Tuesday, 5 May 2015
Charcuterie Special No2. Bresaola
I had seen Bresaola on the shelves but never got round to trying it until last week. I got a pack from the Co-op from their Truly Irresistible range. The lean topside of beef from which it is made is infused with various spices and extracts of black pepper and garlic and then air cured in Northern Italy where it develops its exceptional flavour. The actual beef comes from both France and Italy.
A strict fat trimming process is essential to the rich taste. The legs of beef known as 'the top' in English butchery terms are thoroughly defatted. A rub is used to impart the spices and it can hang up to four months in the air drying process. As well as black pepper and garlic they also infuse the meat with salts, bay leaf, cinnamon, coriander, cloves, nutmeg, caraway, star anise and sometimes juniper berries. It is quite a thin dry papery form of charcuterie in the end result and very lean unlike a lot of the pork based products. I found it an acquired taste and I liked the salty aspects which you can see on the picture above.
It can be eaten on its own or with a few black olives and rustic bread. I had it with some tomatoes, a soft cheese, a few tossed basil leaves and a couple of ripped focaccia bread chunks flavoured with rosemary and olive oil. The focaccia bread was from Marks and Spencer.