With the return of warmer weather, the birds are returning, trees are betraying signs that they are interested in budding, and the snow is melting at the Sabine Farm.
There is so much snow to melt this year, that the basement is getting a bit damp so the pumps have been activated to carry water away from the foundation. There is some pretty serious water to deal with!
And the chickadees, et al., are seriously draining the feeders. You can practically see the level of seed drop as they fend of death by starvation. The trees right now are full of song birds.
I too am managing to fend of starvation, this time through the emergency application of brasato.
Yes, I know this is really more of an autumn or winter choice, but I am always thinking ahead. I sometimes practice recipes out of season in view of times to come. Also, I had some beef I had to use.
A recent guest at the Sabine Farm brought along a large beef roast, which we didn’t get the chance to prepare. So, I took the bull by the horns and turned the carnis bovilla into a Northern Italian staple. It wasn’t the optimal cut of meat for this recipe, but… heck… I had it and it was free! It was a good opportunity to give this preparation a shot and get my head around its theory.
It began with a long marinade, 24 hours, in some chopped veg, fresh herbs (which we have been able to maintain here during the winter) and a bottle of red wine, this time an inexpensive barolo. The marinade was pretty aggressive. It had clove and cinnamon, fresh rosemary and sage and lots of bay.
After, the marinade was drained, the beef and vegetables were browned separately, and everything was reunited for slow cooking, in the marinade, for about 3 hours at very low heat.
The meat is taken out, put aside to settle down and let the juices distribute, and the veg and herbs separated and put through a mill. The milled veg are rejoined with the cooking juices in the pan and reduced for the sauce to be served.
Basically, nothing is wasted in the entire cooking process.
Given the very dark shade of the meat, I wasn’t sure what I was going to find when cutting into it.
I found the impact of the flavors slightly disturbing, at first.
Then, as I ate, the it began to occur to me how good this was… then how really good this was. Then, after a break to catch up with my impressions, I cut some more.
I am still thinking about it today.
This was pretty tasty stuff, I must say, though I think I will only marinade for about 12 hours nest time.
I am not quite sure what I would pair this with. Perhaps a mashed root vegetable like parsnips. A barolo would be the best bet to go with it. You would really need to have a break after this, I think, with a sorbetto, in order to change gears.
I am very grateful to a particular person who gave me the recipe in a copy of La Cucina Italiana.