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Beef Confit


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How come you never see beef confit? It seems to me that brisket or short ribs or any other commonly braised cut of cow would respond well to being confited (for ultimate use in, say, a taco - kind of a carnita-like preparation).

What strikes me as equally puzzling is that, after several Google searches, no one else seems to even be asking this question...

So... why not? Is there something about beef that, unlike pork, chicken, or duck, makes it unsuitable to being slow-cooked in its own fat and left to develop in the fridge for several weeks?

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Since confit is an ancient method of food preservation, not merely a trendy cooking method, I'm guessing that ancient wisdom, experience and custom decreed it not a practical way of preserving beef. More typically, beef was preserved by corning or pickling in barrels of salt brine. But if you want to cook beef by submerging it in melted fat, no one is stopping you. Will you salt-cure it first? Methinks that slow-cooking in flavored liquid (wine and herb braise) will give you a tastier product, but something like beef confited and turned into rillettes could be interesting.

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I think of the general consistency of beef fat and it makes me wonder if that's the issue. Obviously you're rendering it, but when you compare it in its natural (but, ahem, no longer living) state to, say, poultry fat, it's much denser and less malleable. Makes me think it just doesn't give the same consistency.

Still, pork is not really "white" meat, and yet people do it with pork fat, so who knows. Try it.

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