Thoughts On Salting Meats

Lots of people think that they will salt their meat to preserve it if things get bad. The big question in my mind is Where will you get the salt from? Are you stockpiling it in the disaster room? Or are you thinking you’ll be able to run down to the corner store and buy it there?

In the area where I live salt in any major amounts is very difficult to find even now. Imagine what it will be like after or during a major disaster. There will be none to be found.

So learn how to cold smoke your catches. Cold smoking has been used for longer then anyone knows as a way to preserve foods. Basically it works to preserve the same way that salt does. Drawing the fluids from the meats and the bacteria in them. Also cold smoking will leave a dark crust on the outside that aides in preserving the meats.

Dry cure for Meat From Old Farmers Bullitin

The dry cure method entails rub bing meat with curing ingredients. Check the internal temperature of the largest cut. Be sure it is below 40° F. Federal meat inspection regulations state that the temperature of meat being dry cured should not be allowed to go below 36° F during the salt cure equalization period. Weigh the meat and curing ingredients accu rately. For lOO pounds of meat, use an 8-2-2 mix.

Federal meat inspection regu lations state that the salt (cure) equal ization period for hams and picnics is usually less than about 40 days or 3 days per pound of product (fresh weight). Bellies are commonly cured about 7 days per inch of thickness. The curing pork should be stored in a refrigerated place where a con stant temperature between 36° F and 42° F is maintained. Bacteria grow rapidly in unsalted meat when the temperature rises above 50° F. After curing, soaking the meat will improve its quality and appearance. Soak in lukewarm water (not exceeding 70° F) for approximately 2 minutes for each day in cure. Soaking tends to distribute the seasoning more evenly and draws out some of the heavy salt concentration on the meat surface. Hang cuts up to dry for about 3 hours before smoking.

8-2-2 Mix

* 8 pounds salt * 2 pounds sugar ‘ 2 ounces sodium nitrate (dry cure only)

Salt Cures for meats.

In 2 quarts of water, usually no more than about 3/4 cup of salt. Plus bay leaves, cloves, peppercorns, garlic, allspice, brown sugar, and saltpeter.

Mix: 10 ounces of sugar;
2 1/2 ounces of sodium nitrate;
3 pounds of salt;
3 level teaspoons of pepper;
1 level teaspoon of ground cloves;
6 bay leaves;
12 level teaspoons of mixed pickling spice;
If you care for garlic, mince 4 garlic cloves.
Then add water to make 6-gallons of brine.

You can make corned beef using this recipe:
To 4 gallons of boiling water add:
1 1/2 pounds kosher salt
1 pound dark brown sugar
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 sprig thyme
10 juniper berries
10 crushed peppercorns
1 tablespoon baking soda
5 cloves garlic
Stir it up real good, then add: 5 pound beef

Venison Vegetable Soup Recipe

3/4 pound venison, cubed
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup diced onion
1 package (16 ounces) frozen mixed vegetables
2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) diced tomatoes, undrained
2 cups cubed peeled potatoes
2 cups water
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons beef bouillon granules
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

In a Dutch oven or large saucepan, brown venison in oil. Add onion; cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until tender. Add remaining ingredients; cover and simmer 1 hour longer or until meat is tender.

Country style squirrel

2 squirrels
Salt & pepper to taste
6 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 c. water
Cut squirrel into frying size pieces, salt and pepper then roll in flour until coated well. Put in skillet of hot oil and fry until golden. Remove squirrel and most the oil, then add water and bring to boil. Place squirrel back into the skillet, turn to low heat, cover and cook for approximately 1 hour.
Recipe courtesy of

Tomato Gravy

1/2 pound sliced bacon, diced
1 small onion, chopped
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
Pinch pepper
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
3 cups tomato juice

In a skillet, cook bacon until crisp.

Remove to paper towels to drain; store all but 2 tablespoons drippings. A Mason jar full of bacon drippings comes in so handy around the kitchen.

Cook onion in drippings until tender.

Stir in flour, salt and pepper; cook and stir over low heat until mixture is golden brown. G
radually add tomatoes and tomato juice; stir well.

Bring to a boil over medium heat.
Cook and stir for 2 minutes.

Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, until thickened, stirring occasionally.

Stir in bacon.

Serve over biscuits. Preferably Cats head biscuits baked to a golden brown color.

Cajun-Flavored Venison Soup

4 lb Venison shanks
4 c Water
28 oz Can crushed tomatoes
1 c Celery, chopped
1 c Onions, chopped
1 ts Garlic, minced
1 tb Cajun seasoning
2 ea Beef bouillon cubes
2 c Cabbage, chopped
1 c Green bell peppers, chopped
1/4 c Lemon juice
2 c Cooked rice

Place venison shanks, water, tomatoes, celery, onion, garlic, seasonings and bouillon in large soup pot.
Bring to a boil and reduce the heat.
Cover and simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
Remove the shanks and cut the meat from bone into small pieces.
Return meat with cabbage and green peppers.
Continue to simmer until meat and vegetables are tender.
Stir in lemon juice. Serve with 1/4 cup rice.

Skillet Squirrel Hash

2 c Squirrel, cooked, diced
2 c Small potatoes, cubed
1/2 c Chicken broth
2 tb Onion, minced
x Salt and pepper to taste
x Dash of paprika
1/4 Stick of butter

Mix squirrel, potatoes, broth and onion.
Season with salt and pepper.
Dust with paprika.
Cook in skillet with the melted butter for about 30 minutes over low heat, stirring often.

Onion for Soups

I was browsing through and 1860’s cookbook when I came across an idea that struck me as being very useful.

Instead of using a plain onion in your soup stock try this simple idea.

Peel your onion taking off the outer layer. Press whole cloves into the outside.

Place in a warm oven and bake until the onion is golden brown. Then prepare as normal for your soup stock.

German Rabbit Stew

2 cottontail rabbits, or 1 domestic rabbit, cut into serving pieces
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 to 2 cups chicken stock
1 onion, sliced root to tip
Zest of a lemon, cut into wide strips (white pith removed)
2 to 3 bay leaves
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons capers
1/2 cup sour cream
White wine to taste, at least 2 tablespoons
Black pepper

Salt the rabbit pieces well and set aside for 10 minutes

Using a Dutch Oven (yes I have other pot’s and frying pans. Why do you ask?) brown the pieces of rabbit with one tablespoon of butter. Don’t crowd them together leave room and do more then on batch if necessary. Med-High heat works best on my stove.

Add tablespoon of butter, then the sliced onion and cook until the edges just begin to brown. Sprinkle with flour.

Cook, stirring often, until the flour turns golden. As always don’t forget to scrape the bottom of the pan while stirring to prevent burning.

Add the rabbit to the pot and add enough chicken stock to cover.

Add the lemon zest, bay leaves and lemon juice and bring to a simmer.

Cook until meat begins to fall off bone. Usually 1 1/2 to 3 hours depending on age of the rabbit. Note: I fish out the rabbit and debone it returning the meat to the stew.

Add the sour cream, capers and as wine to taste.

Add black pepper to taste.

Check for saltiness and add salt to taste as well.