Fermenting ground pork?

Answered on January 23, 2012
Created January 23, 2012 at 3:13 AM

I let some ground pork in an airtight vacuum sealed package defrost for longer than I really should have, and when I cut it open to check it out it was still bright pink and had a pleasant sour odor, but didn't smell spoiled. I nearly chucked it, but then I thought a little more and realized that it smelled just like a good salami. I am assuming that this means it fermented to a certain extent. I mixed it with smoked salt and herbs and used it to make Scotch Eggs, and the result was wonderfully tangy with no signs of food poisoning yet.

Every recipe I've found for fermenting meat uses a lot of salt, which I assume keeps nasty bacteria in check, and this didn't have any salt in it while it "soured". Are there recipes out there for fermenting meat without salt? Did I just get lucky because I cooked a potential listeria bomb very very well? It is pastured pork that was immediately ground, packaged and frozen if that makes a difference.

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1 Answers



on January 23, 2012
at 03:21 AM

Sounds like you dodged a bullet to me. Ground meats really aren't something to eat rare, or even keep raw for too long. You take whatever bacteria might have been simply on the surface of the meat and you homogenize it into grind. You go from the surface of the meat being contaminated to the whole volume of meat having contamination.

I'm wary of spontaneous fermentation though. Having a culture that's worked in the past is one thing, but whatever random microbes that might be there or not? Not a risk I'll be taking. Others (yourself included) might think that's a-ok.

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