Smoked Trout

Some months ago, we took our first drive from our new home, across the mountains, to beautiful Bright – what a treat. The drive is an easy five to six hours, and the scenery is simply sensational! As we climbed the winding roads, the scenery continued to change. There were eagles soaring, incredible panoramas and great anticipation for a fun few days ahead. It was autumn and Bright in autumn is always a stunning canvas of autumnal colour. Continue reading

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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A visit to the farmgate

Last Saturday night I noticed an email which had just arrived from Wuk Wuk Beef – the market they were to attend had been cancelled! The good news was that they were going to sell from the farmgate the next day.   We quickly decided that we just had to go and see where our beautiful beef come from, so the next morning we hopped into the car and headed off. I also wanted to stop off at the little farmer’s market in Stratford, but with the weather the way it was, we didn’t know if they would be there. But alas they were – some people are so stoic! So loaded my basket with lots of fresh veg before we continued on to Wuk Wuk.

When we arrived we were greeted by Peter and we had discussions about the different cuts he had available, smoking beef, how beautiful and peaceful the area was – no wonder the beef tastes so good, the cattle are raised in idyllic surrounds. I asked Peter for a challenge! My challenge is to prepare a 2.7 brisket in my smoker, but that will be a later post. When we left we had the brisket, a girello and some beautiful scotch fillet.

I wasn’t quite sure what to do with the girello, but it came to me early on Monday morning, bresaola! Bresaola is cured and air dried beef, typically using girello, so I hit the net and found a few methods, recipes etc. Eventually deciding on that of a fellow blogger and got to work. I’ll let you know if it works, it should be ready by Christmas!

Sunday night I noticed a post on Facebook from Healthy Fermenting, advising that unless more people started to buy the Gippsland Jersey milk, they wouldn’t be able to continue supplying it. While I still had some in the fridge, I popped in on Tuesday to pick up some more, there was only one left, hopefully sales are improving and the new supply was due to arrive the following day. I decided it was time to make some cheese.

Gordon kindly provided me with a new recipe for Fromage Blanc, and I also made some Lemon Cheese, which is really only cheese made with the aide of lemon juice and is very much like ricotta, and it’s delicious.The Lemon Cheese was used in the Frittata we had for dinner last night.

Now back to the basket of goodies I picked up at the Stratford Farmer’s Market. At the far end of the table bunches of beetroot caught my eye, and even though I still had some in the fridge at home, I just couldn’t resist bringing some more home with me. I think the thing that attracted me most here, was the freshness, and the leaves, they just needed to be used to. So this week most of our meals have starred beetroot. We had beetroot carpaccio with goats cheese, then Braised Beetroot Leaves which paired beautifully with barbequed Pork, Onion and Sage Sausages (from Coltish Pork of course) and mash, then last night we had Beetroot Top, Leek and Fresh Cheese Frittata, oh and I also pickled and preserved a few bottles of beetroot for the store.

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We continue our work in the garden, and the roses at the front entrance are stunning.

Until next time…

Bon appétit!

Links:

 

Wuk Wuk Beef

Cotlish Pork

Healthy Fermenting

Braised Beetroot Leaves

Beetroot Top Leek and Fresh Cheese Frittata

Lemon Cheese

The Entrance