How to make Bresaola

Having recently started to make Charcuterie (see Coppa and Salami recipes), I just had to try Bresaola. Bresaola is very popular in Italy as an essential inclusion to their cold meat platters. It is salt cured similar to Coppa, but uses a piece of Beef muscle as opposed to the Pork muscle used in Coppa.

For a first time attempt I just bought a piece of Beef that was on offer in the supermarket (Fig 1). Having now made it I would be prepared to buy a more suitable joint of meat such as the top of the shoulder. It is essential that you weigh your meat at the beginning and end of the process as this will give an indication of whether or not your Bresaola is ready. For example, my meat weighed 729g at the beginning and 420g at the end of the process.

What you will need:

Beef (obviously).
Red wine enough to cover your Beef in a container or in a Zip lock bag.
Dry cure rub – see the Coppa recipe or the bottom of this article.
Mixed herbs such as Rosemary, Thyme and/or Oregano.
Butchers String and Muslin to cover.


Place the Beef in either a container or Zip Lock bag and cover with Red Wine (Fig 2) and place in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

Remove from the wine and discard it, dab the Beef dry with Kitchen towel and rub in half of your dry cure all over the beef and return it to your container of choice (Fig3).

Turn the meat every day and after a week drain the moisture from the container, dress the meat once again with the other half of the dry cure, include your herbs and return to the fridge. Turn every day, as before.

After the second week, remove from the container, wash off the cure (Fig 4) and string using a butchers knot – leave a loop at the top to hang (Fig 5).

Cover with Muslin, and then hang somewhere cool and slightly moist; (Fig 6) demonstrates the Bresaola hanging in the kitchen for 24 hours prior to going into a more appropriate site.

After about 3 weeks, weigh the meat, if the weight loss is about 1/3rd then it should be ready.

Slice thinly and enjoy; in (Fig7) I have sliced off some of the outside meat to remove some of the saltiness.

Dry cure Recipe:

100 grams of course sea salt or Mongolian pink salt.
100 grams of granulated sugar.
5 grams of ground black pepper.
5 grams of Prague Powder if you chose to use it (I don't).

If you get a white mould on the outside, fear not, it's a good sign. If it bothers you, it can be removed using a wash of salt and vinegar mixed and wiped on with some kitchen towel or muslin.

Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3 Figure 4


Figure 5 Figure 6 Figure 7