So, we are all over fermented food in our house; veggies, fruit, dairy, you name it. I found myself with some extra little bits of fatty lamb pieces (from in between the ribs), and instead of rendering the fat, I decided to try my hand at curing or fermenting it. At first, I thought of bacon, but then decided to go super simple and just salt it with a bunch of sea salt and a bit of whey (IME, the whey does a great job of introducing the lactobaccili that makes such awesome fermented food). So, my question:
Would you try this? Would you cook it first? Anyone else done any cultured meat experiments? My plan is to let it cure in the fridge for a couple of weeks, then try it. I will wait a couple of days before offering it to anyone else :)
This reminds me of Stefansson's experience acclimating to Inuit life, in which he realizes that it is quite normal even in his culture to eat fermented milk or game, and he gets used to the idea of eating fermented fish.
After some three months as a guest of the Eskimos I had acquired most of their food tastes. I had to agree that fish is better boiled than cooked any other way, and that the heads (which we occasionally shared with the children) were the best part of the fish. I no longer desired variety in the cooking, such as occasional baking - I preferred it always boils if it was cooked. I had become as fond of raw fish as if I had been a Japanese. I like fermented (therefore slightly acid) whale oil with my fish as well as ever I liked mixed vinegar and olive oil with a salad. But I still had two reservations against Eskimo practice; I did not eat rotten fish and I longed for salt with my meals.
There were several grades of decayed fish. The August catch had been protected by longs from animals but not from heat and was outright rotten. The September catch was mildly decayed. The October and later catches had been frozen immediately and were fresh. There was less of the August fish than of any other and, for that reason among the rest, it was a delicacy - eaten sometimes as a snack between meals, sometimes as a kind of dessert and always frozen, raw.
In midwinter it occurred to me to philosophize that in our own and foreign lands taste for a mild cheese is somewhat plebeian; it is at least a semi-truth that connoisseurs like their cheeses progressively stronger. The grading applies to meats, as in England where it is common among nobility and gentry to like game and pheasant so high that the average Midwestern American or even Englishman of a lower class, would call them rotten.
I knew of course that, while it is good form to eat decayed milk products and decayed game, it is very bad form to eat decayed fish. I knew also that the view of our populace that there are likely to be "ptomaines" in decaying fish and in the plebeian meats; but it struck me as an improbable extension of the class-consciousness that ptomaines would avoid the gentleman's food and attack that of a commoner.
These thoughts led to a summarizing query; If it is almost a mark of social distinction to be able to eat strong cheeses with a straight face and smelly birds with relish, why is it necessarily a low taste to be fond of decaying fish? On that basis of philosophy, though with several qualms, I tried the rotten fish one day, and if memory servers, like it better than my first taste of Camembert. During the next weeks I became fond of rotten fish.
I once ate raw lamb left out in room temp for 24 hours or so. It smelled horrible and took quite a bit of effort to stop myself from spitting it all out. I felt fine afterwards- no food poisoning or any other ill effects but no positive effects either. You can ferment organs as well.Some people on the raw paleo forum eat much older fermented meat (think 2-3 weeks or more!) and claim they experience a feeling of high. I've also read there that fermented meat improves digestion.
So to get the most benefit from fermented meat, I would try eating meat that's been aged for at least a few weeks or so. Fermentation speed will depend on the temperature so adjust the fermentation time accordingly. You should obviously make sure the meat is from a clean source. Use lean meat/organs because fat will go rancid. Also, its very important to air the meat (expose uncovered meat to air for a few minutes) every 12-24 hours or so. This will hinder the formation of anaerobic bacteria, which can lead to serious illnesses such as botulism.
I would consider trying it if I felt the person who prepared it knew what he/she was doing and it probably was not poison. Plus it better taste good. I am usually up for experimentation. But in the case of meat, other than possible improvements in taste, I don't see any particular advantage to fermentation. There is no phytic acid or toxins that need to be eliminated.
I would definitely eat it. Use your nose to tell you if it's rancid or unsafe to eat. I've found that fermented meat usually smells really strong (but not totally rotten-foul), but tastes very mild. That being said I am more likely to prepare fermented fish than meat. There are great recipes in Nourishing Traditions for salmon and mackerel using whey and lots of citrus, sort of a combination of ceviche and fermented.
i age all my meat in the fridge, just by leaving it uncovered on a nice natural clay dish or even on racks. ill age it anywhere from a few days to 6 months, it gets a rind after a while and is amazing and delicious, it tastes more like cheese and get totally tender. or it just dries out and is like jerky. I eat this raw, as with all meats, and its absolutely filling and nutritious.
if it smells putrid you are doing it wrong, make sure your fridge is clean (which it should be anyway) and try to get your meat fresh instead of frozen, although it all works.
as far as true fermenting, I have a friend who use whey to ferment raw cow hearts, with a little honey and spices. they said it tasted like tender roast beef and looked "cooked" although they ate it raw
I would try it. I'm always trying to find new ways to introduce some lactobacilli in my diet. I'm curious about the process of how to fermenting meat. Fermented fish seems fun also, although the smell must be a bit less enjoyable.
It depends on the smell and taste of the fermented meat. Traditionally made salami is fermented, and it's delicious. But, I don't even want to be in close proximity to fermented meats that are basically just stinking rotten meat.
Meat maybe, fish, not so much:
(Melissa, any experience with this?)
I don't think there's enough
in the world that would help me get that down.