightly with raw salt and a bit of some kind of liquid, and they age it for half a year or more, and then take it out and just eat it on the spot. I'd love to know how this form of pickling is accomplished, because I didn't think salt would keep something pickled indefinately, I thought you needed alum and vinegar?
I saw a show on discovery way back about the arctic people. I think they are called Inuits? Im a horrible speller, but anyway they would burry fish in salt and eat it months later.Its amazing what some cultures already knew hundreds of years ago about preserving meats.I think we are spoiled as a society and need to go back to our roots to truely be survivors.
Old 05-15-2009, 03:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bibble View Post
I saw a show on discovery way back about the arctic people. I think they are called Inuits? Im a horrible speller, but anyway they would burry fish in salt and eat it months later.Its amazing what some cultures already knew hundreds of years ago about preserving meats.I think we are spoiled as a society and need to go back to our roots to truely be survivors.
Inuit, you got it right
Yea, but they practically live in a fridge Storing food wasn't their issue, keeping warm was! Ice houses!!
I agree with you wholeheartedly, although many of us lack the resources to do so for any longer than a week or something.
Old 05-15-2009, 03:37 AM
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Im fom NYC and dry aged steak is a big thing back there.They just let the meat sit for like 30 days and the bacteria grows on the steak and gives it a nasty look,then they grill that booger and its bon appetite.lol
Old 05-15-2009, 03:40 AM
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Im fom NYC and dry aged steak is a big thing back there.They just let the meat sit for like 30 days and the bacteria grows on the steak and gives it a nasty look,then they grill that booger and its bon appetite.lol
I've had nearly-rotten beef It's not that bad, if anything I think the 'beef' flavour gets 'beefier'. People look at me crazy if I'm too busy to put my steak in the fridge and leave it out for 4 hours and come back and chow down later. There's this preconcieved notion(brainwashing?) that we need to be hyper-hygenic, sanitise everything, alcohol rubs for hands, countertops, faces.. no wonder children these days net so many sick days :P They have no immune system! That aside, God- how do I get sidetracked so easily? *Looks warily at half-empty coffee cup* ..that aside- I've never had a steak aged for more than three days(I wouldn't do it with ground beef, obviously), but I might give it a try, or at least slow-smoke one for a week.
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Old 05-15-2009, 05:15 AM
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Quote:
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Im fom NYC and dry aged steak is a big thing back there.They just let the meat sit for like 30 days and the bacteria grows on the steak and gives it a nasty look,then they grill that booger and its bon appetite.lol
People used to hang game to "age" before they'd process and cook it. Seems weird to us in the modern era of antiseptic handwash and allergenic detergents. When meat's aged, you add to the B12 content as B12 is the byproduct of microbe metabolism.
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Old 05-15-2009, 08:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bibble View Post
Im fom NYC and dry aged steak is a big thing back there.They just let the meat sit for like 30 days and the bacteria grows on the steak and gives it a nasty look,then they grill that booger and its bon appetite.lol

The problem with dry aging, is that you get alot of spoilage, waste, and weight loss (water), which is why it's so expensive. Harmful bacteria grows on the outside of the beef and spoils it, making it necessary to cut a significant part of it away before cooking. The dry aging process (it was simply "hung beef" when I was a kid) allows enzymes in the meat to break down connective tissues over time, making the steak much more tender, and because there's far less moisture in the meat, it has a more distinct flavor.

When I was a kid, my grandparents traded favors back and forth with the Mennonites down the road..one of those favors was having them keep a couple of sides of beef in their big cooler.
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Old 05-15-2009, 08:56 AM
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We grew up on
- salt cod fish,
- salt pork (in a bucket)
and salt beef (in a bucket)

These have always been called "jigs dinners" or "boiled dinners", my mom would boil the salt cod/beef or pork with cabbage, potatoes, turnips and corrots and feed my immediate family plus whatever aunt and uncle showed up and the entire meal didn't cost my folks anything but a few pennies
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Old 05-15-2009, 09:33 AM
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My dad grew up on a small farm in the mountains. We were talking about this the other day and he had a big table in his shed. He'd just place the meat in cover it with lots of salt (the table was like those water tables you see around, metal with high sides) and just leave it in the salt until anyone needed to eat it.

He also said that they would make pork breakfast sausage. They'd cook all the sausage right after they made it and store it in mason jars inside the fat that cooked off. There was alot more fat in sausage back then I guess. When they wanted sausage they'd cut off a chunk and reheat it.

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Old 05-15-2009, 09:54 AM
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My mother loved to salt fish fresh from the ocean. She would scale them, gut them and clean them well, put them in a wooden barrel layering them with salt. When she wanted fish she took out what she wanted and soaked them in clear water for 8 hours. They never smelled, taste bad or made any of us sick. I miss my Mama.
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Old 05-17-2009, 02:26 AM
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Thanks to everyone of you for this valuable thread.

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Old 04-10-2011, 11:46 PM
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I love this site. Good to know I will be able to pass down all this info to my kids and future grandkids
Old 04-10-2011, 11:55 PM
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I make corned beef the old fashioned irish way. One brisket, one gallon of water, one pound of salt.
It will definitely keep in a crock, submersed in brine, for weeks.
Summer sausage was also so named, because it was cured, thus, could be left out to hang in the summer.
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Old 04-11-2011, 12:54 AM
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I've been stocking up on "Non-Iodized" Salt.
Pickling salt and Kosher Salt have no Iodine added.
There's also the Great Value "Salt" in the plain box.

Iodine makes pickle brine cloudy, I've also read it's not good when preserving meat and fish.

I have 150# of Iodized Salt stored, I'm working on as much Non-Iodized salt as I can find. With preserving in mind.
Wal-mart is just starting to carry pickling salt and I clear the shelves everytime I go shopping.
I can't find Pickling Salt in large bags 25# to 50#
Old 04-11-2011, 01:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karlsgunbunker View Post
I've been stocking up on "Non-Iodized" Salt.
Pickling salt and Kosher Salt have no Iodine added.
There's also the Great Value "Salt" in the plain box.

Iodine makes pickle brine cloudy, I've also read it's not good when preserving meat and fish.

I have 150# of Iodized Salt stored, I'm working on as much Non-Iodized salt as I can find. With preserving in mind.
Wal-mart is just starting to carry pickling salt and I clear the shelves everytime I go shopping.
I can't find Pickling Salt in large bags 25# to 50#


Look for natural sea salt, also good for cleaning wounds and as a body piercer we actually recommend doing sea salt soaks over using anything else that can kill new cell growth. 2 birds with one stone type of thing.
Old 04-13-2011, 09:31 AM
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Default Salting, Curing and Smoking your own meat

thought these might be interesting from Ky Afield

http://www.youtube.com/user/KYAfield#p/u/6/S6UkXhHUTfM


http://www.youtube.com/user/KYAfield#p/u/15/UawRK6nxFhY
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