Fish and meat … When you live in the North, it is winter outside, and the temperature reaches -40 degrees, it is not difficult to preserve them. It is enough just to hang them out of the window and take them out as needed. But what to do when it’s summer outside, and your address doesn’t match the place where Santa Claus lives? This is where it is worth talking about the hardware freezing of meat and fish.
In order for fish and meat to retain their taste characteristics for a longer time, special freezers are used in the industry. They are similar in size to a large room equipped with chillers. Several cow carcasses can be loaded into these refrigeration units at the same time. The carcasses are hung on hooks fixed on the longitudinal beams. But as mentioned above, only industrial installations have such dimensions. In everyday life, we are dealing with the usual refrigerators.
In order to properly freeze the meat, so that it retains all its characteristics, and the food prepared from it is as tasty as if it were prepared from fresh meat, it must be prepared.
And the preparation is as follows: the washed meat is cut into portioned pieces one and a half centimeters thick. Then the cut pieces are wiped off with a paper towel and placed in plastic bags with clasps. Then the prepared bags are laid out in a thin layer in the freezer.
Freezing temperature should be – 18 ° С. At the same time, it is desirable to carry out the freezing process as soon as possible. For this, it is necessary that the packages do not come into contact with each other, much less lie on top of each other. Otherwise, the circulation of the cooled air will be reduced, and the time required for freezing, on the contrary, will increase.
This can negatively affect the quality of meat, which, after defrosting, will not have all the characteristics that premium meat has. At the same time, the requirements for meat apply not only to ungulate meat, but also to poultry meat, which must also be frozen for the shortest possible period of time.
If you are very fond of fishing, and often bring home a rich catch, then you can take care of a small stock of fish for the whole family right now. After all, it is not difficult to freeze it. To do this, the fish must be cleaned, freed from the entrails and washed.
Large fish are cut into small pieces. Then the cooked pieces are wiped off with a paper towel. The lightly dried fish is ready to freeze. In order to ensure the safety of useful vitamins and microelements available in fish, it is necessary to place it in special plastic bags with a lock. The main thing is that they do not allow odors, moisture and air to pass through. After packaging, the package contains the date of freezing, the type of fish, and sometimes the weight of the product.
About a day before the expected freezing, the temperature in the freezer is set at 25 ° C. It is better to freeze fish in small batches to avoid an increase in the temperature in the freezer and, accordingly, poor-quality freezing. If everything is done correctly, consider that the deep freeze of the fish was successful!
As for defrosting, prior to further work with fish, it is best to thaw such fish for cooking various dishes slowly. This will preserve the juiciness and natural taste of the seafood. For fried fish, this condition is mandatory. If you decide to cook fish soup or bake fish in the oven, and there is not enough time for full defrosting, a half-thawed product will do.
Fresh frozen fish, after defrosting, can be used in the same way as fresh. It is smoked, salted, pickled, steamed, in a word, they treat it in the same way as with fresh.
Useful properties of frozen fish and meat
Deep “shock” freezing, increases the shelf life of foods. In addition, it is believed that with this method of conservation, more vitamins and other useful substances are retained. Food remains almost as healthy as fresh.
Meat and fish, frozen according to all the rules of the culinary art, are an excellent source of complete protein. Moreover, the most useful in fish is polyunsaturated acids of the Omega class, which protect the walls of blood vessels from atherosclerosis, have a beneficial effect on the work of the brain and heart, and contribute to the conversion of carotene into vitamin A.
In addition, fish contains vitamin D, which is an excellent prevention of rickets in children, makes bones and teeth stronger, and helps the body absorb calcium. The most useful is sea fish, which contains a lot of iodine and fluoride.
As for meat, it contains amino acids that are essential for the development of the body. And thanks to the presence of vitamin B, the nervous system normalizes.
Regardless of whether the meat belongs to ungulates or poultry, it is an important component of the human diet and therefore care must be taken to preserve its beneficial properties.
Dangerous properties of frozen fish and meat
In addition to all the listed positive qualities of meat and fish foods, it is necessary to remember about the “reverse side of the coin”. And the situation here is as follows.
River fish, as well as herring and ram, are potentially dangerous. When eating such fish, there is a risk of infection with helminths. To prevent this from happening, herring, for example, after defrosting, must be fried for half an hour, and boiled even longer. Lovers of sushi and stroganina (a dish made from fresh fish common in the North) should be especially careful. They run the risk of contracting helminths, which are very difficult to cope with.
Another danger of contamination with pathogens exists during thawing of fish and meat. For prevention, it is necessary to protect foods that are not heat-treated before use from pathogenic microorganisms found in raw meat and fish. Therefore, when defrosting meat and fish foods, they should be put in a special dish, which, after thawing the foods, should be treated with boiling water with the addition of baking soda.