Short term solutions (meat preservation part 3)

The Oeconomia also speaks about what to do in case you have raw or cooked meat that needs to keep for a few days in the absence of a refrigerator:

To keep meat a long time

(marginalia: how to keep meat fresh and good for a long time)

Whoever wishes to keep slaughtered meat fresh and good for a long time should bury it in unhulled (ungestampfften) millet, thus it stays good for four days and does not rot. If you want cooked meat not to become maggoty, repulsive and stinking, you must pour good distilled liquor (gebranten Wein) over it. And to make the cooked meat stay tasty and good all the longer, use salt, vinegar, distilled liquor, and ground common caraway with it, the foods must be rubbed and prepared with that. Honey is also good for this, but it is not as potent.

How to keep raw meat good for several days in summer

(marginalia: raw meat, how it may be kept good for several days in summer)

You merely lay it in vinegar, whether it is veal or other meat, or you lay it into good small beer (Kofent) or table beer so that the beer covers the meat completely, that way it does not turn maggoty. But you must from time to time pour off the small beer and pour in new.

Many noble and learned people write how you make a nail ex aere Chalcitide, of red vitriol (rotem Atrament) and stick the same into venison of boar or deer and this is said not to rot.

Lemnius writes that when cooked warm meat is put away closed up so that no steam may escape, it takes on an unhealthy, poisonous nature like the meat of animals that died by themselves or that were stung or killed by rabid (wütenden) animals or whatever is touched and polluted by thunder, all of that has poisonous properties and one should guard and take care against it. On how to salt all manner of meat, see Constant. Lib. 19.c.5. It may also be done with vinegar.

How to keep raw meat good and fresh for a long time and give it a good savour.

(marginalia: raw meat, how to give it a good savour)

Pound coriander seeds into a coarse powder, mix it with good wine vinegar and pickle (condire) and preserve the meat well with that and marinade it in that, thus it stays fresh and good for a long time.

This is an eclectic collection of remedies from the likely highly effective (immersing in vinegar or beer) to the hazardous (red vitriol aka cobalt(II)sulphate is not immediately poisonous in small doses, but it is very unhealthy). Note that the author is distancing himself from the latter claim while not quite ready to oppose it. The authority of many learned men carried weight to him, even if they wrote transparent nonsense.

Johann Coler’s Oeconomia ruralis et domestica was a popular book on the topic of managing a wealthy household. It is based largely on previous writings by Coler and first appeared between 1596 and 1601. Repeatedly reprinted for decades, it became one of the most influential early works of Hausväterliteratur. I am working from a 1645 edition.

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