Fresh Pork.—Under the name of fresh pork is comprised generally, all the lean and fresh parts of the pig destined to be roasted or grilled, particularly the cutlets, the loin and the small fillet. The cutlets are usually separated one by one; very often they are not cut up, they are then called “carre de cotelettes” (literally chops cut into squares). The loin, called also fillet, is the fleshy part between the cutlets and the ham. It furnishes an excellent roast. The fillet-mignon is the long and narrow fleshy part under the kidney along the dorsal spine. It is part of the loin. It is the most delicate morsel of pork and weighs from a half to a pound weight at the most and its price is relatively high.
Hams.—-Nearly always entire hams are salted (cured), sometimes they are used for cooking after several days curing, sometimes for smoking or preserving a longer or shorter time. Sometimes they are boned and used for the manufacture of different kinds of sausages.
Shoulders.—Shoulders are used to make rolled or boned hams. Sometimes they are cured and smoked, and are then called fore hams. Most often they are used for small and large sausages.
Fresh Lard (Back Fat).—The fat between the skin and the flesh is called fresh lard or simply lard. There are two kinds: melting fat and hard fat. The first or that nearest the flesh is easily known by the touch. It yields to a slightly strong pressure of the fingers. It is used for the most part for the manufacture of lard, the other or hard fat adheres to the skin and is not easy to melt. It is used in
the preparation of a great number of products used in the charcuterie* trade.
Kidney Fat.—" La Panne" is the fat that covers the kidneys and the fillet. It is used for fine forcemeats and in black puddings to which it gives a delicate taste. From this fat also is obtained a very fine and white lard called "axungia," superior to ordinary melted lard.
Epiploon (Skirling).—Epiploon, called also the kell or caul is used for wrapping round different stuffed pieces, such as truffled feet, stuffed cutlets, flat sausages and broiled livers.
Gut Fat.—The ratis, rigon, or rouage is the fat that adheres to the intestines. If melted alone, lard of second qualitv is produced; often it is melted with other lard so as to make lard of an ordinary quality.
Lungs, Liver, Heart, Kidneys, Brain and Spleen.—The lungs and liver form some of the ingredients of various kinds of sausages, liver pates and grilled liver. They can be prepared by the culinary processes which are used for other similar pieces of butchers' meat. The spleen is not a very delicate morsel, it is used generally in sausages of an inferior quality.
Intestines, Stomach.—The intestines or intestinal canal, comprise the small intestines, the coecum, the colon and the rectum. The small intestine which the pork butcher calls “menu” or menuises, is used to pack up different kinds of sausages and black puddings.
*The word charcuterie is the name given to the trade in France which we would call pork butchering, but the charcutier is an accomplished chef as a rule who prepares all kinds of fancy small goods such as galantines and others practically unknown out of France.
The coecum, called bag or pocket, is used, as also the colon (chaudins) and the rectum and fat end for the packing of different sausages to keep, and for the making of stuffed chitterlings. The stomach or paunch requires long cooking, after which it is used in common sausages and chitterlings.
Tongue, Ears, Snout, Feet, Hams, and Tail.—All these different pieces can be cooked alone, or with vegetables, without any special preparation being necessary. Very often they are put for some days into a brine—they are then called “pickled pork”. The tongue, ears, and snout are used also for heads and collared brawn ; the tongue can also be used for converting into savoury tongue. The feet are used in the making of jellies and other confections.
Skin, Rind.—The skin of the pig can be easily tanned. It furnishes a leather of much greater solidity, and which advantageously replaces that of the ox. It is not now customary to skin the pig when slaughtering. The animal is now either scalded or singed, and the skin is eatable, and is called “rind.” Slightly salted and cooked with vegetables, or in broth, the skin makes an excellent dish. It forms an important element in the making of jellies, to which it gives a good consistency. Skin left on salt meat preserves it from insects, and from the effects produced by the air.
Blood.—The blood of the pig is very valuable for the manufacture of black puddings. It is used in cooking to thicken sauces, and it clarifies jellies and gives them a beautiful golden tint.
Hair.—The hairs or bristles are used extensively in brush making. The bristles on the back serve as needles for boot and shoe manufacturers, and when care has been taken to pull them out before scalding they are very valuable indeed.
