Another wet-salting recipe (meat preservation part 4)

The final recipe from yesterday segues into instructions that are clearly not meant to be for short term storage:

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.

But if you wish to make good and fine-tasting meat, take coriander seeds and juniper berries, one as much as the other, according to how much or how little you wish to salt, and pound it together into a coarse powder. Then make a layer of the meat and salt it with warm salt and strew a handful of the abovementioned powder over it. Then (add) a layer of meat again, salt it, and strew a handful of the powder over it again, and so forth, one layer over another, and thus let it lie in the salt for for a time. Then hang it in the smoke and it will acquire a lovely savour.

But if you would eat of this the year around, put it into a small cask as is described here and then put it into the cellar and have it rolled around as one does with casks of venison and is described shortly before in the sixteenth chapter. Thus you can keep it through the entire year and it far surpasses all venison. You may also salt young pigs or wild piglets thus, but they must not be scalded with hot water, only singed. Thus it tastes as good as any wild boar venison could be.

On how to salt pork, see Columella lib 12.c.53

This is an interesting and slightly odd recipe, but quite informative. Salting meat (I think we are to understand pork here) with various condiments seems to have been popular in Early Modern Europe. Jean-Baptiste Labat describes a very similar preparation using bay leaves and its translation to the Americas seasoned with allspice leaves and grains. In what regard this particular version would wild boar is hard to interpret. It may simply be due to the seasoning – junioper berries are common in game recipes.

Again, Coler refers to classical authority for further study. The recipe he refers to is actually Columella de re rustica 12.55, and it does not add much to the information we get in this book.

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