posted on Dec, 12 2007 @ 07:35 AM
Excellent! Making me hungry for ham!
I've recommended several times the books of John Seymour, who died recently. He was a "self-sufficiency" advocate rather than a survivalist. But
his advice has always proven worthwhile for me, and matches what knowledgeable old-timers have told me.
One of the things he wrote repeatedly, and I've heard old-timers say, is that when it comes to curing meat, you are racing the bacteria to the center
of the meat. As long as you got there first, you won. In other words, the critical thing when butchering a carcass is to disembowel and quarter it
as quickly as possible, to cool it, and cover the surface with your cure before flies or just air had a chance to damage it. I helped a family that
butchered their own hogs, and they always stressed curing the bone-end that is visible at the surface of the meat. They claimed bacteria migrated
down the bone, so they basted the exposed cross-section with a special baste.
I have a friend who ranches and who hangs his beef for at least 6 months. You can definitely taste the positive difference.
Old-timers in north texas used to kill a hog in november and hang the ham under the windmill platform to eat at Easter Sunday dinner. It was green
when they brought it down (many 70+ days in texas, even in winter!).
I have wanted to hang a pheasant, the way Europeans do. I may this winter--going pheasant hunting next week! If I hang it in the shed, the wife
doesn't even have to know . . . .