Sunday, May 16, 2010

Bresaola, official wedding version.

Since the time restraints hit me harder than expected for the charcuterie for the wedding, I needed to choose wisely that which was going to grace the cheese and charcuterie table after the main courses were cleared at our May wedding. I had already done 30# of 'nduja that was well on its way to deliciousness. So I wanted something quick (less than a month), whole muscle (eye of the round) and something I was familiar with as to not take on too much in such short time. So I decided to redo the bresaola as a hybrid of the last versions I did here LotH. I was able to grab two pieces at about three pounds each. I did some basic trimming of the exterior to remove any silver-skin and tough spots. Then I split the two pieces down the center end-to-end so they could cure quickly and evenly.

I wanted to incorporate all the great things from both versions I made previously and leave out those that didn't seem a positive contribution. So for this version I gathered up some white wine, black peppercorns, juniper berries, bay leaves, fresh rosemary, minced garlic, lemon zest, orange zest, cure #2, salt and sugar. I cannot give the exact recipe at this moment because I am in the hospital while the recipe is at home, but I will included it later.

I put the peppercorns, juniper berries, bay leaves and rosemary into my spice grinder until it formed a chunky paste. I then added everything but the white wine together, mixed it well and generously covered each of the four pieces of round. Once I had used ALL of the cure I placed two pieces of the round into one of two Foodsaver bags and added half the wine to each bag. I then carefully vacuum sealed each bag trying not to suck out any of the wine itself. I dated these and put them in the back of the fridge. Every couple days if I remembered I would turn over the bag and squeeze the contents around to mix and coat well inside. Thanks to the vacuum seal though the meat was always in contact with the cure.

After two weeks of hanging around in the fridge these guys had began to firm up just right. Much like how bread gets firm/hard as it gets older, meat begins to firm up as it cures, but not as quickly, or as firm. It does take a bit of experience to start to know when enough is enough, but this is the only way to gain that experience. I would say that the meat should be half as flexible as when you first out it into the cure. But you always want to check the thickest part for this comparison.

Two weeks was just right for these pieces so out of the cure they went. They received a nice rinse in cold water and were then patted dry with paper-towels. Next each piece was wrapped in cheesecloth and tied at each end. We then weighed and noted the weight of each piece. They then joined their future co-stars for a drying period in the room. The remaining three weeks before the wedding should be perfect!

After a couple days in the room these already started picking up some of that pesky white mold. We wiped it down with a 4:1 water to vinegar solution. We left them in the fridge to quickly re-dry the surface. We re-wrapped in fresh cheesecloth and placed them back on the rack for more drying. We'll keep a close eye on these to monitor mold and weight-loss.


  1. At least it's staying white. I was having good mold growth in my old chamber, until i threw a bunch of lonzino in it. The humidity jumped and they turned green. I only had three that were good. Keep monitoring those bad boys, I didn't and lost a lot of product.

  2. just a suggestion, but allow the white mold to grow.. i did and it made my bresaola taste fantastic.

    congrats on the pending nuptuals.