The meat has been removed from the fridge and rinsed of its cure. It weighed in at 1.29 kg. It’s new home is in a cotton muslin bag hung from a hook in my cupboard. I have placed a dish of salted water in there to keep the humidity up and there the meat shall live for the next three weeks. I will check it occasionally for bad mold (green) and encourage it grow good mold (dry, not fuzzy white). And I will take my first taste once it has lost about a third of its weight and feels firm, but slices “silky smooth.”
FYI: this is not a recipe I’m ok with winging. I’m very carefully following Charcuterie by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn. I am not willing to take any chances when it comes to uncooked meat that’s been under my cupboard for 3 weeks…
It is becoming too common a failing of mine to end a blog somewhere in the middle of a project and not come back to it until considerable time has passed and I’m onto the next adventure. My goal for this round of cooking will be to follow through and close out Moroccan food with a nice send off meal that does justice to both the cuisine I’m cooking and the literature that I’m reading.
I will begin that tomorrow with a blog about Kefta Kabobs and a quick overview of the wonderful memoir Dreams of Trespass: Tales of a Harem Girlhood by Fatima Mernissi.
For today, I have a brief piece on curing meat to share. I am curing a bresaola as I type this. It’s been in my refrigerator for about 10 days and is due to come out of its cure this Thursday. After that, it will be hung to dry for another 3 weeks.
Here’s how I did it:
25 grams kosher salt
30 grams sugar
4 grams Prague Powder #2
5 grams ground black pepper
6 grams rosemary
6 grams thyme
6 juniper berries
3 lb eye of the round roast trimmed of fat and sinew
I use a food scale since curing meat scares me a little and I want to make sure I do it correctly. Grind all spices in a spice grinder (I use a coffee grinder that has never seen a coffee bean). Rub 1/2 the spice mixture onto the meat, keep the other half dry in a container. Place beef in a ziplock in the fridge for one week, flipping and massaging about once a day. After the week has passed, remove the meat and discard all the liquid. Rub the second half of the spice mixture onto the meat and repeat the process for one more week. At the end of the second week, rinse the meat thoroughly and pat dry with paper towels. Bring to room temperature on a baking sheet for 3 hours. You can either tie it off with twine and hang it old school, or, if seeing meat dangling in the air is a bit too much for you, you can do what I do, and stick it in a clean cotton muslin bag and hang it that way.
Ideal conditions are 60 degrees F and 60-70% humidity. You also want to minimize the exposure to light. I hang mine in a cupboard from a hook with a pan of salted water on the shelf to keep it from drying too fast.
Check back in about three weeks to see how well the project turned out.