Back in August, BuckWild's freezer crashed on him and he stored the contents at my place. Some of the meat had already thawed so I went on a bender with some Charcuterie experimentations. Most of them came out exceptionally well, others failed miserably.

Charcuterie is a really interesting thing. Most of the time with meat, you think in terms of days. Cooked or uncooked, you have anywhere from 3 to possibly 10 days worth of meat before it becomes inedible. Through ancient and rather simple processes of preservation using salt and airflow, the shelf life of meat can be extended indefinitely. It is sort of an "afterlife" for meat, if you will.

For the salting stage, I took two one pound pieces of backstrap and coated them each with a mixture of whole black peppercorns, sea salt, brown sugar, coriander seed, juniper berries and cure #2. This is a simple "old world" combination of spices. Cloves are commonly used in these type of ingredient mixtures as well.

The salted cuts of meat were placed in a airtight bag and then in the refrigerator for 7 days, turning the bag once a day.

Following the salting stage, the meat was rinsed off and then patted dry. I then wrapped them in cheesecloth, weighed and tagged each cut of meat and hung them in the curing fridge for 7 weeks.

Upon removal and weighing, the backstraps had shed 30% of their weight. There was some cheesecloth stuck to the meat, but this was easily removed by rubbing with bit of red wine.

You can see that the internal texture is smooth as glass. The meat has a deep, rich, complex flavor. For bresaola, generally, you serve the meat cut in razor thin slices with a spicy mustard. Apples or pears and a cheese plate would also go well with it. They are stored in the fridge wrapped in a butcher paper.
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