This evening we went on an adventure in pursuit of culinary advancement! Last week, Matt proposed a project and I readily jumped on board. However, we soon realized that we would need some equipment to make it work. So, we went on an adventure! This adventure also marked my first time driving in the city. I signed up for a ZipCar account, and we reserved a nice little hybrid car to take us all the way out to scarborough to procure this:
A wine cooler! BUT there’s a catch. We don’t actually intend to use it as a wine cooler. At least not all the time. Most of the time it’s going to be our new “curing system”. Because, you see, Matt proposed we try curing our own meat, and after doing some research it turns out it’s not that hard to do. Some people, depending on where they live and what kind of space they have access to, are able to do it without buying any special curing system. Cured meats need to be hung to dry at about 50-60 degree fahrenheit, and kept at a relative humidity of about 60-70%. Some people rig up old fridges, but we saw some really affordable wine coolers online, and discovered that a wine cooler would work perfectly. And we could fit it in our apartment!
On to the meat! After researching and considering a few recipes, we decided on bresaola because BEEF, and also the beautiful red colour when you slice into the final product. We bought two nice chunks of beef, eye of round, about 2 lbs each, and marinated them overnight in some red wine. The next day we took them out, dried them off, and administered a dry cure. We adapted our recipe from a few sources: this one, this one, and the bresaola recipe from this book.
So, these beautiful pieces of meat are sitting in our fridge, curing away, the salt slowly draining the moisture from the beef. On monday, we’ll take them out, rinse them off, and administer a second batch of the dry cure, letting them cure in the fridge for another week. At which point, we’ll move on to step two, which involves rinsing them, tying them, and hanging them for 3-4 weeks, until they’ve lost roughly 40% of their original mass. I’ll make another post about it when we get to that point.
And then I will stuff my face with so much salty red meat. I hope.
Wish us luck!