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Cooking Meat/Curing meat in milk overnight


I recently tried to make a Greek like dish marinating slabs of meat for a day in milk.  However when I first read the recipe, I thought it said to leave it out the fridge.  It now has a semi-sour smell and yellow film on the beef ribs.  Is this safe to eat?  If not is there a way to cook it to make it safe, or should I count this as a loss?

It safe.  The meat just reacted with the milk.  Yoghurt is cultured milk.  Just rinse the milk off and start over.  Use yoghurt.  Most greek dishes use it for marinading meat.  Indian recipes too.  This was probably a knock off recipe that was trying to approximate the same effect on the cheap.  The yoghurt will lend a slightly tart taste to the meat and has a slight tenderizing effect.

Just another note.

Some people advocate soaking game meat in one thing or another to remove "off" flavors.  This works, but for reasons they probably do not understand.

If you took chemistry in High school, you might remember the old membrane experiment where two solutions of dissimilar concentration were put in a container separated by a membrane.  Over time the two solutions equillibrate as ions in solution, usually salt, move from one side to the other to make both sides equal in concentration.

THAT is what happens when you soak meat, it basically dilutes the off flavors with something else, usually the spices or flavoring in the soaking solution.  It can be a brine, or fruit juice or marinade.

Curing is usually done with a brine.  The whole process of "curing" was to preserve the meat for long term storage in the days before refrigeration.  Make no mistake, it takes a high level of salt to make meat rot resistant.  Curing and smoking makes the meat pretty bullet proof, but just like salted fish, it takes a bit of soaking in clear water to make it palatable.  My grandfather cured hams, sugar cured...which is really about fifty fifty salt and sugar.  The meat was way to salty for the modern palate.  Most "cured" hams still require refrigeration because they are not really "cured" in old fashioned sense. A lot are just injected with brine or soaked in a brine solution, not buried in a mound of salt and sugar and kept there for days.  

I make jerky that is a survival food.  Its lasted for two years in a the pantry in a plastic container.  I used if for pocket food when I did field work.  Three strips of it was equivalent to a 8oz steak and weighed about as much as a hand full of potato chips.  Jerking meat is a good way to preserve it.  I tried pemmican, but its a bit hard to get used to, since it requires a lot of fat and is not really palatable for most people.  Its a mix of ground meat, fruit and fat made into a paste.  It was indian survival rations.  They would pack it in a skin or bladder and top it off with melted fat to seal it, much as my grandmother used to can beef.  She would boil it, pack it in a mason jar, heat it as you would any thing you can, them pour melted beef fat in on top of it before sealing the jar.

Cooking Meat

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Keith Patton


I can answer questions regarding wildgame cookery ranging from venison, elk, buffalo, wild geese, duck, wild turtle, feral hog, javalena, wild boar, racoon, beaver, and woodchuck.


I am an avid hunter and chef. I have run a successful catering business, processing my own meat, curing hams and making wild game sausage.

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