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Old 04-06-2006, 02:04 AM posted to rec.food.cooking
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Default Bresaola (Duck)

Has anyone ever made their own Bresaola [A cured beef originating in
Lombardy, Italy similar in appearance to prosciutto. Bresaola is aged
2-3 months until it becomes very hard and a dark red color. It is
traditionally served sliced very thin and dressed with olive oil, lemon
juice and freshly ground black pepper.]? I am about to attempt to make
a recipe from Mario Batali's Babbo cookbook. It is a duck bresaola. It
does not specify whether to remove the fat or not. From other articles
I have read online (regarding the traditional beef version), the fat is
always trimmed. So, I was not sure what to do.

Also, if anyone has made any of their own cured meats and has any
advice for a newbie (for example: what to expect as far as mold
growth), I would appreciate it. Thanks.

Phil
(Rhode Isand)


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Old 04-06-2006, 02:22 AM posted to rec.food.cooking
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Default Bresaola (Duck)

Phil wrote:

Has anyone ever made their own Bresaola [A cured beef originating in
Lombardy, Italy similar in appearance to prosciutto. Bresaola is aged
2-3 months until it becomes very hard and a dark red color. It is
traditionally served sliced very thin and dressed with olive oil, lemon
juice and freshly ground black pepper.]? I am about to attempt to make
a recipe from Mario Batali's Babbo cookbook. It is a duck bresaola. It
does not specify whether to remove the fat or not. From other articles
I have read online (regarding the traditional beef version), the fat is
always trimmed. So, I was not sure what to do.


Funny to hear Mario using a term like "Duck Bresaola". He's
normally a traditionalist about these things, or so I thought.

Trim the big hunks of fat, but it's ok to leave a little bit.
I always leave some when curing beef or duck.

Also, if anyone has made any of their own cured meats and has any
advice for a newbie (for example: what to expect as far as mold
growth), I would appreciate it. Thanks.


The amount of mold you get depends a lot on the humidity
level of your drying environment. I try and keep it about
60-65% RH. 70% tops. Go much above that for long and you'll
get mold.

If you do get some mold, you can either leave it on or wipe
it off with a bit of vinegar. Unless you're doing something
incredibly wrong, the mold that appears is harmless.

You also don't want the environment too dry either. If
you go below 50% for long you'll get "case hardening",
where it forms a kind of shell on the surface. That's
no bueno.

One of the best online best sources on the subject of dry
curing is here. He's got a killer bresaola recipe and
much more.

http://home.pacbell.net/lpoli/

--
Reg

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Old 04-06-2006, 02:35 PM posted to rec.food.cooking
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Default Bresaola (Duck)

Thanks for the info. I will trim off the outer layer of skin/fat. The
recipe indicates to leave the duck hanging in th fridge for 3 weeks.
So, I dont think there is too much I can do to control the humidity.

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Old 04-06-2006, 02:54 PM posted to rec.food.cooking
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Default Bresaola (Duck)

Phil wrote:

Thanks for the info. I will trim off the outer layer of skin/fat. The
recipe indicates to leave the duck hanging in th fridge for 3 weeks.
So, I dont think there is too much I can do to control the humidity.


Not true.

--
Reg

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Old 04-06-2006, 05:57 PM posted to rec.food.cooking
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Default Bresaola (Duck)


Reg wrote:
Phil wrote:

Thanks for the info. I will trim off the outer layer of skin/fat. The
recipe indicates to leave the duck hanging in th fridge for 3 weeks.
So, I dont think there is too much I can do to control the humidity.


Not true.

--
Reg


Do you have recommendations to control it, such as using a container of
water, etc?

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Old 04-06-2006, 09:13 PM posted to rec.food.cooking
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Default Bresaola (Duck)

Phil wrote:

Do you have recommendations to control it, such as using a container of
water, etc?


In order to control humidity, you'll do best with a
dedicated refrigerator, and you'll need to monitor it.

Here's a good hygrometer. It's cheap, reliable and
wireless.

http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2102585&cp=&origkw=hygrometer& kw=hygrometer&parentPage=search

The humidity inside a refrigerator depends directly
on what's inside it. Since the meat constantly gives
up moisture to the air, the larger the load of meat
the higher the humidity will be. The size/shape of the
product and the amount of surface area factors in
also. As you gain experience you'll get a feel for
what the right size load is for a single box.

It will very with the type of product, but I'd start
with 5-10 lbs or so.

This is one of the main reasons you'll want a dedicated
fridge for drying and curing food products. Your
regular fridge isn't going to be humidity stable
because the contents vary too much. Put in today's
load of produce and the humidity soars out of range.
You'll spend large amounts of time and attention
chasing this around, not to mention the food hygiene
and cross contamination issues.

If the humidity goes too low you have several
options. The simplest is to put in a pan of water.
I've used a half sheet pan because it has maximum
surface area. It bumped it up about 10%.

The other thing I do sometimes is to put in more
meat. Toward the end of my last load of salami
the humidity started to drop, as it tends to do
when nearing completion. Perfect time to start
dry aging a beef roast. Humidity went back up
to 60%.

If it gets too wet, remove some product. You can also
open the door and put a fan on it, but don't do that
for too long.

Keep in mind that it doesn't require all that much
precision. If it goes a bit high for a day it won't
do any damage. Just try and keep it between 60-75%
most of the time, it's pretty forgiving. And I
prefer to err on the low side, if possible. A wetter
environment promotes bacteria and mold, a dryer one
inhibits it.

Don't forget to check out Len Poli's site. He's
one of the masters.

--
Reg

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