Beef, the flesh of black cattle, prepared for food. This process is managed in various ways, accordingly as the meat is intended for keeping a longer or shorter time. The usual method of salting beef, being general!)' known, we shall refer to the article " Bacon, " and briefly observe, that much depends on the purity and quantity of the salt used for this purpose ; 2. Oil the size of the pi< and the nature of the vessel which they are kept; and 3. On the ingredients which may be employed with a view to assist the operation of the salt.
It is established fact, that salt proves antiseptic only when in in a considerable quantity; and that a weak brine strongly tends to hasten the putrefaction of aniani-mal substances: hence the neces. sity of making a liberal use at this article. On the other hand, as common sea-salt contains a very considerable proportion of magnesia, one of the most absorbent earths for promoting putrefaction, it isattended with great inconvenience to those who are obliged to make use of large quantities of such salt ; because it is difficult to separate that ingredient from this concrete.
Hence rock-salt, though apparently more impure, is doubtless more advantageous, and proper for the curing of beef; because its -utilization has been accomplished by Nature, probably after the more earthy base, or magnesia, had, in a great measure, spontaneously subsided. We offer this as a mere conjecture; as it is of little importance to the economist, how this combination of salt and putrefactive earth has ori-ily taken place, if we can sug-gest a method of purifying the former, sons to as to render it lit for the purpose intended: See Salt. At present, however, we shall treat first of the manner which, by experience, has been found the most effectual for salting, preserving, and imparting a fine flavour to beef, mutton, and pork. For this useful information we are indebted to M. Schedel, who has inserted the following recipe m the "Eco-?ioviical Journal, " for September 1795, printed at Leipzig: Take four pounds of common salt, one pound and a half of refined sugar, two ounces of salt-pctrc, and two gallons of pure spring water. Boil the whole over a gentle lire, carefully scum off the impurities. After this brine has become cold, pour it over the meat, so that every part of it may be completely co-!. In this preparation, the meat not only keeps for many months, but the pickle also has the effect of softening the hardest: and toughest beef, and rendering it as mellow as the flesh of chicken. But, in Warm weather, it will be. necessary to expresss the blood from the meat, and to rub it well with fine salt, before it is immersed in the liquor.—Young pork should not be left longer than three or four days in this brine, during which time it will be sufficiently softened; but hams intended to be dried, may lie in it a fortnight, be-they are suspended. At that period, they ought to be rubbed with pollard, and covered will paper bags, in order to prevent them from becoming fly-blown. It farther deserves to be remarked that, though this liquor is more expensive.at first than the common brine, yet as it may again be used after boiling it, and adding more Water with a proportionate quantity of the other ingredients, its relative utility is obvious. We understand that the late EMPRESS of Russia employed this composi-tion with uniform success, in her household economy.
A very curious experiment was tried, in the year 1736. before the commissioners of the Victualling-Office, relative to the salting of beef. Both jugular veins of a bullock were opened;, and the animal bled almost to death: the carcase was then cut open, the intestines were taken out, and while warm, a tube was introduced into one of the large arteries, which was in-jected with a strong brine: this circulated through all the blood vessels, so that the flesh of the bul-lock was (apparently) salted alike throughout the whole body; for, on cutting a piece of the leg and lip, the brine issued from those parts. Some of this beef was then stowed, and sent to sea, with a view to ascertain how long it would keep in that state: but the result of the experiment has not been published. Indeed, it is not difficult to foresee the event: as the arteries were no longer possessed of the power of absorption inherent in the living body, the muscular fibre, not being saturated with the saline liquid, would necessarily putrify.
As to the properties of beef, in general, we shall only say, that it affords a good, strong, and invigorating nutriment, because no animal food is equal to the flesh of a healthy, middle-aged bullock. Plethoric persons, however, as well as youth, in whom there is naturally a disposition to generate heat, should eat beef in great moderation. Hence, it is most serviceable to the robust and active adult, employed in manual labour, who digests both fat and lean with equal facility. Yet, when salted, even the most tender beef is deprived of a great portion of animal jelly, so that we may without hesitation pronounce, that one pound of fresh beef is equal to one pound and a half in a salted or pickled state.