Bresaola – progress

My eye of round beef has finished curing.  After washing the spices and sludge off its surface, and dowsing it with a little white wine, it is ready for stuffing into natural casing.

After reconstituting the casing, it seemed far too narrow for the beef to fit inside it, but amazingly, the meat went inside with surprisingly little fuss.

The casing is one of the largest you might use in charcuterie, the beef bung.  It could easily fit a larger piece of meat, and much longer too.  Then I trussed the beef and casing with butcher’s twine, which took a bit of time to get the hang of.  In the end, it didn’t look too bad for a first attempt.

I went to hang the beef in my curing chamber, and Sod’s Law, it was just too long to fit.  I hadn’t accounted for the stretching of the casing and the length of the loop of twine adding a couple of inches to the length.  After some cursing, it turned out the bresaola will fit if I hanged it at a slight angle, with an extra line made fast to the other end so it hangs rather like a hammock.  I hope it doesn’t make a difference to the drying.  It should be ready when it has lost 30% of its weight; maybe 2 or 3 months.  Curiously, although my chamber is not tall enough to accomodate the whole length of the bresaola, there is plenty of room behind the beef to hang another piece of meat – I may have to make some pancetta or something else.

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