Monday, January 7, 2008

Bresaola - Tasting

Well, almost exactly 30 days from when the bresaola went into the curing chamber, it's ready. The mold over the past 30 days beautifully coated the whole piece of meat, developing a nice white bloom. You can see what a nice lean piece of meat the eye of round is. There is just 1 fat vein in the middle, and this is pretty uncommon.




Here is a picture of the uncut bresaola, you can see how nice the mold looks. I have never been able to get this before, so I attribute it to the use of the mold solution I sprayed on them.

The bresaole lost 38-40% of their weight (each one was a little bit different, based on they location in the chamber, and their thickness), and only took about 30 days because they are rather lean. I maintained the chamber at about 54 deg. F, and 75% RH.

Here is a plate of thinly sliced bresaola. Look what a beautiful crimson color it has.








This is my favorite way to eat it. Dabbing it with a mixture of oil, lemon juice and black pepper. Wait about 5 minutes to let it soak in a little bit, and eat with crust bread. So good, so good.






As far as tasting notes, I think this bresaola is one of the best I've ever made. It is just a little bit too salty, but it may just be nit picking. The herbs are nicely balanced, with none of them being overly strong. It is beefy and herby. Really wonderful. Next time I'll leave it in the cure maybe 1 or 2 days less.
The texture is perfect in the thicker, central, sections. Soft, but not raw feeling. The ends are a little drier and harder, but that is impossible to avoid since they are smaller. I think the 38 or 39% water loss is just about right for eye of round bresaola.

32 comments:

Chilebrown said...

Well how does it taste?

Chilebrown said...

I read the summary only. Whoops! It sure looks good. Lookin forward to the next adventure. Peace, Paul

Anonymous said...

Jason,

I am currently using your recipe, sans juniper and rosemary, to make a bresaola. Will let you know the progress. Also, I wanted to talk to you about how important the technical aspects of the curing is, i.e. humidity, temp, etc. I really never look at these aspects, yet get pretty good results none the less. I will email you soon. Thanks for the great recipes!!

Bill

Jasonmolinari said...

Bill, email me, i'd be happy to discuss these things with you.

darren said...

Hey Jason,
I just pulled my bresaola at 38% loss. I too got a great mold bloom all over using the spray but it was not as complete on the coppa and the lonzino I did at the same time with the same solution. Maybe there's something about the bresaola?
Anyway did you remove the collagen casing on before you sliced it? Mine appears to be on there pretty good.

Thanks,
darren

Jasonmolinari said...

Darren, yeah, the collagen is to be removed, and it does stick pretty well! It helps if you wrap it in a damp paper towel for a couple hours or overnight to soften the casing it just a little bit.

darren said...

I will give it a shot.

Scott B. Garrison said...

Jason, this sounds great. I am building up my stuff to get started and have purchased 1/2 grass fed steer back in Oct so I should have some cuts to work with. My question is assuming one were to serve a plate of slices about the size of your pictures - one could assume that the bresaola would last a while. I know it is a silly question (since i would tend to eat much more rather than less) but how long can a cut bresaola last in the refrigerator before something goes wrong like it dries out too much etc. Or should you put it back into the fermentor so the humidity is maintained.

another question - if you cut off the casing with the mold - does the mold do anything to the flavor or is it just for show. In essence you add the steps of casing it, inoculating it, and then throwing the stuff away

Thanks,
Scott

PS - I'm in Johns Creek OTP so I would love to know if you have local sources

Jasonmolinari said...

Hey Scott, the bresaola will keep a long long time in teh fridge, bit it will tend to dry out. The best way to keep it is to cut it into chunks that will last you a month or so, and vacuum pack the rest. That way it'll keep nearly indefinitely.

I'm actually not 100% sure that the mold does anything for solid muscle products. For salami i've read that the mold on the surface grows into the meat paste and consumes lactic acid, making the fermented flavor less acidic. I'm not sure that the same thing happens with solid muscles though. It does protect a little bit against overdrying on the surface.

Marc said...

Jason, I'm just finishing up my first attempt at the bresaola. Think it's ready but I don't want to cut it yet although I'm concerned about continues drying. Do you see any issues with vacuum packing it whole (casing and mold intact) and storing in the fridge for a week or so? I've done this with with saucisson of pork tenderloins before and it seems to even out the remaining moisture. Thanks!

Jasonmolinari said...

Marc, that should be no problem. You could also wrap it in plastic, put it in a zip bag and refrigerate. It'll even out the moisture in the bresaola as well.

Marc Rohrbacher said...

