Some time back we had the opportunity to visit the farmgate of Wuk Wuk Beef, where I purchased a girello roast on the advice that it would make a lovely carpaccio. Unfortunately the carpaccio was not to our taste and I thought I would just have to roast the rest. Then, in a light bulb moment, I decided to do a little research with a view to turning it into a Bresaola. For those of you who don’t know, Bresaola is an Italian air-dried, salted beef that has been aged two or three months until it becomes hard and turns a dark red, almost purple colour, with the help of the red wine included in the cure. During my research, I discovered that some people use a wet cure, others use a dry cure… The recipe I finally decided on was that of another fellow blogger from The Apple Isle – Tasmania. The blog is Tasmanian Artisan and the post is for Wine Salt Bresaola . There is a recipe on the blog for the wine salt used in the brine, but it just so happened that I had purchased some merlot salt from a stall holder at the Queen Victoria Market in Melbourne, and decided to use that instead.
Given the girello I had was only 750g, I got to and did all of the calculations to ensure that I had the correct ratio of ingredients for the size of meat that I would be curing. (I must say, I love a dry cure, it’s a simple process and takes much less room in the fridge than the wet cure.)
The ingredients were prepared and set out, and the meat trimmed and set on a plate. Then it was time to massage the cure into the meat, taking time to ensure that it got into all the cuts and folds, and, of course, that it was evenly distributed over the meat.
The meat, together with any of the cure that was left on the plate was then popped into a snap-lock/resealable plastic bag, ensuring that all the air was squeezed out, before being placed in a dish and then put in the fridge. For the next 12 days I turned the bag and gave the meat a little massage to ensure an even distribution of the cure.
After 12 days I was happy with the feel of the meat, and moved onto the next stage. So after removing the meat from the bag, it was rinsed under cold water to remove any excess cure, and patted dry with some paper towel, before being placed on a wire rack,on the
kitchen bench, for a couple of hours, to allow it to come back to room temperature. The meat was weighed and the weight recorded on my kitchen calendar on the date it was hung, so that I would know how long it had been hanging, and could keep track of the weight loss. Finally it was wrapped in muslin and then hung.
Given the weather at this time in Australia, I had to hang it in the fridge, not exactly ideal, I know, but we have a second fridge in the garage, so I placed a couple of small trays of Himalayan rock salt under the bresaola to help manage the humidity.
Each week the meat was taken down, unwrapped and checked to ensure there were no nasty moulds developing, and weighed to check the progress of the cure – the weight needs to reduce by at least 30%.
Finally the big day came and it was time to slice and taste…
The verdict – I hope it lasts until Christmas so the family can taste it – yes, its really, really good.
Thank you Tasmanian Artisan, your recipe and guide were easy to adapt and follow.
Until next time…