Bones.—The bones, fresh or salted, are used in the making of soups or jellies. Care should be taken to break them, so as to allow of the juices, and of the marrow contained in them, coming out. After being cooked, the bones can be pulverised and used for manure.
Hoofs.—Pulverised hoofs make a very rich manure. They are also used in the manufacture of glue and Prussian blue.
Bladders.—The bladders, after being well washed, blown, and dried, are used for wrapping round sausages, and particularly for packets of lard for keeping. Bladders are also used for hermetically sealing pots of preserves.
Gall.—The liquid contained in the gall bladder is very good for taking out grease stains without taking out the colour even of the most delicate stuffs.
Curing, and taking out of Cure (Curing).—Curing is one of the oldest methods known for the preservation of meat. It is at the same time the most practicable and the least costly. There is an objection against it that it takes away some of the properties of nutrition. This objection has a foundation, but it applies, unfortunately, to all the other methods of preserving foods in use up till now. Curing is not only a means of preserving the meat, it is also a preparation and seasoning by which are obtained special products which have indeed their value. Hams and bacon constitute nutriments which play a great part in the food supply, and which the same meats in the fresh state
could never replace. To assure success in curing, one must—(i) Commence with the twenty-four hours following upon slaughtering; (2) Choose meats which are free from bruises, and which have been taken from healthy rested animals. Work in an airy place, cool and dry, and only during the favourable season, which lasts from the end of October to the end of March. There are two principal processes for salting meats—the wet process and the dry. Both have their merits, and their combined use offers advantages.
The Wet Process.—The wet process consists in steeping the meats in a brine for some time, according to the thickness of the pieces of meat. This process is carried out throughout Germany, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland, and in parts of France and England, and in the different States of
America, where the system of curing has reached a perfect state. Further on will be found some information necessary for the preparation of brine, and for regulating the time of immersion.
Dry Curing. — Place the meats on the salting table. Powder them with fine saltpetre, rub them vigorously with the hand on all sides so as to make the saltpetre penetrate well into the meat. Rub afterwards with sea salt pounded fine. Arrange them one beside the other, in such a way that they will not get out of shape, then cover evenly with a good layer of white salt. This operation is renewed every two or three days, until the salt has well soaked into the inside of the flesh—a result which is obtained in from one to four weeks according to the size of the pieces. The process of dry salting is carried on in different parts of France, Italy, America, and generally in places where salting is done for export.
By the liquid salting process the necessary salt flavour is obtained, inasmuch as they are immersed in a brine more or less salted. With the dry process on the contrary, the meats coming into immediate contact with the salt are impregnated too strongly. This difference in result is
easily explained through the action of the salt; in both methods this condiment clears out the aqueous portions of the blood in the tissues and thus preserves the meat from taint. With dry salting it is pure salt which saturates the meats; in the wet process the brine which acts like salt,
being a solution of it, impregnates in a much less degree the flesh as it is so much weaker being in solution.
If the wet salt process is used, nothing must be done until after the meats are thoroughly chilled, which is not often complete (according to temperature) before twelve to eighteen hours. If this precaution is neglected, and the warm meats were heaped into a brine tub, not only would they become unshapely, but they would become hot and ferment, the inevitable consequence of which would be their corruption and that of the brine. With the dry process, the meats can be salted immediately after slaughter, which is favourable to the success of the operation. In fact it is known that by reason of its chemical composition, meat tends to decomposition as soon as the animal ceases to live, and it is therefore apparent that the less advanced is this tainting, the greater is the success of the salting. The hardening of the flesh which is not completed until about forty-eight hours after slaughter, is done under the best conditions while the dry salting is going on. The repeated rubbing necessitated by this method has the advantage of drawing out the remaining blood in the pores of the animal; moreover the salting is done quicker, consequently more surely.
The excess of saltness in taste given to the meats can be modified by mixing with the salt a certain quantity of sugar. This corrects the harshness of the salt, replaces to some extent the loss of the juices of the meat which it renders more digestible, more tender, and better coloured. This mixture has no other disadvantage than its relatively high price. In many cases the two processes should be concurrently employed; the meats are dry salted for from two to four days, and the curing is then finished in brine. This combination is excellent. It enables the curer to secure the
advantages of both methods.
