Drying and preserving meat
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CTA. 2008. Drying and preserving meat. Rural Radio Resource Pack 08/1. Wageningen, The Netherlands: CTA.
Permanent link to cite or share this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/57474
How to get the most from your meat
Drying and preserving meat Cue: When it?s available, fresh meat is a delicacy. But in some areas, dried meat is a delicacy too. In Cameroon, Martha Chindong went to the Ministry of Secondary Education to ask Chofor Ndimofor for some tips on drying meat. Smoking and drying meat has been done for centuries ? it?s one of the oldest kinds of preservation. But, there are health concerns related to drying meat. As usual, preparation and washing needs to be done in a clean area, and boiled water should be used. And different kinds of meat will require different drying times and storage periods. But why dry meat at all? Martha Chindong finds out. IN: ?Well basically there are two reasons? OUT: ?when meat will be scarce.? DUR?N: 4?53? BACK ANNOUNCEMENT: That was Martha Chindong speaking to Chofor Ndimofor of the Ministry of Secondary Education in Cameroon. It is always best to seek advice about how long it is safe to dry your meat or fish. If it decays, it can cause serious illness. The interview comes from a resource pack produced by CTA. Transcript Ndimofor Well basically there are two reasons. The first reason is that when meat is dried it is properly preserved and secondly it is a way of improving the taste of the meat. People consider dry meat as a delicacy. Chindong So which type of meat or fish are also best to dry? Ndimofor Well, as you see presently, I am in the process of drying a rabbit. Chindong What of fish? Ndimofor Yes fish, all kinds of fish can be dried, especially fish that is not too oily and which does not have a lot of water. We are thinking of fish like mackerel. Chindong So how do you just get started?Just describe one, how you get started with at least one? Maybe this here rabbit which I see in front of you? Ndimofor All right, in order to dry a rabbit, the first thing is you select a healthy rabbit, one that is not lean, one that is in good health. You kill it, you skin it and then you open it up. You actually open it up in such a way that it is spread out and you can use pieces of stick to get it well spread out so that it remains in shape. And then you salt it with brine; that is you put some salt in water and steep it in it for a while. You hang it out or you expose it in the sun to drip a little then you put it over the fire as you see me doing. Chindong So is that the same process you do for meat and fish? Ndimofor No, for meat you have to choose meat that does not have too much fat because too much fat will not enhance the drying process. Then the meat should be lean, it should not have too much fat and the best way is for you to slice it into strands. When you slice it into strands you treat it with brine in the same way. Sometimes in order to give added flavour you might like to spice it with other ingredients, maybe curry, maybe ginger then you hang it out to drip and then you put the strands either over a grill or you hang them from a hook or a rope over a fire, a smoke fire. Chindong Smoke fire like what we are seeing? Ndimofor Yes, what we are seeing, we are using the grill now. There is fire under the grill, not burning into flames but only producing the smoke and heat that go up to dehydrate the meat and after some three or four hours the meat is well dehydrated and now you only leave it for sometime to get properly dried. Chindong Is it within the reach of smallscale farmers living in the villages? Ndimofor Yes, I think it is within the reach of smallscale farmers. I say it is within their reach because the materials are not expensive. Chindong So you have constructed it with what type of material? Ndimofor Burnt bricks and then he will need to have a good piece of grill which cannot be rusted. The best one within the reach of the people in the rural areas is the traditional everyday fire with which they prepare their meals. What they do is they prepare their meat or whatever animal they have to smoke or dry and just hang it over the fireplace. Chindong So, Mr Chofor Ndimofor, this meat that you have dried can keep for how long? Ndimofor Ah, it depends. If you really want the meat to keep for long it should be properly dehydrated. The only things is that you should avoid during that time, you should avoid it coming into contact with moisture. Chindong When it comes in contact with moisture can it be contaminated? Ndimofor Oh yes, when it comes in contact with moisture you know especially in rural areas there is this tendency that it can fall out of the containers and when it falls out of the containers onto the ground it can pick up dirt and germs and all kinds of things. When dry meat gets into contact with moisture maggots tend to infest it and it will reduce the quality and also the look of it and nobody would really like to eat it. Chindong What advice do you have for farmers? What message do you have for people who are interested in drying meat? Ndimofor Yes what I have to say is, you know in the first place why do we dry meat? We dry meat because there are certain seasons when you have abundance of meat. Use that opportunity to dry the meat and preserve it for when meat will be scarce. End of track
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