It was the G man’s birthday last week and he suggested that we have a nice birthday picnic. Usually I would have made a point of cooking and baking a lot of items for such a picnic, but the way things worked out that wasn’t to be. Instead, we bought a mix of super classy and super trashy foods and laid them out all nice on a rug on the living room floor. Even in July, you can’t rely on being able to picnic outside.
We had a board with a wedge of Jarlsberg, a wedge of dolcelatte and a slab of Ardennes pate with mushrooms and peppercorns. We also had a packet of cocktail sausages and the biggest pork pie you’ve ever seen. We had a bowl of crisps – Hula Hoops, to be exact – with the flavours all in the SAME BOWL because that is what you do at a picnic – and a bowl of cheddar crackers. We had some lovely ripe strawberries. Finally, we had a couple of turkey sandwiches on fresh tiger bread (bread that I didn’t make, horrors) and the piece de resistance, a plate of venison bresaola.
If you’ve never had bresaola before, I recommend that you try it at your earliest convenience. It’s a cured meat, like prosciutto, but made with beef instead of ham. In this case, it was made of venison instead of either of those. I think venison is my favourite meat – until I’ve tried them all, I can’t be sure, but it’s certainly up there. I was pretty excited about the bresaola. Look, here it is:
It didn’t disappoint. It was rich in taste, as you’d imagine, and much softer than some other cured meats. Sometimes a cured meat can be really dry and chewy, like a jerky. I don’t dislike this texture; far from it, I actually like food you have to gnaw on, it keeps my teeth in check and stops me trimming them on the bars of my cage. However, this venison bresaola is softer and thicker than other meats – more like a smoked salmon than a prosciutto. A meaty, meaty smoked salmon. It’s good stuff.
I also enjoyed spreading some of the dolcelatte on one of those soft slices of bread and topping with a solitary tomato slice. Blue cheese and tomato is underrated.
So, I do feel a little ashamed of not making any of the things in our picnic spread, but on the other hand it did mean more quality time together and you can’t put a price on that. Right?