18 March, 2010

Bresaola is Ready!

I went up to the attic last night to check on the meats - with the temps climbing toward the 60's during the day, I don't want to let the attic room get too warm - and found that the bresaola was ready to open.  Actually, I think it might have hung a few days too long because it seemed a little stiff to me.  So I brought it down to the kitchen for a tasting and photoshoot.

There it is, dried to a lovely nut-brown, wrapped in its casing.   The casing is a little drier and stiffer than I would have liked.  I suspect the curing room's humidity might be little low.  We'll see when we cut into it.

I cut a few lovely paper-thin slices.  They are absolutely delicious.  The beef has a rich and meaty flavor with a distinctive flavor of rosemary and hints of juniper.  I still think it could have hung three or four days less - especially considereing the temperature lately - but it was moist and yielding and the interior fat veins were creamy and not at all unpleasant (the way beef fat can so often be, coating one's mouth and so on.  That didn't happen here at all.)

However, it's obvious that I am going to have to start better regulating the humidity in the curing room.  The outer edges of the slices are very well-dried and dark, making sort of an edible "rind" on the meat which I prefer not to have.  I suspect I am going to find the same thing on the capicola when I take it down and this does not please me.  I haven't had this problem in the past but I think that the unusually cold winter we had this year affected the humidity levels in my attic and it will make this batch of cappy less glorious than my past efforts.

At any rate, despite the extra drying around the edges - which I will remedy next time - the bresaola came out quite acceptable (though not perfect.)  Slices of it will definitely be on the charcuterie plates this year.



BarbieIQue said...

Looks yummy, Dave.

Seems we both have a case of perfectionist tendencies.

I'm just as critical when evaluating a batch of smoked whole picnic shoulders or a run of barbequed chicken leg quarters.

The family says "They're terrific", but I will find some little fault (not enough sage, too much pecan wood, not enough char, etc.).

Turning out a perfect product is our driving force.

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Anonymous said...

My bresaola was ready yesterday, too, and is delicious. Tough outer edges can be remedied by placing the chub in a vac-pac and letting it rest for several weeks in the fridge. The softer inside and harder rind will equalize eachother. Same goes for the cappy (which, by the way, has been ready and eaten daily in our household for the past month). Thanks for your wonderful blog. It's one of my favorite reads.

Dave said...

BarbieIQue: Anything worth doing is worth doing as well as possible, right?

Anonymous: Thanks for the suggestion about vacpacking the chub for awhile in the fridge. Great idea.

dale said...

Will there be any left for the summer picnic?

Dave said...

Probably not, dale. I only made one because it was experimental. I dropped off a chunk to my butcher yesterday to see if he has any comments, and then my "curing buddies" and I are gong to eat some and critique it; by the time the picnic rolls around there'll probably not be very much left.

With any luck, though, I'll be able to find a free refrigerator soon and convert it into a year-round curing booth so I won't be so limited.

Anonymous said...

Looks awesome! Congrats...

Gina Conroy said...

I've been researching all the cured meats my grandmother used to make. Your site is a wealth of great information. Thanks! Maybe one day I'll be brave enough to try it.