Last week watched me scoot up to Long Island to set butt with the family for Christmas dinner, become infected with a miserable virus from an unknown vector, wing it back down to bucolic PA to roll around in a fever while my family visited friends in Westchester NY.
Meanwhile back at the farm, a five day old calf escaped and was retrieved. The milking robot went on the fritz and ruined Trent's Christmas day (Don't go into farming if you like to do things like sleeping and driving your car to the bowling alley.) and probably took a week or so off of his lifespan. But some good stuff happened too.
The bresaola (See slide show) finished curing and appears to be a resounding success. It looks great, with a beautiful looking fungal coat that smells to me like slightly dried field mushrooms (agaricus bispouous). The taste of the meat is sweet, salty, umami (in that order) and the overall aroma is of mushrooms and wine must. I hope our customers like it because I really, really loved making it. Trent and I have talked about making it from older dairy cows which in theory should be more flavorful. But the next batch will more likely be from the same kind of grass fed steers that were used for this one.
The mass of sausages you see in the slide show are large pepperoni (pepperone). These are made from highly seasoned beef top rounds with virtually no fat and stuffed into beef casings (middles). The pepperone have been inoculated with Bactoferm to drop their pH, give them an acidic edge and to promote drying. I left them sitting out in the kitchen on Saturday to kick start the fermentation. I assume Trent will be hanging them in the cheese room about now.
As this is likely to be my last post of 2007 I would like to thank you all for supporting my blogging efforts with your continued patronage and comments. If it were not for these, I certainly would not be bothering to post anything anymore. There's certainly no money in the kind of blogging I do, so the only currency that I reap is the type that comes from knowing that mostly complete strangers give a flying-fig about what I have to say. So thanks!
Finally, I'd like to wish you all a happy and healthy New Year full of meals that you cooked yourself or by someone that you know well. Go out and splurge on food cooked by strangers who are really, really good at what they do but mostly, make it yourself. If nothing else, if you screw it up or end up consuming some product that pisses off the food police, you've got no one to blame but yourself.