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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking to make homemade lunchmeat ... any suggestions? I've found a lot of recipes for pepperoni and summer sausage too but I will not use nitrites or nitrates. I want to be SURE it is safe for my family.

I know freezing it will help kill harmful bacteria. Can you cure it after freezing? Can you let it dry outside regardless of temp? Will the time in a low temp smoker be harmful? Again, these questions are due to the absence of nitritates/ites.

I have spices and mixes and raise my own pork and plan to hopefully have a lot of venison soon ... just need help "putting it all together".

Thanks for any help,
Mike
 

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I have a recipe somewhere for salami. You mix the meat together with your spices, form it into logs and cook on a low temp. in the oven. If you are interested, I can find it for you.
 

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Fresh roasted turkey or chicken, steak, roast beef or ham, slice them thin and make a great sandwich. A little mayo, a little salt, some cheese maybe a tomato and lettuce, of course they're best on toasted homemade bread! (Are you hungry yet?)

No need to do the baloney thing, that's just the commercial meat packers way of selling you cow lips. We also use smoked salmon mixed like tuna and sometimes mixed with tuna.

Eric
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks people. But my question is mostly to people that actually make their own processed meats without nitrates/ites. Cured meats that will hold a while. Eldon's is a great place ... thanks. But from what I remember, they usually try to sell their mixes which contain nitrates or their helpful walk-thrus of processes usually involve nitrates. This is the case with most. I want to make items without the chemicals.

Thanks a lot,
Mike
 

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This is a salami recipe my mom made when we were growing up.
2 lb. lean ground beef
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 TBSP. mustard seed
2 TBSP. Mortons TenderQuick salt
3/4 c. water
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1 TBSP. liquid smoke
Mix well and roll like a salami. WRap with foil and seal ends. Refrigerate for 24 hours. Bake 1 hour in foil and 350 degrees in a pan to catch drippings. Tilt pan and open lower end of foil for complete drainage. Cool. Ready to serve.
I'm sure venison could be used and I know this can be frozen also.
Dawn
 

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If you are going to use pork I wouldn't try any low temp curing without nitrates even if you freeze. Some nitrates will not hurt you, if they did there would be a lot less people in the world.

Bob
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you for the recipe but Leslie is right.

Unioncreek ... I totally disagree with the logic of the second half of your input. Thanks for the response though.



Guess no one else here does things "the old fashion way"?? :confused:
 

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Saltpetre (Sodium nitrate) is there to preserve the pretty red colour of the meat. If you can stand your meat looking an ugly washed-out grey then you can do without it. :no:

If not, then you might experiment with colourings in small batches. Beetroot juice would be one possibility, maybe with carrot juice as well. Use your imagination, but do small batches until you're happy with it.

Also remember that salts are part of the preservative process, and saltpetre is a salt. If you're going to do away with saltpetre, you'd better substitute salt or you'll be risking food poisoning.

And DO deep-freeze the meat first, for at least a fortnight, maybe a month. That will kill any worms or eggs in it, and most other micro-organisms as well.
 
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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks a lot Dave ... I hadn't seen that site yet.

If nitrites and nitrates are "salts" then why are they harmful (even if you disagree that they are harmful, it's still hard to argue that it wouldn't be harmful if we ate it in the quantities we eat table salt ... although in excess that too is harmful of course)?

Don ... IT'S ABOUT TIME! I've been waiting. First, what's a fortnight? A month? Also, Yes I use salt anyway. I do deep freeze too but wasn't sure about the cure AFTER a freeze ... heard not to cure hams after freezing. I don't mind the color but the beetroot is a great idea. I thought saltpetre was there for the color (as you said) but it was to be used in conjunction with nitrites to kill microorganisms? They are used in such minute amounts and reg salt in such large amounts ... big difference.
 

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A fortnight would probably be a fourteen-night - never thought about it. Anyway, it means two weeks.

I'm sorry. I only gave you about half an answer. I knew it, but I didn't say so. My experience is only with wet cure - corn beef or ham.

