1. Food

Mocetta - Cured Goat or Cured Beef

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Mocetta is one of Valle D'Aosta's traditional cured meats, and in the past the animal used was mountain goat. Now most of the goats are in national parks, and though some are still raised for the purpose, people also use beef. It is in any case a preparation that should only be undertaken after temperatures have dropped in the fall, and will require a cool dry place for both the salting and the aging. You'll need:

Ingredients:

  • 11 pounds (5 k) lean mountain goat or sheep, or beef, cut into 2 1/4-pound pieces.
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • A bunch of parsley, minced
  • The leaves from a sprig of rosemary
  • A few bay leaves
  • 1/2 pound (200 g) coarse sea salt (Kosher will work well here)
  • A sprig of thyme, a few juniper berries, and some pepper corns, crushed

Preparation:

Combine the herbs, garlic and salt in a bowl. Take a large terracotta or wooden vessel and line the bottom with a little of the salt mixture, then arrange the meat on it in layers, salting between the layers. Cover it all with a wooden board and put a weight on it that's sufficient to keep the meat well pressed down. Leave the meat in a cool place 8-10 days, draining off the liquid that the meat gives off.

Once the meat is salted, hang it up to dry in a cool, dark, well ventilated place. It will be ready in about a month, but will keep well for a or more. The traditional way to serve it is thinly sliced, like Bresaola, and served as is, with no dressings. Just boiled potatoes or buttered bread, either of which will nicely complement the flavor of the meat.

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