In this recipe I will show you how you can make Bresaola at home. It is a cured and air-dried beef ham from Italy.
The preparation takes about 30 minutes. But the total preparation time is several weeks because you have to air-dry the Bresaola. Its taste is similar to the Swiss Bündnerfleisch.
The recipe is an excerpt from my ham and prosciutto book.
The Bresaola is often eaten as antipasti or as Carpaccio with arugula and Parmesan. Personally, I find this beef prosciutto also excellent on a sandwich.
In this article you will find the complete Bresaola recipe either as video or in written format.
Have fun and good luck making it!
Bresaola – What do you need to make it?
Ingredients for your Bresaola
- Beef top round, eye round or loin (depending on how much you want to make)
Spices for 1kg of meat:
- 2.75 % salt
- 0.25 % Cure #2
- 1 g black pepper
- 0,5 g thyme
- 0,5 g juniper berries
Optional: spice crust
- 80 % rosemary
- 20 % black pepper
How much of the spice crust you need depends on the size of the meat. Assuming 10 g is enough, take 8 g rosemary and 2 g black pepper.
The equipment to make Bresaola
Spice grinder/ mortar:
Freshly ground spices taste best. But of course, you can also use ground ones. It is best to use a spice grinder. Alternatively, you can use a mortar. You just need to take care, that the spices are completely ground.
For the stress-free “curing in vacuum” method you need a vacuumizer. If you don’t have one yet, you can check out my recommendation here.
Alternative: “Real dry curing” doesn’t require a vacuum sealer, read my article on the subject of curing.
Place to dry and mature the ham
To age the ham, you need an environment where both humidity and temperature are relatively constant. There are several possibilities for this. I have already matured cured hams in the fridge or cellar without any problems.
Optional: If you want to be on the safe side, then a ripening cabinet is the best choice. My recommendation: Dry Ager DX 500
Make Bresaola – Step-By-Step Instructions
1. Remove any tendons, fibers and silverskins from the meat. Make sure there are no large cuts or “pockets” in the meat.
2. Weigh your cut of beef and write down the weight. Why. The weight will be used to calculate how much seasoning you need.
3. Put the spices in a mortar and grind them.
4. Massage the spices into the meat. Make sure it is covered on all sides with the spice mixture.
5. Place the meat in a bag with the remaining salt and spices. Make sure the spices are completely inside the bag.
6. Vacuum seal the meat.
7. Put the bag in the refrigerator for the minimum curing time (1.5 days / cm of meat thickness). Turn the bag occasionally and this process will cure your Bresaola.
8. Take the meat out of the vacuum bag. You’ll notice the meat has firmed up.
9. Dry it with a kitchen towel.
10. Now hang the ham in the refrigerator/maturing cabinet to dry. It is important that the humidity is 70-80% and the temperature remains below 15°C (59 Fahrenheit).
I use a special chamber BUT it also works in the refrigerator or cellar. I have also done so for years.
Important: The better the humidity can be controlled, the more evenly the Bresaola dries. If it dries too quickly this can lead to a dry edge. In this case, I recommend you to vacuum seal the piece of meat again and then leave it in the refrigerator for 2 weeks. The dry edge does not disappear completely but balances out better.
11. As soon as the consistency suits you, you can take your ham out of the fridge/ripening cabinet. My ham took about 5 weeks.
12. Ready is your own beef ham / bresaola. Slice it very thinly and enjoy.
Book recommendation: The Full Guide On Making Dry Cured & Cooked Ham Easily At Home – Step-by-step instructions & 28 delicious recipes
How long is the shelf life of the Bresaola?
In theory cured meat like Bresaola remains in good conditions for a long time (up to 2 months).
In the refrigerator it can be kept for about 2 weeks. The danger is that it will dry out over time and become tough.
Workaround is to vacuum seal the dried Bresaola.
Can beef bresaola be frozen once it’s ready? thanks, Beth
Hey Beth, yes it can. If you like the taste afterwards is personal taste. Some say it does not change, others say it does not taste anymore.