Of Bresaola and Other Ike Survivors

Well, Houston was not as lucky with IKE as it was with Gustav a few weeks ago. The storm hit us pretty hard as a very strong Category 2 Hurricane. The island of Galveston took the brunt of the storm, but even inland Houston suffered considerable damage. Some parts of the city still have no power today! We were lucky that our house suffered very minor damage. The problem was that we had no power for over a week and a fridge and freezer full of food. Foods, like pounds of homemade sausage, a few quarts of stock, vegetables, meats and sauces. All that was gone, and it was a pretty damn sad loss.

However, not all was lost thanks to old fashioned food preservation methods. I was very gald to come back and find the Bresaola I had been curing and dry aging for about a month was covered in a fine powdery mold. In case you are wondering, yes, that’s good. Now if it was green and fuzzy, then it would have gone to the trash. This was the best tasting Bresaola I have ever had. I sliced it as thinly as possible and shared it with some family members who were a big source of help during the last week.

Another survivor was the batch of confit I made right before the hurricane. The legs of duck and a few sausages were perfectly preserved under a couple of inches of duck fat. I cooked a leg and sausage for dinner a day after we returned. I served it with potatoes sauteed in a couple of tablespoons of the flavorful fat. All I was missing was a glass of wine. I sure would’ve raised one to the gods of curing, salting, dry aging and preserving food.


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