Bresaola - Recipe and Calculator

Sliced Bresaola

For those that don't know, Bresaola is an air-dried beef that originates in the north of Italy. In the past, I've always made it using Jason Molinari's recipe from curedmeats.blogspot.co.uk. The recipe below, whilst very different from Jason's, owes it's heritage to his. I've removed the cinnamon and clove, reduced the other spices and added a small amount of garlic.

The best of the Italian versions, Bresaola della Valtellina, uses meat from the leg: the cuts we know as topside, silverside and top rump (thick flank). In the US 'Eye of round' would be a good choice. It's best with a piece of meatfrom one muscle to avoid connective tissue. I used Silverside for mine.

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Sunday 17 August 2014

Soft Bread Rolls

With summer, hopefully, just around the corner - that is, if we've not had all we're going to get already - I thought I'd have a go at making a 'burger type' soft roll, minus the sesame seed 'cos I've ran out!

Bead rolls

Time has moved on since I first made these rolls in June 2008. The recipe's changed slightly. Rather than confuse things with a new article, I've amended the recipe below.

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Saturday 16 August 2014
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Pâte sucrée (sweet shortcrust pastry) & Afternoon Tea

Diamond Wedding Tea

Mum and Dad have recently celebrated their Diamond (60th) Wedding Anniversary. As well as sending them to a local restaurant for a meal, we decided to have an 'afternoon tea'.

For me, afternoon tea is lots of small patisserie and cake items; oh, and some 'token' sandwiches beforehand. I'm not one for scones and cream as part of 'afternoon tea'; they're for other occasions when they can be enjoyed on their own. Now, we're not 'The Savoy', or even 'The Great British Bake Off', so I choose just a small selection of simple things: individual lemon meringue pies, fruit tarts, and meringues, along with cup cakes made by my daughter Hannah. The meringue uses up the egg whites left after the yolks have been used for the pastry and lemon meringue filling. Savouries were cucumber, egg, ham and cheese sandwiches, some even had the crusts cut off!

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Wednesday 06 August 2014
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Irish White Pudding

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Irish White Pudding

Some time back I posted about my trials of an Irish White Pudding recipe that I developed in collaboration with my forum mate John. His blog is mainly about curry but he also makes sausage, bacon, hams and luncheon meats.

Now, I have to admit, I can take-or-leave these Irish delicacies but I believe that this recipe is as close to the commercial ones, that I was sent, as we can get.

The final recipe stood up to the 'John's mother-in-law' test and passed with flying colours. John has since amended his version, but I'm happy with the original one. I may increase the amount of onion, not just for the fun of it, but because I have recently found the ingredients specification for Clonakilty White Pudding and notice that it has significantly more onion.

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Monday 21 July 2014

Old Cure Recipes

Recently the subject of old curing recipes has come up on two occasions: once in relation to a recipe from a Jane Grigson book, and the other in respect of an American corned beef recipe. Neither person had any qualms about using the recipe; the questions they asked were unrelated to the advisability of using the cure. However, in using older cure recipes, there are a number of things that we need to consider.

old curing books

The first is the amount of curing salt used on the meat. In old recipes, this will generally be in the form of saltpetre (potassium nitrate), Chile saltpetre (sodium nitrate) or even Sal Prunella - a salt made by fusing saltpetre into balls, which produces minute quantities of potassium nitrite enabling the curing process to start more quickly. Many older recipes contain levels of these salts well above the levels considered safe nowadays.

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Saturday 05 July 2014