“An Italian classic… truly is a celebration of beef…”
Paul recommends the cut of beef from the top of the hindquarter of the animal...
"Silverside and topside work very well. In some places, such as the United States, these may form part of a larger cut referred to as the ‘round’ steak. This is a reasonably lean cut of beef, typically with a good amount of flavour. A very thin strip of meat will tend to become very dry and chewy so choose a good-sized, thick joint that will retain some tenderness during curing and drying. Trim off any excess fat from around the edges; it is less likely to develop rancidity than pork fat but it is harder and it is unlikely to enhance the mouthfeel of the Bresaola”.
Paul also suggests that “The spice mixture can be enhanced with ¼ teaspoon of star anise seeds which, while not traditional, marries beautifully with the flavour of beef. Do not be afraid to experiment with your own unique spice mixture, but keep a note of it; discovering the perfect blend can lead to frustration if you cannot later recall the spices used”
Cut off the netting and score the casing with a sharp knife, peeling it back as far as you intend to slice. Slice very finely either with a carving knife or a meat slicer. The cut face should be protected with a strip of clingfilm or food wrap to prevent it from drying out.
If several days pass since the bresaola was last carved, discard the first slice which is likely to have dried out. Wrap the remaining bresaola in greaseproof paper to prevent it from drying out and to protect the surface from contamination.
Paul, an experienced Health & Safety Consultant, is also a Cheese Expert and regular contributor to Fine Food Digest. Over the years, his fascination for Charcuterie has grown and his latest book Home Charcuterie is a comprehensive manual on making Charcuterie. As he writes, “Charcuterie production and cheesemaking share something in common: both contain elements of science wrapped up in a coat of magic”.
Magic notwithstanding, Paul Thomas is strong on guidance as how to cure safely as well as imaginatively. There are chapters on the main food safety hazards – how to avoid them; special equipment – novices needn’t worry, you don’t need much; and explanations of essential ingredients – “proper” curing salts or which casings for which Charcuterie you’re about to make.
As well as clear, concise stage by stage recipes for such favourites as Coppa, Salami, Nduja, Salt Beef, Pastrami, Jerky and Bresaola (see example above), there are instructions on various techniques for making your own from home-cured bacon to air-dried ham. There’s also a useful glossary – hands up who knew what are bioprotective cultures – plus a handy list of suppliers.
Having judged the National Lincolnshire Chine Championship a couple of years ago, I was delighted to find a recipe for it. I tried it and it worked….tasted good and looked pretty professional. Whether it would have scored in the competition, who knows? But I was pleased with my first attempt at making Lincolnshire Chine.
Credit: Recipe & all associated images With Copyright Owner Permission of the publisher Lorenz Books
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