Mixed Curing.—In some countries after rubbing the meat with saltpetre or salt, it is placed in a salting tub, surrounded with salt and heavily weighted. After some days a brine is formed which covers the meat, which is allowed to soak until the end of the salting process. Without having the
advantages of the processes of which we have just been speaking, this system of salting possesses inconveniences, and therefore is not to be recommended.
The Martin de Lignac Process of Salting.—We give a method by which the work is well and quickly done, which was invented by Martin de Lignac as far back as 1862.
Into the interior of the piece of meat a kind of hollow borer (needle) is introduced, provided with a cock, one of the ends of which is joined by a pipe to a tank, placed at a height of about 25 to 30 feet. The tank being full of brine, the cock is opened, this liquid is immediately precipitated
between the muscles and goes into the cellular tissues. This done, the meat is put in brine for from two to four days, and afterwards it is dried and smoked as usual.
Salting by Brine or Pickle Pump.—Martin de Lignac's apparatus has been replaced by the brine or pickle pump which fulfils exactly the same purpose. There is an objection to it which applied also to the system of M. de Lignac. It is always a disadvantage to be obliged to pierce holes, however slight, in the meat to be preserved. The air gets in and taints the parts with which it comes in contact. But for curing meats which are not to be kept more than two months, the pickle pump is a real advantage, we will see that for summer curings, the pickle pump is of great assistance.
Summer Curings.—We have seen that the best season for curing commences at the end of October, and is continued till the end of March. However, this time only strictly applies to meats which are intended for keeping. Those that are to be delivered for immediate consumption can be cured at all seasons, provided that the work be done in an open, airy place, and that the operation is conducted with celerity. For the rest, all depends on the climatic situation; in the South, salting cannot be done in the summer time; while, in the North, it can be done at any time of the year. By means of the brine pump, strong brine is injected into the pieces of meat, and they are then steeped in a good brine from two to six days—this brine being cooled with ice enclosed in cylinders. When the temperature is very high, the brine is replaced by a mixture of salt and small pieces of ice placed round the meat, which are renewed in proportion as they melt.
Brine.—The name of brine is given either to the liquid that comes out of the meats submitted to the dry-salting process, or to a solution of salt in water. It is this latter with which we shall deal.
For the preparation of brine, white salt is preferable to grey—however, a small quantity of the latter is useful, because it adds a little magnesia and lime, which preserve the nutritive qualities in the meats. A small quantity of saltpetre is also necessary. It gives a colour to the meat, which almost approaches its natural colour, and the potash which it contains neutralises a little the strength of the extraction of the salt. Sugar is also indispensable in the preparation of a good brine. It renders the meat tender and digestive, and replaces some of the juices eliminated by the salt. Different essences are used to flavour the brine. These are :—juniper berries, bay leaves, corianders, cumin, sage, cloves, cinnamon, thyme, basil, marjoram, balm-mint, savory, rosemary, and peppercorns. It is necessary to use these with moderation, because, if used to excess, they hide the flavour of the meat. To flavour the brine they are infused in a small quantity of boiling water This is kept covered until cool, and it is then poured into the brine. In preparing the brine, the water, salt, saltpetre and sugar should be boiled together for some minutes, so as to expel any impurities which they contain, otherwise these cause the meat to become tainted. Brine well looked after may last several years, but it should not be used more than one season, because, after longer usage, it often contracts a certain bitterness which is communicated to the meats. Each time that new meat is put into the brine, it is necessary to strengthen it by the addition of a little salt or new brine; but if the meats to be put in have already been dry-salted, this addition is not necessary, as they already contain salt. In order that their brine should last a longer time, or to stop fermentation, some pork butchers boil it up again. Any old brine, or any which has become slightly tainted, should be at once replaced.
It is to be observed that the ingredients given below are for winter curings. For summer, the brine must contain more salt; for salting young and delicate pieces of meat, a brine with not much salt is to be chosen.
Different ways of preparing brine.
