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To cook or not to cook

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
So I've seen this recipe on a few websites:

7 pounds pre-frozen or certified pork butt, cubed, fat included
3 pounds lean beef chuck, round or shank, cubed
5 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons sweet paprika
1 tablespoons crushed anise seed
1 teaspoon garlic, very finely minced
1 cup dry red wine
1/2 teaspoon ascorbic acid
1 teaspoon saltpeter
6 feet small (1/2-inch diameter) hog casings

The instructions say to hang the meat to dry for 6-8 weeks.

I see other advice saying that you should cook the meat and then use it within a week or two. So how is it "cured" if it will only last a week or two in the fridge?

I'd like to make a snack stick that will last for months, vacuum packed, in the fridge. I know all the risks of uncooked meat. I marinate strips of beef in soy sauce and other herbs for 24 hours and then dehydrate it all the time with no ill effect.

Any advice?

And yes, I soon will introduce myself in the newbie section. ;)
post #2 of 4
I say cook! The Emergency Room doctors can work wonders anymore if you get sick!
post #3 of 4
You need to bring the meat to 140° after stuffing, even cured. I usually go to 150-ish. Then you can hang the sausage. If you are using natural casings, it will take about 10-15 days in a cool, dry environment to get to the point you want. Then if ya VAcpak 'em and freeze, they'll be good for at least a year. Fridge, several months anyway.

On Edit: I cannot confirm the amount of cure <"saltpeter"> you are using. I use a commercially available pre-mixed and measured cure. remember that nitrates can do you great harm, unto death.
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
I am looking into picking up some Tender Quick and using that instead. I did find the nitrate from a local distributor here but found out that it wasn't food grade.

I've given up on the recipe i posted above, but I'd like to find one that I can do without having to go on another month long quest for ingredients. This one looks promising.

I wish there were some sort of comprehensive list of ingredients used and where to find them. Example, ascorbic acid: A simple search lets one know that it is Vitamin C. After a day of calling around, I found that the local Natural Food store stocked it in their holistic health section. Some even sell it in bulk.
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