Sunday 22 April 2018

A Touch Of Juniper

Aromatic Nuggets

The juniper berries in the pantry are getting a workout at the moment. It's not that the Pipistrello household has started bootlegging gin to Make Life Interesting, and neither are we endorsing Pliny the Elder's contraceptive use for them (that's crazy talk); there's a little bit of home-curing going on.

First up was another batch of bacon. The instructions (it's hardly cooking!) come from a great little cookbook by Arabella Forge, Frugavore. A sprinkling of juniper berries are included in the mix and the pork belly is now curing in the refrigerator. My first batch was a bit of a winner and lasted simply ages (read, ahem, months), although it will really be better described and utilised as pancetta once it gets forgotten about and kicks around in the fridge for a bit.

Next up was my first go at bresaola. The instructions here came from Ross O'Meara, a contributor to the cookbook, Deli Book. More juniper berries were employed in the red wine marinade and the beef is also now drying out in the fridge. It will be a few weeks yet before we can give it a verdict although I do hold high hopes and have already promised a chunk to our lovely neighbours, the Country Mice, whose fridge I borrowed for the marinating while they were busy off tending to The Land.

While it would be lovely to have a cool larder within which to hang these delicacies to mature, the real world of a kitchen the size of a pocket hankie and an ambient household temperature disposing critters of the six-legged variety to believe they Own the Place means the trusty refrigerator is the repository for these curing bits and pieces. Not as romantic, but neither does the decor of this Art Deco apartment lend itself to such rustic accessorising.

Don't Try This At Home

In the meantime, there's nothing to be done but wait ...


  1. Good luck with the bacon (ahem, pancetta) and the bresaola (never tried it) and good luck with the spiders!

  2. Thank you, we shall wait and see! Yes, this is a spiders-and-snakes sort of country but the six-legged critters of which I speak also include flying varieties. Wildlife abounds around these parts!


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