50% of food waste in the UK comes from households, which is truly amazing as supermarkets reject or discard tonnes of food. Fruit and vegetables are the main items thrown out probably as meat freezes well. I don't know if bones count as food for the purposes of these statistics or whether the criminal waste of trimmed fat is accounted for either. The amount of wasted food is likely to be an underestimate.
|Sawn Marrow bones (add saw dust)|
The following is my lazy version, I personally don't add vegetable to the mix as I don't think they are required, I have quite simple tastes but also use the stock as a base to which I can add flavours as required. I also live in an old house with the typical Victorian single skin brick kitchen. Boiling food for hours is a recipe to loose plaster and creates a mould paradise to say nothing of the utility bill.
For this article I have used deer bones. First I cut all significant marrow bearing bones in half with a clean hacksaw and cover them in the pot with good quality water (I don't drink or cook with tap water though Sussex water is not fluoridated). When the plawhatch spring is running I use that. I run the stock pot for about 12-16 hrs starting in the afternoon. I run it on high until I go to bed then let it cook on low overnight. This takes advantage of the cheaper electricity rate. I experimented with vinegar for this batch. It stank to high heaven and I believe adversely affected the taste of the stock. It seemed to make no difference to the de-mineralization. I switch off the stock when I get up. The bones should be noticeably weaker, even crumbling in the hand. Wild deer bones are very strong and they won't crumble however they look pitted and weakened which is what you are after.
If I have used small animals, ribs or vertebrae I will strain the mixture off into another bowl to catch the small throat-blocking bones. I usually throw the solids I have strained off to my chickens though the meat could be added back to the stock. I set the stock too cool. I usually seperate the marrow fat from the stock it will just slide out of the bones now.
|Fat for removal|
Pemmican is of course the food of Polar explorers and Plains Indians similar in taste to corned beef. I use my own jerky which I have been making for years. Commercial Jerky is little more than meat based candy. Pemmican is THE trail food par excellence I use it as a snack on all my hikes now and for a day working in the orchard or woods. It was used extensively by Native Americans and early Whites in North America. Almost certainly made by Ice age Europeans knowledge and use of this food did not survive in later cultures who used differing preservation methods. I find deer jerky is quite a bit harder to eat than beef, I don't know about bison, the owner of a British bison farm was pretty adamant that there was hardly any fat at all in her farmed bison so I haven't pursued that path. Maybe "imagininghead smashed in" will get me all inspired.
Jerky does not last at all long in my house, my wife and I are jerky fanatics. The leanness of meat is therefore not too important as the fat does not have long enough to go rancid. South African biltong is fatty. Top rump, top side silverside or any other lean cut of beef will do. I like Brisket as the fat for us is not a problem I don’t know about the tougher cuts like shin or skirt Buttock steak is fine too. If I use beef I wait for offers at the local supermarket. Lamb is cut too small for use really and is also pretty fatty. Deer is expensive and again cut small. I use deer I have butchered and use the top rump as this is a substantial and solid cut.
I use my oven to make jerky. I place the strips of meat on skewers and then suspend them from the top rack of a low oven 50C or lower, the fan helps dry the meat. I keep the door propped open with a stick, you want the meat to dry not cook, cooked meat will spoil. Usually I have managed to do this overnight but last time was woken by the fire alarm.......reduced cooking times thanks to the pounding now mean this is a day time endeavor. The jerky is done when it is firm flexible and doesn't break.
Amundsen. Berries do increase the chance of spoilage.