No. 1. Put into a boiler and let boil for ten minutes, taking care to stir during cooking.
6 gallons of water.
21 lbs. of white salt.
2 lbs. grey salt.*
6 lbs. sugar.
2 lbs. Saltpetre.
Empty out the brine and all that may remain of the condiments, undissolved, let it get quite cold and then add: a flavouring made up of ¼ of a pound of spices acording to taste; pour over the meat rubbed with saltpetre and salt. This brine is excellent and can be used for all kinds of meats, and notably for all meats where special brines are not indicated. This quantity suffices fully to pickle all parts of a good sized pig.
*Bay salt (or sea salt)
No. 2. Boil as above.
5 gallons of water.
8 lbs. of white salt.
2 lbs. grey salt.
2½ lbs. Sugar.
allow to cool; flavour with ¼ lb. of spices.
No. 3. Boil and cool as with above.
10 gallons of water
50 lbs. of white salt.
4 lbs. grey salt.
4 ½ saltpetre.
5 lbs. sugar
add a flavouring of ½ lb. of spices.
No. 4. Boil for several minutes: 3 gallons of water, in which dissolve ¼ lb. of saltpetre. Use this brine for steeping delicate meats in which have been previously rubbed and covered with salt.
No. 5. Liebig recommends the following recipe:—
Dissolve in 11 gallons of cold water : 36 lbs. of white salt, ¼ lb. of carbonate of soda. Stir to facilitate the dissolving, and then allow to stand. Draw off and pour over the meat. When marine salt is used, the quantity of soda used must amount to ½ a lb.
No. 6. In some Italian provinces an excellent brine is prepared, composed of:—
1¼ gallons of Barolo wine.
1¼ gallons cold water.
8 lbs. of white salt.
½ lbs.grey salt.
¼ lbs. saltpetre.
flavoured with thyme, laurel, basil, savory, and juniper.
No. 7. In Westphalia the hams are pickled with a brine
made with :—
2½ gallons of water.
8 lbs. of salt.
2 lbs. Sugar.
½ lbs. Saltpetre.
1/8 lbs. of spices, enclosed in a small bag.
The whole is boiled for about half-an-hour; it is then allowed to cool, and drawn off.
No. 8. For Bayonne hams, the following brine is used :—
1¼ gallons of good red wine.
1¼ gallons cold water.
8 lbs. of white salt.
2 lbs. grey salt.
1/8 lbs. saltpetre.
and a flavouring of sage, rosemary, and lavendar.
No. 9. Many pork butchers prepare their brines in a way as simple as it is defective. They are content to dissolve a certain quantity of salt and saltpetre in cold water. This brine does not preserve, and must not be used for delicate meats.
Pickling Hams.—All the conditions specified for the success of pickling, must be rigorously applied for the pickling of hams. The greatest care must be taken in the choice of pieces to be submitted to this operation, and all bruised hams, or hams coming from a pig showing symptons of fatigue or heating must be rejected.
The Wet Ham Pickle Process.—Trim the hams, give them a round form, cut with a saw the half of the lower end of the spine, the projecting part, cutting it slantingly from the side of the pope's eye bone. Beat the hams with a mallet so as to draw out all the remaining blood in the inside. Pickle according to the dry process for 3 to 4 days—that is to say—rub the hams with saltpetre or, better still, with a mixture of salt and 10 per cent. sugar. Place the hams on a salting table, cover them with a good layer of pure salt, or a little sugar may be added in the quantity above mentioned. After two days, again well rub the hams and cover them in the same way. On the third or fourth day take off the salt, rub again and put them in brine No. 1 : three weeks for the large hams and two weeks for the small. In order to keep the hams in this brine, place on top of them a cover with an opening, and weight same with a heavy weight. The pickling finished, drain the hams and soak them for two hours in a large quantity of fresh water; wash them by means of a brush, then hang up in an airy place and allow them to dry for a fortnight. Smoke in cold smoke. Hams pickled in this way can be kept perfectly well without it being necessary to smoke them. In this case it is better not to wash them.
