Preserving Meats Msvc

A. Botulism. (MSVX.02.09d) Botulism is an often-fatal food poisoning caused by improperly preserved meats. Botulism grows in a controlled environment. The acronym "TOM" is useful in defeating botulism. If any one of the three elements is removed from the preserving process, botulism cannot live.

1) Temperature, botulism thrives between 40-140 degrees F.

2) O- Oxygen, botulism needs an airtight environment to live.

3) M- Moisture, botulism needs a moist environment to live.

B. Freezing.

1) Before freezing, cut the meat into pieces of a size that can be used one at a time.

2) Keep it frozen until ready to use. Remember, meat will spoil if thawed and refrozen. C. Cooling.

1) Place meat in a metal or wooden container with a lid. The container should be ventilated.

2) Set it in water or bury it in damp earth, preferably in a shaded location.

3) Do not throw moldy meat away; cut or scrape off the mold and cook as usual.

D. Jerky. Jerky allows the meat to last a couple of weeks while reducing the weight of meat by dehydrating it. Jerky is made from the meat only.

1) Cut meat into thin strips about 1/4 inch thick. Remove all thick portions of fat.

2) Place meat by a fire to lightly smoke it. You are attempting to develop a thin crust layer on the meat. This serves to deter the bugs and insects. Remember to use hard woods and not conifer type wood. You want to smoke it, not cook the meat.

3) Once the meat has a crust layer, remove the meat and place strips on a hanger for the air to dry it for approximately 24 hours. Once dry, break down fibers by slightly pulling apart the meat and allow it to dry another 24 hours.

4) When it becomes hard and brittle, it is taken down and stored in breathable bags or cloth. It is used in stews, soups, or roasted lightly on coals and eaten.

5) Small animals, fish, and birds are dried whole. After they are skinned, the back is cracked between the legs, a stick is inserted to hold the body cavity open. The animal is lightly smoked and laid out in the sun to dry. When thoroughly dried, they are pounded until the bones are crushed. Another day in the air will dry the marrow and ensure preservation.

E. Pemmican. Pemmican allows meat to last for several months.

1) Dry berries and pound into a paste.

2) Dried jerky is added to the paste.

3) Melted suet (the hard fatty tissues around the kidneys) is mixed with the berries and jerky.

4) Roll the mixture into small balls and place in the cleaned intestines of a large animal.

5) The intestine sack is tied shut, sealed with suet and stored in plastic or leather bags.

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