To preserve a large amount of fresh meat during the frosty period, it is frozen, hanging carcasses for several hours in the open air or in an unheated room, and stored at sub-zero temperatures. Freezing of meat below minus 20 degrees should be avoided, as this reduces its quality..
Fresh meat preservation, freezing, salting, smoking in stationary and temporary smokehouses, fresh meat drying.
In a warm or transitional period (light frosts, thaw), meat is salted to prevent damage. In the absence of utensils (tubs, barrels, enameled tank), the meat is salted in a dry way, giving a slightly worse quality product – high salinity, hardness. To do this, chop the meat with an ax or cut into flat pieces of about 2 kg.
The pieces are cut across the bones and rubbed on all sides with pure salt from the following calculation: for rubbing every 10 kg of meat – 0.7-1 kg of salt, to which you can add 20 g of sodium or potassium nitrate. The pieces rubbed with salt are stored for 3-5 days in a cool place on a clean wooden board, then hung for storage in a basement or cellar.
In tubs and barrels, better corned beef is prepared by the mixed method of salting. For this, pieces of fresh meat are rubbed with about 2 kg of salt or the same curing mixture at the rate of: 10 kg of meat – 0.7 kg of curing mixture. For 1 kg of curing mixture, you can add from 30 to 100 g of peeled and mashed garlic.
The bottom of a clean non-leaking tub or barrel is sprinkled with a curing mixture (or pure salt) of about 1 cm layer, then pieces of meat are tightly packed there, lightly sprinkling each row with salt. Filled dishes are covered with a loose cloth or gauze and placed in a cool dark place for 2 weeks. On the 15th day, a brine is prepared based on: for 10 liters of cooled boiled water – 0.5 kg of salt, you can also add 50 g of food saltpeter.
The resulting cold brine is poured into the meat. Before filling with brine, a clean wooden circle with a small load is placed on the surface of the meat. If the brine is absorbed, it is topped up to completely cover all pieces of meat. The dishes are tied on top with a clean cloth or covered with a wooden lid. The meat poured with brine is stored if possible at a temperature of plus 10 to plus 15 degrees to two to three months.
Preserving fresh meat by smoking in iron barrels.
Salted meat can be smoked. To obtain a smoked product proceed as follows. After 3-4 weeks of salting, the pieces of meat are washed in cold water for 2-3 hours, changing the water several times. Then each piece is individually suspended for drying for one to two days.
For smoking, special industrial smokehouses and various home-made smokehouses are used; they also smoke meat in a Russian oven and a black-heated sauna. You can make a smokehouse yourself from an old iron barrel. In one of the ways, both bottoms are cut out of the barrel, set it low above the ground.
Inside, hang pieces of meat on planks or metal rods inserted across the barrel, tightly cover the top with a sheet of iron or another lid, and under the barrel a small smoking fire made of firewood, sawdust and branches of alder, oak, birch (without bark), willow, but not coniferous trees. No big flame allowed.
In the second method, an iron barrel with one bottom is used. Firewood and sawdust are laid on the bottom with a thin layer, the meat is suspended inside, and the lid is closed loosely from above. Then a small bonfire is made under the barrel. Firewood at the bottom of the barrel heats up, but does not light up, but begins to smoke. In these ways, a hot smoked product is obtained at a smoke temperature not higher than 80 degrees.
Smoke coming out from under the lid should not burn your palm. Smoking continues from 8 to 24 hours, depending on the temperature of the smoke. Smoke smoke should be rare and wash loose pieces. Too thick smoke makes the product black and gives a soot deposit on it.
Preservation of fresh meat by smoking in stationary and temporary field smokehouses.
Stationary and temporary smokehouses are made from wood. In the field, you can quickly install a hut or a screen of branches, where pieces of meat are hung up and a smoking fire is built. The bonfire must be monitored constantly, avoiding a large flame or attenuation, and also for reasons of fire safety. Stationary wooden smokehouses are built from thick logs in the form of log cabins, standing on the ground or raised to a height of about 1 meter on piles.
Smokehouse on the ground.
A smokehouse on the ground is built in a place with a slight slope. Two trenches are dug in the slopes – one long, at least 3, preferably 4-5 meters, the other 1-2 meters long, converging on the site of the future log house. At the beginning of each trench, lower down the slope, they make extensions for the furnaces. From above, trenches are laid with flat stones, logs, branches, and turf over them, so that underground smoke passages of 20-30 cm in cross section are obtained, opening higher up the slope.
A log house with a side of about 1.5 meters and a height of about 1 meter is built at the exit point of the chimneys. Prepared meat is hung inside the log house, covered with wooden blocks or branches from above. In the firebox they make a smoking fire. To obtain a product of hot smoking, use a short smoke path, for cold smoking – a long one. When cold smoked in a smoking chamber, maintain a temperature of about 20-40 degrees for 2-3 days.
Smokehouse on stilts.
A smokehouse on piles is installed at a height of about 1 meter above the ground, meat is hung inside it, it is loosely covered from above, and a smoking fire is built below, between the piles. In a pile smokehouse, you can get a product of both cold and hot smoking, depending on what temperature is maintained in the smoking chamber.
Smoked Meat Storage.
After smoking, pieces of meat are taken out, powdered with ground pepper for better preservation and stored in a suspended state in a cool, dry place. To protect against insects and their larvae, each piece can be placed in a separate bag of gauze and tied tightly.
Speeding up the process of salting and smoking fresh meat.
The process of salting and smoking fresh meat is faster if the meat freed from bones is cut into long pieces 1-1.5 cm thick (ribbons). It is advisable to do this if there is no time for complete processing by the above methods. Short thick pieces can be cut in several places from two opposite sides to make a zigzag strip.
Such long thin pieces of meat are rubbed abundantly with salt and kept tightly packed for 1-2 days. Then rinse in running water, hang out to dry for 3-4 hours and smoke. Even faster preparation can be done using hot brine.
Hot brine of fresh meat.
Tuzluk, prepared at the rate of 250-300 g of table salt per 1 liter of water, is poured into a pot or pot and put on fire. Strips of meat are put in brine and boiled for 3-5 minutes, after which they are quickly removed and suspended for drying. Since hot brine passes quickly, the amount of solution may be small, and the meat is laid in portions, adding salt from time to time.
After processing all the fresh meat, the remaining brine can be saved and used in cooking instead of salt. Having dried the stubborn pieces for 1-2 hours, they are placed in a smokehouse. To speed up smoking, sometimes carried out in a mixed way. First, for 2–3 hours, the smoking temperature is maintained in the smokehouse, and then for 8–10 hours they are smoked with cold smoke.
Thus, the whole process is reduced to 2-3 days, the product can be stored for a long time, although it turns out to be rather dry and not of such high quality as after cooking according to the full scheme. In an accelerated way, you can smoke meat in a hut or under the screen.
Cured fresh meat.
Drying is a good way to preserve meat for a long time. Fresh meat is prepared in the same way as for accelerated smoking. Salty thin stripes are hung out for drying in the open air, preferably in the wind. If necessary, protection from insects (flies) make smoke from rotten flies or a smoky bonfire. In this case, the product is smoked and dried.
In dry windy weather, the meat is well dried in 2-3 days. After soaking in salted water, jerky can be cooked and stewed. It should be stored in a dry place, and if accidentally wet, it must be hung up to dry..
Based on materials from the book Encyclopedia of the Hunter.
Petrunin V.B., Nikashina E.B., Kupriyanov F.G., Nikerov Yu.N., Rymalov I.V..