Friday, March 4, 2011

How to Get Blood Out of Your Meat

I found several places in Torah where we are told not to eat the blood (Genesis 9:4; Leviticus 3:17; 7:26; 17:12, 14; 19:26; Deuteronomy 12:16, 23; 15:23). Since most of us do not slaughter our own animals for meat, we are left with the task of trying to get the blood out of the meat long after it's been killed, packaged, frozen, and driven to our local grocery store.

What to do? As is often the case when I have a question about how to run my kitchen, I turn to the Jewish people for help. I do make the attempt to get as much blood out of the meat by following the process outlined here. Keep in mind there is a process for fowl as well.

Today I am kashering a flat iron steak for tonight's erev Shabbat meal. I'm soaking the steak now and will do that for about an hour. Then I'll let it drain on a baking rack for a bit (in the sink) until it's just moist enough for kosher salt to stick. Then I'll cover it with a good bit of salt, not completely, because the blood has to drain out, but on all sides with enough salt to draw out the blood. I have a cutting board I use specifically for this process, slant it into the sink, and let the meat hang out there for another hour. Then it gets triple rinsed. At that point, the meat is ready for marinade or whatever I'm going to do to it (tonight I'm using this marinade).

6 comments:

  1. I receive fresh venison each year. It is often pretty bloody. I find the best way to get the blood out without making it tough is to soak it for a day or so in salt water.

    Other meats do well with soaking in salt water also.

    From your article above, I don't know if you are soaking in salt water or just plain water and then salting the meat.

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  2. Thanks for your comment. The process above involves soaking in water, then salting the meat, then triple-rinsing the salt off the meat. If you follow the link to the Chabad page, you'll find detailed instructions there. I've read about the method you're describing, and remember my Dad using the same method on game.

    My concern is to follow the Biblical instruction to not eat the blood, so I turned to a source that would likely have developed a method to meet that instruction. But perhaps the method you describe would also work!

    I've also wondered about how to get blood out of ground meat, and found something here that involved using vinegar as well: http://www.ehow.co.uk/how_7777511_blood-out-ground-venison.html

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    1. Ok so first of all meat bought from a "Glatt" kosher deli today can be safely assumed to already have been salted.
      2. If you do the 24 hour soak in salt water yuo are actually not accomplishing anything as in that the time blood will leave and then re-enter the meat via the water.
      3. The kosher - and most effective way to get the blood out of the meat is what the article says - to clarify Step 1: soak the meat in not cold not hot but lukewarm-room temperature water for minimum half an hour and insure all the blood found outside the meat has been washed off (some blood dries to the meat after death and that prevents proper salting) take the meat out of the water and give it one last rinse under water (can use same water as before most use different water though) - Then you cover the meat in salt (don't drown it as it needs space to allow the blood to exit and kosher salt works best due to the large and irregular grains of salt it draws out the blood for the longest period of time) salt it for approx 1-24 hours but no more then 24 hours then rinse it 3 times well to ensure all remaining bllod and salt on the outside are cleaned off then you are good to go.

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  3. What is your opinion on kashering Kosher meat? Should we still do this process even if bought from a Kosher deli? I buy Kosher when possible and to me it is a better quality of meat, at least what I buy seems better than the local store. The Kosher deli is only 20 minutes away for me. Thanks for you thoughts!

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  4. You might consider talking with the deli manager to see if you can find out what hechsher their meat is stamped with. Then you could look it up here and decide: http://www.hechshers.info/

    I admit I've never thought of this question before, but I would think that kashered meat would not need to be kashered again at home. But I'll do some research and will post my findings down the road. Good question!

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  5. http://www.star-k.org/listings?section=product

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