Bresaola (pronounced Breh-say-OW-la) is beef that has been rubbed with spices and cured, then hung to dry. The dry cured beef originates from Valtellina, an area north east of Lecco and Bergamo, in the Lombardia region of Italy. It is served sliced paper thin, not unlike proscuitto, often with arugula, olive oil, and an acid as a first course. Unlike proscuitto, this is done with a very lean cut of meat, the eye of round.
I know all this safety stuff can get pretty dull, but it’s important when dealing with meat, to avoid cross-contamination from other things in the kitchen. Here’s my knife and cutting board in a bleach water solution, being sanitized before I start working with the meat. I’ve also wiped down my work area with the same solution.
Yeah, yeah, we GET it. When do we get to see the meat? OK. Thanks for your patience. Here are my two eye of round roasts.
I’ve trimmed them of any excess fat and silverskin. Each of these is about 3 pounds in weight. While I was waiting for the sanitized stuff to air dry, I mixed up the dry rub in my little coffee grinder. It’s in the bowl on the left, and I’ve got a closeup:
This rub contains sugar, salt, pepper, juniper berries, thyme, rosemary, and Insta Cure #2, aka DC Curing Salt #2. I’ve used fresh herbs, so instead of being completely a powder, there’s a little clumping of the cure, due to the moisture in the herb leaves.
Those of you familiar with quilting might find humor in that I had to run upstairs to the sewing room to find my freezer paper before doing these steps… I actually use more freezer paper for quilting templates than I do for food related applications at this point. We’ll see if I get to the point of storing freezer paper in the kitchen.
I rubbed half the spice mixture on the meat, and reserved the other half for after the initial cure is over.
The next step is to put the meat in zipper bags, and let it hang out in the refrigerator for a week. I put each roast in its own bag, then inside a second bag, to prevent leaks.
I’ll overhaul this (Don’t you love specialized vocabulary? That means I’ll open the fridge and flip the bag over, to redistribute the cure) every two days or so, until its first week is over. Until next Wednesday, this just has to do its thing.