Posts Tagged ‘salt’
6 lb. salt
1 lb. sugar
4 oz. saltpeter
4 gallons water
Six pounds of salt, one pound of sugar, and four ounces of saltpetre, boiled with four gallons of water, skimmed, and allowed to cool, forms a very strong pickle, which will preserve any meat completely immersed in it. To effect this, which is essential, either a heavy board or a flat stone must be laid upon the meat. The same pickle may be used repeatedly, provided it be boiled up occasionally with additional salt to restore its strength, diminished by the combination of part of the salt with the meat, and by the dilution of the pickle by the juices of the meat extracted. By boiling, the albumen, which would cause the pickle to spoil, is coagulated, and rises in the form of scum, which must be carefully removed.
From The Cook’s Oracle by William Kitchiner M.D., New York, 1832
Comment: Again we see a “pickle” recipe in which the pickle in question is the preserving liquid and not the item preserved. The fortunate advent of both rapid transport and mechanical refrigeration has rendered the pickling process, at least for meat, fairly obsolete.
This is a very basic pickle since it does not include any spices, vinegar or other flavoring agents beyond the salt and saltpeter. These are preservatives, not flavorings, as they serve to draw moisture out of the meat and thereby reduce its vulnerability to decay producing bacteria.