Dry cure is another thing - I haven't dry-cured ham, although I wouldn't hesitate to do so given the correct circumstances. BUT I'm perfectly prepared to believe that freezing might change the meat enough for the processes not to work properly on dry-cured meats.

Another related item. I've read up on making salami and such, without having done it myself. I do know they refer to the process of the meat "fermenting" as it cures. I really don't know the full details, but if there's microbial action going on in there I'd be really careful of changing the details from something that's known to work.
 

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I have to agree with Unioncreek. Nitrates are naturally present in most plants, especially green, leafy vegetables, even those organically grown. A plant will not grow well without nitrates available; legumes utilize bacteria and nitrogen to manufacture nitrates (source: Nitrates). Including cured meats, vegetables contain most (90%) of the dietary nitrates one typically encounters (sources: Nitrates in Foodstuffs, Nitrate in Meat) if one eats the several recommended servings of veggies and one serving of a cured meat product daily.

Given this information, will you now step in, protect your family, and eliminate vegetables from their diet?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
MarkSykes said:
Given this information, will you now step in, protect your family, and eliminate vegetables from their diet?

Since all plant foods are OK then will YOU extract cyanide from certain PLANT foods and feed it to your family? Will you feed high amounts of countless PLANT foods to your family that are deadly at those concentrations? Over time it can possibly cause problems.


Use your head people!
 

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Mike: Since all plant foods are OK

Mark: To the best of my knowledge, no. Hemlock can ruin your whole day - just ask Socrates!

Mile: then will YOU extract cyanide from certain PLANT foods and feed it to your family?

Mark: Uh, no.

Mike: Will you feed high amounts of countless PLANT foods to your family that are deadly at those concentrations?

Mark: Though my children may accuse me of just that over a spoonful of spinach or a brussel sprout, no, I won't. I try to offer moderate amounts of a variety of foods I understand to be safe for consumption.

Mike: Over time it can possibly cause problems.

Mark: If you're talking about acting upon bad dietary information, I agree.

Mike: Use your head people!

Mark: We agree again.

I'm guessing you took the sarcasm in my previous post as, well, sarcasm. If that prevents you from understanding and applying the rest of the information in the post then I am sorry. You had said you wanted to avoid a specific class of substances, nitrates. I pointed out that most people consume more nitrates in their vegetables, overall, than in their processed meats presuming they eat recommended quantities of each.

That is not an indictment of character, an attack on religion nor an endorsement of overindulging in bacon and Dutch loaf. Your family is subject to the nutritional decisions you make and it would not be ethical for me to withhold information possibly crucial in those decisions. In that vein, let me also point out that nitrates are added to cured meat products to inhibit growth of botulism (source: Country Hams); preserving the meat's color is a happy by-product. As relative risks, botulism trumps nitrosamines every time.

Rytek Kutas wrote an utterly comprehensive book on sausage making called Great Sausage Recipes and Meat Curing; lots of information can be had from there although it's written from a commercial viewpoint and you need to scale recipes down from 25- and 10-pound yields. His company is called the Sausage Maker.
 
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Mike,
In the old days they fermented the sausages with a starter culture much the same way as with cheese & wine. This prevents the "bad guys" from spoiling the meat. The next preventative measure is the brine that may be mixed with the meat, salts and sugars are natural preservatives. Lastly the smoking of the sausages imparts longevity to them without the nitrates. Good sausages made with the above ways with no nitrates should produce food that will actually keep for years with no refridgeration, no need to try that I suppose but still it is interesting. there is a great, no...really great, web site that has much info like this I will go look for it now if I find it I will come back and paste the link in another reply.
Kind regards,
Calvin
 
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Hay Mike,
Here is that link http://schmidling.netfirms.com/saus.htm I learned alot from this sight, I just did a quick review of the sight and the other major factor affecting longevity is drying-very important if no refridgeration will be used.
Kind regards,
Calvin
 
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