Wednesday, June 03, 2015

The Preservation of Camel Meat.

I have given you several ‘curious’ recipes from The Family receipt-book, or, Universal repository of useful knowledge and experience in all the various branches of domestic oeconomy (London, 1810) and I have made another selection for you today. You may not have any camel flesh at hand, but as the recipe states, the method lends itself to other meats too. Of course it is entirely possible that trying this out might lead you to break several local food laws, but that is your risk!

Curious Moorish Method of preparing Elcholle, or the Flesh of Camels, 
as well as Mutton and Beef, so as to Keep for Two or Three Years 
in the warmest Climates.
This favourite food of the Moors, which they call elcholle, whether made of beef, mutton, or camel's flesh, is always ready for eating; and will keep perfectly good two or three years, even in their hot climate. The method of preparing it is said to be as follows—Cut the meat, of whatever kind, but beef is the most esteemed, into long slices; and, having well salted them, let them remain twenty-four hours in the pickle. Then remove them into other vessels, filled with cold water; and, after thus soaking them all night, lay them on ropes, in the sun and air, till they become quite dry and hard. After this, cut them into pieces of about three inches long; throw them into a pot of warm oil, mixed with melted suet, sufficient to cover all the meat; and, when it has boiled till it looks clear and red on being cut, take the whole out, and set it to drain and cool.
It is thus ready to put away in the jars provided for keeping it; and, on being there deposited, is covered with the oil and grease in which it was boiled. When quite cold, the jars are closely stopped; and the meat will thus be preserved hard, and continue good, for at least two or three years. In this state, it is often eaten by the Moors; who consider it, when hardest, as best and most palatable. They sometimes fry it with eggs and garlic; and, occasionally, eat it stewed, with a little lemon juice squeezed over it. European travellers, who have frequently tasted this elcholle of the Moors, pronounce it to be a very good dish, eaten either hot or cold.

If you prefer, here are a couple of other recipes for camel, from previous posts:


Judy said...

Interesting! Wonder why boiling the dried meat in fat/suet would further preserve the meat? As Jesse Chisholm died of food poison from eating meat preserved in bear grease.

Unknown said...

Last month I tried camel sausage at Ta Kapamanlidika in Athens. This is definitely a middle east deli. Also had the same sausage of beef, not much difference in taste.

Unknown said...

I had camel sausage in Athens last month at Karamanlidika, which is authentic byzantien and cappadocian traditional tastes. Also compared it to the same recipe with beef, In my opinion not a lot of difference.

Shay said...

I imagine MERS CoV has put a stop to a lot of traditional middle eastern dishes, at least for the time being.