Monthly Archives: December 2016

Bresaola

Some time back we had the opportunity to visit the farmgate of Wuk Wuk Beef, where I purchased a girello roast on the advice that it would make a lovely carpaccio. Unfortunately the carpaccio was not to our taste and I thought I would just have to roast the rest. Then, in a light bulb moment, I decided to do a little research with a view to turning it into a Bresaola. For those of you who don’t know, Bresaola is an Italian air-dried, salted beef that has been aged two or three months until it becomes hard and turns a dark red, almost purple colour, with the help of the red wine included in the cure. During my research, I discovered that some people use a wet cure, others use a dry cure… The recipe I finally decided on was that of another fellow blogger from The Apple Isle – Tasmania. The blog is Tasmanian Artisan and the post is for Wine Salt Bresaola . There is a recipe on the blog for the wine salt used in the brine, but it just so happened that I had purchased some merlot salt from a stall holder at the Queen Victoria Market in Melbourne, and decided to use that instead.

Given the girello I had was only 750g, I got to and did all of the calculations to ensure that I had the correct ratio of ingredients for the size of meat that I would be curing. (I must say, I love a dry cure, it’s a simple process and takes much less room in the fridge than the wet cure.) dsc05957-r

The ingredients were prepared and set out, and the meat trimmed and set on a plate. Then it was time to massage the cure into the meat, taking time to ensure that it got into all the cuts and folds, and, of course, that it was evenly distributed over the meat. dsc05959-r

The meat, together with any of the cure that was left on the plate was then popped into a snap-lock/resealable plastic bag, ensuring that all the air was squeezed out, before being placed in a dish and then put in the fridge. For the next 12 days I turned the bag and gave the meat a little massage to ensure an even distribution of the cure.

After 12 days I was happy with the feel of the meat, and moved onto the next stage. So after removing the meat from the bag, it was rinsed under cold water to remove any excess cure, and patted dry with some paper towel, before being placed on a wire rack,on the

kitchen bench, for a couple of hours, to allow it to come back to room temperature.  The meat was weighed and the weight recorded on my kitchen calendar on the date it was hung, so that I would know how long it had been hanging, and could keep track of the weight loss. Finally it was wrapped in muslin and then hung. dsc06156-r

Given the weather at this time in Australia, I had to hang it in the fridge, not exactly ideal, I know, but we have a second fridge in the garage, so I placed a couple of small trays of Himalayan rock salt under the bresaola to help manage the humidity.

Each week the meat was taken down, unwrapped and checked to ensure there were no nasty moulds developing, and weighed to check the progress of the cure – the weight needs to reduce by at least 30%.

Finally the big day came and it was time to slice and taste…

The verdict – I hope it lasts until Christmas so the family can taste it – yes, its really, really good.

To star the Bresaola, I decided to create a lovely Bresaola, Beetroot, Orange and Goats Cheese Salad, the flavours worked amazingly well together.

Thank you Tasmanian Artisan, your recipe and guide were easy to adapt and follow.

Until next time…

Bon appétit!

Links:

Bresaola, Beetroot, Orange and Goats Cheese Salad

Wine Salt Bresaola

Tasmanian Artisan

Wuk Wuk Beef

 

 

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We have a vegie patch!

It is safe to say that there has been a lot of hard work going on in the Corner Patch, particularly over the last week or so, and I can now, with much delight, tell you that the Corner Patch is now the Vegie Patch! Yes, on Monday of this week at about 6 pm we finished making the last of 12 garden beds. While we were both exhausted, we are both really pleased with the end result and all being in order, are looking forward to enjoying the fruits of our labour for many years to come. The fun now begins with planting up the beds, nurturing the seeds and seedlings into food for our kitchen and store, family and friends.

Just a recap on how we got to this stage:

  • Trees were cut down, cut up and removed.
  • Stumps were dug out
  • Plans were drawn up
  • 31 fruit trees were planted
  • A slab was put down for the garden shed
  • The garden shed was erected, and everything that belonged in it, relocated accordingly
  • Holes were dug for posts
  • Posts were purchased and concreted in
  • Holes drilled in the posts
  • Wires strained accordingly
  • An old gate that we found behind the garage was cut down and given a lick of paint before being hung.
  • Timber and pegs for the garden beds arrived
  • A bit of creative use of old posts, rescued from the pens on our family farm, before it was sold, have been put in place to stop the beautiful Duchess (border collie) from entering.
  • Careful measuring, cutting, nailing and screwing of timber into place to box each bed.
  • A mountain of soil was moved from one place to another and finally into each of the boxed beds.
  • Well rotted manure worked in
  • Seeds sown in anticipation
  • One inexpensive archway erected to train fruit trees over the entrance

Left to do:

  • Plant out the seedlings.
  • Plant seeds
  • Espaliering of the fruit trees
  • Three inexpensive archways to be erected, one more for the fruit trees over the entrance and two for the runner beans to trail up and over.

 Click here to see some of the activity leading to this point

While all of this hard work was going on, we did have a little reprieve with a visit from our son, Chris and his family, to celebrate his birthday. It was a quick visit, just one night, as they had to return home for his work. But while they were here, we enjoyed two meals together. I can tell you that seeing our little grandson, Cooper, enjoying picking strawberries, and eating blueberries straight from the bush was a real treat.

Don’t you love it when the little ones are around, it also meant we could have cake before our main course, because he had to go to bed and he made sure he got to take a bite of almost everyone’s cake – Nana’s Chocolate Cream Cake of course!

When we did get to sit down to our main meal we enjoyed the beef brisket that I had had cooking in the smoker all day – another one of the Old Fat Guy’s amazing recipes, adjusted somewhat as the brisket I had was considerably smaller than that called for in his recipe. I also slightly changed the rub, given that I did not have any onion salt – I used a combination of home made porcini mushroom salt, together with celery salt. There was plenty left over, so we were able to send a container full home with them, together with other goodies. The rest has been sliced, vac packed and frozen for quick meals when we need them.

Until next time…

Happy Gardening & Bon appétit!

 

Links:

The Vegie Patch

Chocolate Sponge – AKA Nana’s Chocolate Cream Cake

The Old Fat Guys Beef Brisket

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The Grand Old Dame

 

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The Magnolia Bed