'Viands' is for those who know that preparing food can be an end in itself, not just a means of getting something to eat. It's an irregular chronicle of play in the kitchen, emphasizing two areas: Processing techniques like charcuterie, salting, smoking, and so forth, and also the creative use of leftovers. Anyone can go out and buy everything needed to make something good, but to work only with what’s found at hand is a far greater challenge and, in the end, perhaps more satisfying.

Location: San Francisco, California, United States

Sunday, March 12, 2006


The recently made bresaola is so good that I’ve decided to try to keep some of this cured and dried beef on hand most of the time, for use as an appetizer and to eat as a snack. It’s just fantastic when served on a bed of arugula, drizzled with a little good olive oil and garnished with shaved parmesan.

It needs a week to marinate and then close to a month to hang, which means that I’d better get going on a second batch. One of the two original pieces is mostly gone, and I'll be cutting into the other (which has now had an extra week of hanging) very shortly. It’ll be interesting to see if the additional drying time makes it different from its sibling.

I’d concluded earlier that the red wine should be reduced, and after a lot of consideration and tasting of the commercial product purchased at Oakville Grocery, I’ve also decided to use only about half as many juniper berries as in the last effort.

The two sections of eye of round were picked up yesterday. At the left you can see them being introduced to the various ingredients of the cure.

Once the various parts of the cure were processed and mixed, in went the pieces of beef.

Now it’s time for a week in the refrigerator, with occasional interruptions for massage and rearrangement. After that they’ll be prepared for hanging. Since they’re already dead I doubt if that prospect concerns them.


Blogger asal said...

Looks yummy! Off to Palo Alto to buy some.

12:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am very interested in making bresaola myself. I already make biltong, a similar air-dried product from South Africa, but the strips of meat are much smaller and I dry it in a small dryer at about 100 degrees. I have never simply hung the meat up, because I am concerned about mold. I live in coastal Virginia, where the humidity is high. Do you think it would be possible to make bresaola under such conditions?

7:50 AM  

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