Are you a fan of salt beef, also known as corned beef?
Whether you’re preparing it at home or buying it from the store, you may be wondering if it needs to be refrigerated.
The answer is not as straightforward as you might think.
In this article, we’ll explore the different types of salt beef and how to properly store them to ensure maximum flavor and safety.
So, grab a cup of tea and let’s dive in!
Does Salt Beef Need To Be Refrigerated?
The short answer is yes, salt beef needs to be refrigerated. However, the length of time it can be stored in the refrigerator depends on the type of salt beef.
If you have uncooked and unopened salt beef packages, they can be stored in the refrigerator for around seven days. If the salt beef has an expiry date, store the package unopened in the refrigerator until that date.
On the other hand, if you have uncooked corned beef, it can be frozen if it is drained and well-wrapped. Keep in mind that salt encourages rancidity and texture changes, but it is still safe to eat.
Once you have cooked your salt beef, it should be stored in the refrigerator within two hours of cooking or reheating to prevent bacterial contamination. Wrap leftover cooked salt beef in either aluminum foil or cling film, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Consume the salt beef within four days of refrigeration.
What Is Salt Beef?
Salt beef is a type of cured meat that is made from beef brisket. It is a traditional part of Jewish cuisine and is often served during festive occasions like Chanukah. The process of making salt beef involves slow-cooking the beef brisket in a broth until it becomes tender and falls apart easily. Salt beef is typically served with hot mustard, greens, and Yorkshire puddings.
The curing process for salt beef involves treating the meat with large-grained rock salt, also called “corns” of salt. Sometimes, sugar and spices are added to recipes to enhance the flavor. Nitrates are often used in the curing process to reduce the risk of dangerous botulism during curing by inhibiting the growth of Clostridium botulinum bacteria spores. However, nitrates and nitrites have been linked to increased cancer risk in mice.
Salt beef can be made at home using various cuts of meat, including tougher cuts like moose or venison. It is a mainstay in Newfoundland cooking and is often used for seasoning in stews or as a replacement for ham in dishes like Newfoundland Pea Soup with Dough Boys.
Types Of Salt Beef
When it comes to salt beef, there are a few different types that you may come across. One common type is corned beef, which is typically made from brisket and is cured with large, coarse pellets of salt. This process gives the meat a tangy flavor and a pink color, and it is often used in dishes like Reuben sandwiches and corned beef hash.
Another type of salt beef is pastrami, which is made from beef brisket that has been brined and then coated in a spice rub before being smoked. This gives the meat a distinct smoky flavor and a tender texture, and it is often used in sandwiches or served as a main dish.
Finally, there is biltong, which is a type of cured meat that originates from South Africa. It is typically made from beef or game meat and is dried with salt and spices to create a jerky-like texture. Biltong can be eaten as a snack or used as a flavorful addition to salads or sandwiches.
No matter what type of salt beef you are working with, it is important to handle it safely and store it properly to prevent bacterial contamination. By following the guidelines above and using your best judgement, you can enjoy delicious salt beef dishes without worrying about food safety concerns.
How To Store Salt Beef
Storing salt beef properly is crucial to maintain its flavor and prevent bacterial contamination. Here are some tips on how to store salt beef:
1. Uncooked and unopened salt beef packages should be stored in the refrigerator for around seven days. If the salt beef has an expiry date, store the package unopened in the refrigerator until that date.
2. If you have uncooked corned beef, it can be frozen if it is drained and well-wrapped. Keep in mind that salt encourages rancidity and texture changes, but it is still safe to eat. Try to use it within a month or two.
3. Once you have cooked your salt beef, it should be stored in the refrigerator within two hours of cooking or reheating to prevent bacterial contamination.
4. Wrap leftover cooked salt beef in either aluminum foil or cling film, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
5. Consume the salt beef within four days of refrigeration.
Proper storage techniques are essential to retain the flavor and quality of salt beef. By following these tips, you can ensure that your salt beef stays fresh for longer periods and is safe for consumption.
Tips For Preparing Salt Beef
Preparing salt beef is an easy process, but it requires some attention to detail. Here are some tips to ensure that your salt beef is properly prepared:
1. Slice the meat: Make sure to slice the meat no thicker than 3 inches. If you are using steaks, that’s fine. The thickness is important because the meat will only be in the curing liquid for 10 days, and you want the liquid to penetrate all the way through to the center.
2. Use a non-reactive container: When making the curing liquid, use a non-reactive container to avoid any chemical reactions with the ingredients.
3. Weigh down the meat: Once you have prepared the curing liquid, pour it into a large non-reactive container and add your pieces of beef. Weigh down the meat to completely submerge it in the liquid.
4. Keep it submerged: It’s important to use a weight or pan lid to keep your beef fully submerged in the water during both the brining and cooking process. This ensures that the meat is brined/cooked evenly leaving no tough bits, and also doesn’t leave any part of the beef exposed to air and therefore bacteria during brining.
5. Turn the meat: Give the meat a turn about every two days to redistribute the cure around all pieces of meat for even curing.
6. Store in a cool area: After the 10 days, you can cook your salt meat, but as long as it’s cold outside, the meat can stay in the curing liquid in a cool area for up to 2 months.
By following these tips, you can ensure that your salt beef is properly prepared and stored for optimal taste and safety.