Every year, the question of how to handle the meat of sacrificed animals, be it from a cow, sheep or goat, for Qurban Bayram, aka Eid al-Adha or the Feast of Sacrifice, comes to the forefront once again.
And every year, we see people making the same mistakes over and over again, from outright ruining the freshly cut meat to making it harmful for human health.
People with gastrointestinal problems in particular will also have to be more patient if they don’t want to spend the holiday on the toilet or in bed. Here are some points to keep in mind when preparing and cooking your meat:
Let. It. Rest.
As tempting as it is to directly throw your meat onto a grill or a barbeque or marinate them in their own fat there to be braised, there is something major that many forget: rigor mortis.
You might have heard of (or read about) this term in a police drama or a murder-mystery novel when they find a corpse. It basically means that the meat toughens or stiffens (rigor) after death (mortis).
This stiffness might be good for chopping up the pieces you want to keep in the freezer but it is not the smartest idea to eat it in that state. Aside from making your stomach hurt, the taste will not be quite right.
So how long should you wait?
Preferably you should wait 24 hours to eat the meat, but there are, of course, many factors that go into this estimate, such as the animal itself and the temperature outside. But as it is customary to eat the sacrificial meat on the days of Eid, a minimum of 12 hours should be allotted.
For the impatient who might not think this is necessary, I just want to point to the fact that butcher shops let their meat rest for at least 24 hours in a cool and airy place before doing anything with it. They are the professionals, so we should be heeding their advice.
How should I store it?
The animal has been sacrificed and everyone has gotten their cut. Now what? I remember years ago that my aunt stuffed the meat into plastic bags and let them wait in a relatively warm place.
The next day she complained that the meat had gone bad, not surprisingly. With no fresh air inside the bag, condensation starts to builds up around the meat and this moisture, coupled with heat, creates the perfect breeding ground for bacteria, according to Daily Sabah