I read somewhere about them using the lard too. If I read it right, as soon as there was a break in the lard or it sank below the meat..it would spoil.
We visited Colonial Williamsburg last week. A visit, I should note, everyone should do once. Meet was frequently stored in a smoke house, smoked and hung. It was very interesting but I did not think to ask about long term storage. I did get a good idea on how to smoke meat.
This was real meat that the people eat. They did not appear to be at all concerned about the heat and people walking in and out of the smoke house. Personally I would have been nervous after 2 hours but the meat had been in there several days already. It smelled just fine, just smokey.
I will go looking for this kind of stuff from time to time. Or ancestors didn’t have any kind of refrigeration, so I figure they must have been pretty good at preserving food. You just never know when your going to need this kind of knowledge. All I could remember was burying the meat completely in the lard. Not even sure how long it would keep. Seems like you’d have to have a lot of lard and do you dig the meat out? Or re-heat to get at it? Just sounded messy.