Dry Pickling of Hams.—In some countries the hams are treated for three or four weeks by the dry salting process alone, after which they are washed and smoked as above. As I have said, when a sufficient quantity of sugar (minimum 10 per cent.) is mixed with the salt, the results are very
good, but when pure salt is used the hams become too salt and hard.
Pickling of Westphalia Hams.—Salt them dry : for four or five days with white salt; then steep for three weeks in a special pickle for these hams (No. 7). Finish the same as for the others.
Pickling of Bayonne Hams.—Salt dry, and put them at the same time in a press for eight days; cover then with a brine (No. 8) for twelve days. Drain the hams, hang them in an airy place; when well dry, wrap them in hay, and cold smoke with aromatic plants, such as juniper, etc. In taking the hams out of the smoke stove, take off the hay with which they are enveloped; coat them over with a mixture of brandy and ashes, or with the dregs of wine, and hang them in a fresh airy place. This coating may be applied successfully to all hams, it prevents rancidity, and is a protection against insects.
Pickling of Rolled Hams.—Choose hams which are not very fat. Take away the knuckle bone, separating it at the joint; take out the marrow bone ; leave the thin pope's nose; trim the rest. Pickle in brine for a fortnight; wash in fresh water for an hour or two, brush the hams, beat with
a mallet so as to make them round and uniform. Tie with string, dry them in the air and smoke. When these hams are dry they can be served raw, but usually they are served cooked.
Pickling of Shoulders or Fore-hams.—Trim the shoulders, cut them round, pickle them dry, for three days; put them in brine for ten to twelve days. Dip in cold water, brush them and finish like ordinary hams.
Pickling of Rolled Shoulders.—Leave the knuckle bone of the shoulders, bone the rest with care, put in brine for twelve days. Wash the shoulders in water, beat them, roll them and tie them, making them into a nice shape. Let them dry and smoke.
Pickling of Beef.—Bone a piece of beef, a quarter, a fore-quarter, or a neck, cut up into square pieces of 8 or 10 lbs. Trim all these pieces, rub them with saltpetre, salt, sugar; place in a good brine well flavoured, but not much salt (No. 2), let them soak for a fortnight. After that the beef is
ready for cooking; it can also be smoked. In this case it is washed and let dry a little before putting into the smoke stove.
Pickling Ox Tongues.—Take away the dead flesh, the gristle, and the fat which is found in the thick part of the tongue. Make on each side of this part slight incisions to facilitate the action of the salt. Wash the tongues in fresh water, brush them well, and dry them with a white towel.
Rub them with saltpetre, then with a mixture of salt and sugar, and put them in a good brine for twelve days. The tongues can be kept for some time in this brine, or in the open air, or they can be cooked directly after pickling, or smoked. In this latter case they are washed, dried, and
smoked cold, with aromatic plants. Before putting them into the smoke stove they can be stuffed in a goldbeater's skin that is firmly attached at each end, and which is again put in boiling water.
Ox tongues, like those of pigs, calves, and sheep, have on their thick side a slimy liquid, which easily taints the brine.
This is why it is important to wash them well and dry them before putting them into the brine tub. For the same reason tongues should always be pickled alone in a special brine vat in which only the necessary quantity of brine should be put. When fresh tongues have to be pickled in brine which has already been used for this purpose, it must be seen that the brine is perfectly good.
Pickling of Ox Tongues during Summer.— In summer the pickling of tongues by the ordinary process is only successful in cold countries. The following method of pickling can be carried out at all seasons, and under all climates :—
Trim the tongues, whiten them ; that is to say—cook them in water until the skin can be easily taken off—leave this skin and cool the tongues. Sprinkle them with saltpetre, rub them, place them for a week in a very strong brine, or in a mixture of salt and sugar, after which the tongues are ready for cooking or smoking. If they are not to be used directly after pickling, proceed as follows for preserving them :—
Wash the tongues, dry them carefully, and place them in a tub at the bottom of which has been placed previously a screen, so as to leave an empty space in which any water the tongues may contain will be deposited. Cover the tongues with lard, which is still liquid, but cold.
Pickling Tongues of Pigs.—Prepare them the same as ox tongues. Pickle only for five days, and finish like the preceding. When the tongues are to be smoked, stuff them in ox gut.