This section is from the "Henley's Twentieth Century Formulas Recipes Processes" encyclopedia, by Norman W. Henley and others.
(Most of these are considered injurious by the United States Department of Agriculture and should therefore be used with extreme caution.)
Decomposition of the meat sets in as soon as the blood ceases to pulse in the veins, and it is therefore necessary to properly preserve it until the time of its consumption.
The nature of preservation must be governed by circumstances such as the kind and quality of the article to be preserved, length of time and climatic condition, etc. While salt, vinegar, and alcohol merit recognition on the strength of a long-continued usage as preservatives, modern usage favors boric acid and borax, and solutions containing salicylic acid and sulphuric acid are common, and have been the subject of severe criticism.
Many other methods of preservation have been tried with variable degrees of success; and of the more thoroughly tested ones the following probably include all of those deserving more than passing mention or consideration.
1. The exclusion of external, atmospheric electricity, which has been observed to materially reduce the decaying of meat, milk, butter, beer, etc.
2. The retention of occluded electric currents. Meats from various animals packed into the same packages, and surrounded by a conducting medium, such as salt and water, liberate electricity.
3. The removal of the nerve centers. Carcasses with the brains and spinal cord left therein will be found more prone to decomposition than those wherefrom these organs have been removed.
4. Desiccation. Dried beef is an excellent example of this method of preservation. Other methods coming under this heading are the application of spices with ethereal oils, various herbs, coriander seed extracted with vinegar, etc.
5. Reduction of temperature, i. e., cold storage.
6. Expulsion of air from the meat and the containers. Appert's, Willaumez's, Redwood's, and Prof. A. Vogel's methods are representative for this category of preservation. Phenyl paper, Dr. Busch's, Georges's, and Medlock and Baily's processes are equally well known.
7. The application of gases. Here may be mentioned Dr. Gamgee's and Bert and Reynoso's processes, applying carbon dioxide and other compressed gases, respectively.
Air-drying, powdering of meat, smoking, pickling, sugar or vinegar curing are too well known to receive any further attention here. Whatever process may be employed, preference should be given to that which will secure the principal objects sought for, the most satisfactory being at the same time not deleterious to health, and of an easily applicable and inexpensive nature.
Put the meat into a hot oven and let it remain until the surface is browned all over, thus coagulating the albumen of the surface and inclosing the body of the meat in an impermeable envelope of cooked flesh. Pour some melted lard or suet into a jar of sufficient size, and roll the latter around until the sides are evenly coated to the depth of half an inch with the material. Put in the meat, taking care that it does not touch the sides of the jar (thus scraping away the envelope of grease), and fill up with more suet or lard, being careful to completely cover and envelop the meat. Thus prepared, the meat will remain absolutely fresh for a long time, even in the hottest weather. When required for use the outer portion may be left on or removed. The same fat may be used over and over again by melting and retaining in the melted state a few moments each time, by which means not only all solid portions of the meat which have been retained fall to the bottom, but all septic microbes are destroyed.