Saturday, 27 November 2010

Adventures in Wine Fridge Charcuterie

I found a recipe for Bresaola in John Torode's book 'Beef'. It requires marinading Topside of Beef for 2 weeks in the fridge followed by a further 2 weeks somewhere "cool that allows the air to circulate, such as the back shed in winter". Living in a small 2nd floor flat in London, this last step posed a problem.

I found an interesting blog by Matt Wright that explains how to cure indoors using an old fridge with suggestions on modifications you can make to achieve ideal temperature, humidity and air flow:

I don't have room for another full sided fridge in my flat, so investigated wine fridges. I ended up buying an 8 bottle wine fridge, it uses thermo-electic (Peltier) cooling and has an integrated fan (not advertised, but hopefully a blessing in disguise as this removes the need for me to drill holes and attach a separate fan to introduce air flow).

I bought a simple Hygrometer to measure temperature and relative humidity in the fridge. I put this in the empty fridge, set the temperature to 10C and left it on overnight. In the morning, the humidity read 73% - from what I've read so far, this looks promising!

I wrapped the marinated meat in Muslin (surprisingly difficult to buy on the high street - try amazon), attempted a few butchers knots (as demonstrated on Matt's blog) and put the meat in the fridge tied to the top rail. After a night in the fridge with the temperature set to 12C on the fridge, the humidity had raised to 81% - pretty close to what I need - fingers crossed!

Topside of Beef in marinade and John Torode's "Beef" recipe book.

After a night in the fridge.

Note the fan at the back.