[USA] "Buffalo Bend Dried Beef"

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Chuckwagon
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[USA] "Buffalo Bend Dried Beef"

Post by Chuckwagon » Tue Feb 14, 2012 13:20

Injecting Whole Muscle Meats

For years, brine-soaking whole muscle meats to preserve them, was just about the only method used by home hobbyists. Often their centers would begin to spoil before the salt-cure penetrated the meat sufficiently, especially if the cut contained a bone. Worse, the unquestionable barriers of skin and fat allow only slow penetration of the curing agent. For smaller cuts of meat, simple brine soaking arguably may be sufficient and remains a widely used practice today by home ham makers. However, in curing larger hams or cuts of meat, the curing brine must be forced or injected into the cells of the meat to provide complete penetration within the short time allotted before spoilage occurs. Traditionally this has been done by curing solution being introduced through the main artery of a leg or ham and this "nature's pipeline" literally distributes curing pickle to every cell including bone marrow. Perhaps you`ve purchased a brine injector with two different needles. The one with a slanted, sharpened end is the one to use for injecting an artery. The needle is usually 5-3/8 inches in length, 3/16 of an inch in diameter, and is made of chrome-plated brass.

Don`t confuse arteries (carrying blood to the animal's cells) with veins, which return blood to the heart. Pumping a vein will simply not work as it collapses the vein and will not carry the brine solution. How do you know the difference? Veins are larger than and not as flexible as arteries.

Because an artery is sometimes hard to locate after an animal has been butchered, and since time equals money in a commercial operation, these days most often a curing solution is injected quickly into the flesh using a gang of needles. A variety of "stitch pumping" gang needles are available to commercial processors, but generally, we home hobbyists are "stuck" (no pun intended) with the second type "perforated" single needle that comes with your brine injector. It is usually 5-1/2 inches long, 3/16 of an inch in diameter and contains a dozen holes. This needle is withdrawn slowly as the cure is distributed throughout the meat.

Care must be taken not to "overstitch" the meat as it may become mushy as salt removes some protein. Only six to twelve percent of a muscle`s weight is injected into the meat while it soaks in the leftover brine. Recipe instructions usually carefully indicate the exact amount of brine to be used. Anyone can "give a piggy a shot" and injection pumping the ham is by far, preferred over simple brine soaking. Weighing brine cure is simple. Simply move the decimal point left one place as you weigh the meat. This gives you the 10% brine weight. If the item contains a shank or bone, be sure to inject them first with sufficient cure.

"Buffalo Bend Beef"
(Dried Beef Rounds)

Don't confuse dried beef with dried beef jerky. Dried beef is a large, fat-free, injection pumped, brine-cured, smoked, fully cooked, beef round, containing only fifty percent of its original moisture. It`s sliced paper-thin and is used for all sorts of recipes and great sandwiches.

Use beef "rounds" and trim away any excess fat. The beef and brine should be kept near 38 degrees Fahrenheit as possible and the curing solution should not exceed eight percent of the round's weight. If the brine is much below 38°F., the meat will not pick up the cure readily. If it is much above 38° F., the meat may begin to spoil. Following injection pumping, allow the rounds to soak in leftover brine for ten days at this temperature for proper curing. Finallly, remove the meat and soak it in fresh icewater eight hours, changing the water every few hours.

Remove the rounds and allow them to drain and dry, packing them tightly into a cloth stockinette bag. Hang the stockinette in a pre-heated smokehouse for twelve hours at 100 degrees F. with the draft wide open. Raise the temperature to 125 degrees for another twelve hours with thin hickory smoke being introduced. Reduce the heat to 115 degrees and terminate the smoke. Allow the meat to shrink up to forty percent of its weight (not size) at this point, ideally in an atmosphere of 75% humidity at about 55°F. When the moisture drops below 85 Aw it will be safe to consume. Use a very sharp knife and slice it paper-thin as you use it.

______________________________

1. Making A Brining Solution

How much salinity is recommended? A favorite 40° SAL brine in many recipes is made by adding a pound of salt to one gallon of water (see brining chart). Thus the formula for ten pounds of beef rounds in 1/2 gallon of liquid requires 1/2 pound of salt.

How much brine should you make? There`s a simple ol` timer`s adage that reads, "The amount of brine should equal about forty or fifty percent of the weight of the meat being cured". In other words, you don`t need a barrel-full of brining cure to baptize one duck! So simply use enough brine to equal one and a half times the duck`s weight.

How strong does it have to be? The FSIS limits the in-going nitrite limit in immersion, pumped, or massaged products to 200 parts per million. This is achieved when 120 grams (4.2 ounces) of Cure #1 is added to one gallon of water. One gallon of brine (according to the ol` timers adage) will accommodate 20 pounds of meat. This means that 1/2 gallon of brine will be sufficient for 10 pounds of beef round. Here`s the arithmetic:

One gallon of brine cure (with 120 grams of Cure #1) is enough liquid to treat 20 pounds of meat. So, if you are brining 10 lbs. of meat, you need to only use about half a gallon of brine.

0.40 x 10 = 4 lbs of water (1/2 gallon)
[1 gallon weighs 8.33 lbs.]
Therefore, one half gallon of brine will sufficiently brine 10 lbs. of meat in the proper container.

2. Making A Curing Solution

Recipe #1 "Buffalo Bend Beef Curing Solution"
(Curing-Brine For 10 lbs. Beef Rounds)

4.17 lbs of water (1/2 gallon)
60 grams (2.1 ounces) Cure #1
227 grams (8 oz. or 1/2 lb.) salt
90 grams (3.2 oz.) sugar

Making Larger Amounts Of Dried Beef:

On our ranch, we made a lot of dried beef and we did so in huge batches because tucked far back in the mountains, we couldn't run to a grocery store for a couple of pounds of meat. We butchered an entire steer and much of it was preserved as dried beef, sausages, etc. for use later on. Consequently we made 5 gallons of brining cure at a time.

Recipe #2 "Buffalo Bend Beef Curing Solution"
(Pickling Brine For Making 100 lbs. Of Dried Beef)

5 gallons water @ 38 degrees F.
595 grams (1.3 pounds or 21 ounces) Cure #1
2.27 kilograms (5 lbs. or 80 ounces) un-iodized salt
1 pound sugar

Notes: While injecting the brine, remove the perforated needle slowly. Don't use too much heat in the smokehouse or a hardened pellicle will form, not allowing moisture to escape. You must not hurry the process using more heat. Dried beef shrinks up to 40% yet retains 50% of its moisture. Keep it refrigerated.

Best Wishes,
Chuckwagon
Last edited by Chuckwagon on Sun Feb 19, 2012 07:07, edited 5 times in total.
If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it probably needs more time on the grill! :D
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Post by DLFL » Tue Feb 14, 2012 15:08

That is a lot of cure!
Dick

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Post by DLFL » Wed Feb 15, 2012 01:01

:razz:
Dick

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