Today I wanted to share what we’ve found to be one of the absolute easiest forms of charcuterie out there: bresaola. It’s one of those beautiful creations that never in my life before knowing my husband would I have dared to try (beef that’s not gone in the oven, huh?? ironic considering i’m obsessed with good salami) – or even thought I’d like! It’s also what we consider a delicacy, because we eat very very little beef in our house. But with the old man being a butcher and all, charcuterie is the name of the game in turning random pieces of (humanely and organically raised) meat into amazingly good bites, and so when we get a bit leftover, this is what we do with it.
While we have fully gone down the rabbithole of meat curing, including building our own meat curing chamber out of an old fridge and some random supplies, the basics are where I can step in and help more here on the farm. Personally, grinding meat, stuffing sausages, and obsessing on the chemistry portion of the work is not where I shine, and fortunately it’s what the husband totally digs. So bresaola? This is something I can do because it’s SIMPLE…and tasty. So, here’s how you make this beauty:
- 1-2 lbs bottom round or rump roast from top round (ask your butcher if you’re not sure what that is, but no matter what, buy GOOD, sustainably raised meat, not crap from Walmart, etc. – it’s worth it in so many ways)
- 1 cup red wine (or enough to cover the meat)
- 1/2 cup sea salt
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 4 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped (fresh makes a difference here)
- 1 tsp black peppercorns, crushed
- 1/2 tsp pink curing salt (aka “prague powder” – invest in a jar of this from websites like Sausage Maker and you’ll have it for a very, very long time, it’s used for tons of curing, from bacon to salami and more)
Marinate beef overnight in wine. Combine rest of ingredients in a bowl and divide into two portions. Dry of beef and rub with HALF of cure. Seal in the fridge for a week, flipping daily.
After a week, rinse and dry the meat, then rub with rest of cure. Cover and refrigerate for another week.
Dry off the meat (DON’T rinse!), weigh it on your kitchen scale and write it down, then tie it up with string, wrapping in a piece of cheesecloth. Hang in a cool place for a month (garage, basement, somewhere it can cure without getting sweaty!).
Bresaola is done when it’s lost 30% of its weight. The mold you see on the outside in the picture – that is GOOD. That proves it’s doing what it’s supposed to do.
NOTE: There are a BUNCH of different recipes for seasoning out there that I recommend trying as well. We like the simplicity of this one. And look how gorgeous and pink and marbled it turns out! We are constantly in awe of the curing process – hope you enjoy as well!!!