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Homemade Bresaola – Italian Air-Dried Salted Beef

In this article I will show you how you can make delicious Bresaola at home.

Bresaola is a cured and air-dried beef 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 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 recipe either as video or in written format. 

Have fun and good luck making it!

Bresaola – What do you need to make it?

Bresaola-all Ingredients

Ingredients for your Bresaola

Meat:

  • Beef top round, eye round or loin (depending on how much you want to make, mine was about 300 g)

For curing:

The amount you need is measured by the weight of the beef.

Example:

Your beef  is 300g. Then you need:

  • 8.25 g salt (300 / 100 * 2.75)
  • 0.75 g Cure #2 (300 / 100 * 0.25)

For the drying process I used: 

  • Allspice
  • Juniper berries
  • Cloves
  • Coriander seeds

The equipment to make Bresaola

Spice Grinder

If you want to grind your spices The spice mill grinds the spices while the mortar crushes or grinds the spices. 

Space in the refrigerator

Your Bresaola must be kept in the refrigerator to dry for at least three weeks. For this purpose it must either be hung up or be put on a grid.

Cheesecloth

The cheesecloth is used to wrap your Bresaola in it. It holds the spices on the Bresaola and is permeable to air. Therefore, perfectly suited for air drying. 

Kitchen string

The kitchen string is important so that you can lace up the Bresaola well. This prevents it from falling out of the kitchen towel. 

Make Bresaola – Step-By-Step Instructions

1. Weigh your beef and write it down. The weight is used to calculate how much salt and cure you need in the next step.

Bresaola-weigh

2 Calculate your salt & cure quantity. It is 2.75 % salt and 0.25 % Cure #2.

Bresaola-calculate salt

3. Massage the salt & cure into the duck breast. Make sure that it is covered on all sides. 

Bresaola-massage

4. Place the beef in a vacuum bag and vacuum it.

Bresaola-vacuum bag

5. Put the vacuumed beef in the refrigerator for 5 days (if it is below 500 g). Turn your packaged beef once a day. This ensures that it is cured correctly.

Important: The thicker the meat, the longer it takes (e.g. 2 kg Bresaola would take about 2 weeks). 

Bresaola-refrigerator

6. Once the curing process is finished you can now grind your spices very fine.

Bresaola-grind

7. Get the beef out of the vacuum bag. You will notice that it firmed up.

Bresaola-out of vacuum bag

8. Massage the ground spices into the cured beef.

Bresaola-massage 2

9. Pack the spiced cured beef in a cheesecloth and tie it tightly with kitchen twine. Make sure that it is really tight. 

Bresaola-cheesecloth

10. Weigh the meat and write it down again. With this weight you can control how much weight your Bresaola loses when it dries in the refrigerator. This way you will know exactly how long you need to dry it and when it is finished.

Bresaola-weigh 2

11. Hang the Bresaola in the refrigerator to dry for at least 2 – 3 weeks. It should lose between 30 and 35 % of the weight.

Alternative: A cooler place like a cellar with good air circulation is also possible.

Bresaola-hang

12. After 3 weeks my Bresaola lost 35 % of its weight.  To get an overview, I advise you to weigh the meat on a weekly basis.

Bresaola-unpack

13. Unpack the Bresaola and make sure that there is no mold on the meat. Do not eat if you see mold!

Bresaola-no mold

14. Your Bresaola is ready. Slice it very thin and enjoy it.

Bresaola-ready


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.


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    1. 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.

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