[Sca-cooks] medieval jerky
lordhunt at gmail.com
Tue Apr 10 13:38:21 PDT 2012
" I am working on a project involving medieval beef jerky. . . Does
anyone here know of any extant recipes or descriptions for dried beef?
This is what I have:
*cecina*, OCast /çeçina/, Eng. jerky. The Leonese cured meat originated
in the village of Cierzo, known to be a cold area but Montoro in
_Cancionaro _claims that the origin is Jewish as they used it instead of
salt pork and ham. It was known as a Jewish item as far south as
Cordoba. Actually, jerked meat in southern regions meant salted meat. It
is principally from beef and goat. This cured or jerked meat is the
color of molasses. It is found especially in Astorga and had become one
of the most important gastronomic dishes in the entire province of León
by the 10^th C at least. Then beef jerky was sold in the markets of
León. Historically, it is peasant food as the majority of households
annually slaughtered a cow and two pigs to make homemade cured meats,
including jerky, and for fresh meat as well. It is an ancestral food
item of austere populations and known previously as castrated meat (of
goat, lamb and/or roe deer). The oldest animals of the herd are fattened
during three months in the farmyard for this purpose. It is then
slaughtered between St. Martin's Day (November 11^th ) and the
Immaculate Conception (December 8^th ). The meat is cured by placing the
pieces in a trough and covering it with salt for 24 hours in order to
absorb an adequate amount. Then the salt is brushed off. The meat is
then marinated for 24 hours in a mixture of salt, long pepper, wine,
garlic, thyme, oregano and nutmeg. Then it is prepared to hang from a
kitchen beam or rafter.Sas believes that stanza 2255b of /Libro de
Alexandre /should read: after the jerked meat was hung, the roots for
kindling were brought [in January], i.e. /çenisa/(ash) is a
transcription error and the word should be /çeçina/. The meat is cured
by buring holm oak branches and cabbage stumps in the kitchen fireplace.
With the arrival of spring, the people begin to eat the pieces. Instead
of such a long smoking process, jerky may be aired for 14 months in the
wind on a mountain peak. Lambjerky is thought to be the most delicious.
That of goat is the toughest. Game too was cured in this way. Jerky,
also, is cured in a similar fashion since time immemorial in the
Highlands of Scotland. To be called a "jerk" in León or Scotland, must
be a compliment. 2. an animal designated for cecina during its lifetime.
[Castro. _Alimentación_. 1996:249; _Dialecto_. 1947:174; ES: "Cecina de
León." Nov 25, 02; ES: Fortun. Mar 8, 02; ES: Sartori. Oct. 2, 02; ES:
Wilson. Jun 9, 02; Bercero/Janer. 1983:271:2255b; Montoro/Ciceri.
1991:200-203; Sánchez-Albornoz. 2000:34:39; Sas. 1976:130; and Tapiello.
In other words if you find a current recipe it will be the same as in
the Middle Ages - in rural areas at least.
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