This is my first attempt at making Bresaloa. What is Bresaloa? Bresaola or brisaola is air-dried, salted beef that has been aged two or three months until it becomes hard and turns a dark red, almost purple colour. It is made from top (inside) round, and is lean and tender, with a sweet, musty smell. It originated in Valtellina, a valley in the Alps of northern Italy's Lombardy region. The traditional way of making a Bresaola is noted below.
A strict trimming process as seen below is essential to the rich taste. Legs of beef are thoroughly defatted and seasoned with a dry rub of coarse salt and spices, such as juniper berries, cinnamon and nutmeg. They are then left to cure for a few days. A drying period of between one and three months follows, depending on the weight of the particular bresaola. The meat loses up to 40% of its original weight during aging.
The below spice mixture is not my recipe but comes from a wonderful blog on charcuterie. Cured Meats blog has been meaningful and essential in my learning process. Jason through his blog and his email has helped me understand charcuterie. Wrightfood blog has also been very helpful too in many different ways. I am of course using the EYE OF ROUND for my Bresaola.
Note 1: The weight of meat plus fat is 100%. All ingredients to be added are expressed as a percentage of the weight of meat plus fat. Percentages can be used to standardize recipes regardless of batch size. All weights are metric.
Note 2: No weights are given because the weights of meats vary. Everything is a percentage of the meats weight after trimming. Example- Meat weight 2393 grams and we want to find out the amount of salt we need in grams- 2393 X 3.5%=83.755 or 2392/100 X 3.5 =83.755 grams.
|Ingredient||Quantity(g)||% of Meat|
|Eye of round||3322||100%|
|Salt ( Kosher)||166||5%|
Mix up the spice mixture after grinding the cinnamon, clove, and juniper berries, chopping up the rosemary and crushing the black peppercorns.
Take the mixture and really massage it into the meat. You really want to get the meat and salt nicely worked into it.
Massage the meat while it is in the bag every 2 or 3 days, flipping it to make sure it is getting even exposure to the liquid which will have formed in the bag.
I plan on using UMAI Charcuterie dry-age bags which allows you to create old world charcuterie in your home without the need of special equipment.
Ok meat all cured after 21 days. Meat weight before cure was 3322 g and after cure 3289 g for a weight loss of 33 g. I cured for 21 days due to size of meat. It looks beautiful!!!! Now onto the cold smoking!!!
COLD SMOKING FOR 2 HOURS.
Top picture cured and smoke. Bottom picture trimmed and uncured.
Oct 1, 2013
Here is the Bresaola sitting in the UMAI charcuterie bag ready for the refrigerator. In about two months or 30% weight loss it will be ready to be consumed. Meat weighed in at 3289 g and a weight loss of 30% would be 986.7 loss and a final weight of 2302.3. The flavors will be intense!!!!
Bresaola is on the bottom right drying.
After 26 days...it has lost 21% of it weight.