dry-cure beef

It always happens.  We get a perfect forecast for hanging beef, forties daytime, low thirties at night, so we kill and hang a couple of steers with a clear ten days of good weather, and immediately the moderate forecast is supplanted by a heatwave, the temperatures skyrocket into the fifties and we have to drop the sides into the hog-scalding trough and ice them down.  And you can’t hold beef wet that way for long, so we end up cutting and wrapping early.  Not that it spoils the beef to get it in the freezer after only a week of hanging, but it throws our plans off-schedule and supplants whatever we were going to have done in the intervening time.  Thank the Heavens that when the thermometer rose over Thanksgiving weekend we had captive assistants in the form of all our family, every one, and we got the beeves cut, wrapped and in the freezer in record time.  And we had steaks for dinner that night, fabulous with Jessi’s onion-bleu cheese sauce, baked potatoes drowned in butter and sour cream, and fresh greens from the high tunnel.

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