Saturday, February 21, 2009
The 'vacancy' sign has been shut off on the brine bucket yet again. This time, it's beef. Specifically, eye of round, as carefully trimmed of excess fat as I - a butcher of no expertise - could manage. Into the brine it went: for four pounds of beef, I mixed 2.5 cups of kosher salt, about a bottle of wine (some merlot and some sauvignon blanc), 6 dried chiles de arbol, 6 bay leaves, 3 strips of orange peel, a dozen cloves, three crushed garlic cloves, 20 peppercorns, I think that's it. It'll sit there for two weeks, then go into the cheesecloth and, yes, into the garage for another two weeks, hung out to dry. Several cultures, practically all, do some form of marinated, air-dried beef. Bresaola just happens to be the one I found in John Torode's new book, 'Beef.' Torode, like your man Fergus Henderson, runs a restaurant in Smithfield, London's ancient acre of butchery. If it doesn't spoil, we should have a tasty, versatile chunk of beef on our hands. I'll keep you posted.