Jason, I know & understand (I think) why a curing temp of around 58 degrees is ideal. However, if the temp went as high as 70 degrees for a time, would that have an impact on the "safety" of the final product assuming is had been properly handled ? Not speaking of quality.

Jasonmolinari said...

Marc, i would have no idea. I guess it would really depend for how long it was at 70, and at what point in the curing stage it was....

Doug said...

Love the site - I'm curing a lonzino now, and a bresaola is curing now - when you talk about water loss, is that pre or post cure? I placed the cure on the beef round, and losely vacuum packed it (didn't remove all the air before sealing). Quite a bit of fluid has come out, unsurprisingly. Should I look for 38-39% loss from my original weight, or from the weight of the cured and washed piece?

Jasonmolinari said...

Doug, i calculate my weight loss from the cured meat...so i weigh just before putting it in the curing chamber.

Doug said...

Just tried the first bresaola. I had a half piece, and cased in 90mm collagen. I did NOT add mold spray, but after ~1 week I got a white flat "sausage" mold growth. All i can figure is the collagen casing were inoculated from the exterior of the package of mold that shipped with my casing. Regardless, it was a win, as it came out fantastic. Perfect drying, a great smell and taste. Herb present but not overwhelming, and the right amount of salt. Thanks for the inspiration and the beginning of a long line of curing projects.

Jasonmolinari said...

glad it worked out doug!

Nabil said...

I have one comment, if i do not have collagen casing, with what i can replace ? can i wrap in cotton (cheese cloth) and coat it with lard? or just tie it with string ?

Jasonmolinari said...

Nabil, I've heard of people using cheesecloth, just be careful about it drying too fast.

Nabil said...

thanks Jason

i am wondering if i did not use any, and i controlled the RH, would it works?

u r inspiring us, i have other hobbies of cheese making, and wine making, these hobbies are so nice

Jasonmolinari said...

nabil, i have made it with no casing at all, just an herb rub, and it worked, but it wasn't my favorite way. I'm getting it dried too fast.

So, it can be done, but it might not be as good as other ways that give it some covering.

Glad to help and get more people into this hobby!

Anonymous said...

What type of curing chamber do you use?

Jasonmolinari said...

http://curedmeats.blogspot.com/2007/07/key-equipment-piece-3-curing-chamber.html

Anonymous said...

Hi Jason,

I'm confused. I have seen a wildly different method for doing a Bresaola that involves giving the meat a week-long bath in a bottle of red wine together with seasonings similar to yours. Additionally, rather than using collagen they hang it in cheesecloth. Is that why the hang time for that recipe is a mere week as opposed to your method which has it hanging for a month? What I mean is, do you think the reduced hanging time is due to cheesecloth vs collagen, or wine vs no wine, or both? Have you ever tried the boozy method?

Anonymous said...

Sorry, just reread "their" recipe. Not a week. Ten days hanging time. But still that seems much shorter than yours!

Jasonmolinari said...

I've never soaked it in wine, but i could see using it as part of the brine to cure the meat.
Using cheesecloth will greatly reduce the amount of time it takes to dry...
In a week i don't see it drying very much though.,

Anonymous said...

Well, I'll give it a shot. Now that I think about it a bit more, if I soaked my face in rubbing alcohol it would dry me out very quickly indeed! LOL And I've made pancetta several times as well as duck prosciutto, so I think I'll know by feel when it's done.

Thanks for the suggestions on other kinds of "prosciutto", btw :)

Glowing Grove said...

Hi Jason,

First and foremost I want to say thank you for all the time and effort you've put into this. I have the Charcuterie book and have looked elsewhere but this blog has definitely the most helpful resource to get me started curing my own meat.

My first braesola has been in the curing chamber for about two weeks now and I have a couple questions.

The first is, the meat has lost a fair amount of volume since I first tied it up, and now the horizontal bands of butcher string are pretty loose. Is there a need for me to tighten it or retie?

Second question is, I sprayed the meat (collagen wrapped) with mold when I first it in, but after about 5 days I didn't see any growth so I sprayed it again. It's started to grow now, but it's pretty spotty. Will the mold continue to spread until it's done curing? Any thoughts on whether or not I should spray it again?

Thanks again for all your help,

Dave

Jasonmolinari said...

Dave, dont worry about the strings loosening.
Also, don't worry about the mottling of the mold. Sometimes it seems to take hold, sometimes it doesn't.

Glowing Grove said...

Good to hear. Thanks again!!

LLOYD NYKIDIES said...

did you ferment this one like you did with your Ribeye version?

learning from your blog has been great!!!!

Jasonmolinari said...

I don't remember. But I would If I made it again.