Air drying is a preservation process that consists of allowing the moisture content in meat to naturally evaporate. A slab of air-dried beef can be used to create tasty charcuterie board appetizers. Beef products that are preserved can easily be transported since they will not need to be refrigerated.
The Drying Process
A specialty foods manufacturer that produces and sells cured beef may feature an onsite or offsite facility where the drying process is conducted. Once an animal is slaughtered, a butcher will prepare strips of beef for drying. Beef products that are going to undergo an air drying session should be uniform in length and thickness.
Uniform sizes will ensure that meat dries in a consistent manner. Relative low humidity, warm temperatures, and adequate airflow each play a role in drying meat. Meat strips are typically suspended during the drying process. A gradual, slow drying process will ultimately result in meat products appearing slightly wrinkled and possessing a chewy texture.
The Use of Dried Beef
A specialty foods supplier may sell unseasoned and seasoned beef products. Seasoned beef that has been air-dried may have been marinated in advance. A dry rub that consists of a blend of spices may have been used to enhance the flavor of the beef. Dried beef will make a perfect snack for when you are on the go. It will also be beneficial to use when creating charcuterie boards that will be enjoyed by a group of people.
Beef pairs well with many cheese and cracker varieties. Dried beef will also be complementary to fine wines and other alcoholic beverages that you will be serving. If you are going to use dried beef to create an array of appetizers, choose the other ingredients that you will be pairing with the beef.
When shopping for beef products that a specialty supplier features, review the drying process that was used to prepare each product of interest. A supplier will list the ingredients that were used to enhance each beef product. A supplier will indicate how many ounces each beef product weighs, plus will provide details about whether or not a beef product has been pre-sliced.
Use the portion sizes that a supplier furnishes to help you select a number of dried beef products that will adequately support the number of appetizers that you will be preparing. When making a batch of custom appetizers, use toothpicks to secure beef slices with other ingredients.
Reach out to a company like Bru's Biltong to find out more.