Before you start make sure all your utensils, hands and work surfaces are spotlessly clean.We don't want to give bad bacteria a chance. (note 5)
Trim up the beef until you have a clean looking piece.
Mix all the dry ingredients together.
Place the beef with your salt mix into a food-safe non-reactive container like plastic or stainless steel. Massage the meat with the salt mix making sure to get it everywhere.
Cover the container airtight and place it into the fridge for 4 days. Turning the meat once every day.
On the 5th day add the red wine and place it back into the fridge. Covered airtight. Turn the meat once daily for 5 days.
On the 6th day remove it from the fridge and wipe off any bits of herbs and spices. Do not wash it in water.
Dry the meat on a paper towel.
Cut a piece of muslin cloth or breathable sterilised material. (note 6)
Wrap the meat in the cloth, tying it tightly with butcher's string all the way around.
Weigh the meat and make a note of it. Don't worry too much about the weight of the cloth. It's minor. (note 7)
Hang the meat in your curing chamber or fridge for 5 days before optionally removing the cloth and continuing to hang it open. I do this so I can monitor and control any bad mould outbreaks and also so the good white mould has more surface to grow on. (note 8)
If Not simply keep curing and monitor the meat every few days to check for mould growth. If you see any other colour than white mould growing simply wipe it off with vinegar and keep monitoring it.
Check the weight after about 4 weeks. The bresaola is ready when it has lost 30-40% of its weight.
Store airtight or slice thinly to serve. (note 9)
Beef eye of round is the most popular cut to use. Other meats like duck, deer, venison, lamb and pork can all be used and cured in the same way. For larger pieces, it will take longer to cure and smaller pieces like duck breast will be done sooner.
It's important to calculate the salt needed according to the weight of the trimmed meat. Simply take the weight of the meat and times it by 0,03. Or 3% of the weight of the meat.
Traditionally juniper berries are used. You can also add cinnamon sticks or coriander seeds.
You can also mix in a bit of brandy, port, sherry or whisky.
Hygiene is key when curing meats as it's a raw product and does not go through heat treatment. Make sure to wash equipment, hands and surfaces thoroughly.
Traditionally a cow bung is used but a breathable cloth work just as well and allows the white delicious mould to grow straight on the meat. Bresaola cured in a cow bung does not have the desirable mould on the meat as it gets removed to slice.
Weighing the meat before you hang it to dry is crucial to determining when it's ready to eat. Aim for 30 - 40% weight loss.
Dealing with unwanted mould is simple. Make sure there is some sort of airflow. Most fridges have a small fan. If any other mould than the white chalky kind grows, simply wipe it off with some vinegar and continue the curing process.
Bresaola is best stored in vacuum bags in the fridge. It can also be presliced wafer-thin and kept in individual vacuum bags in the freezer.