Bresaola - Cured Beef from Lombardy | ūü¶ÜThe Bow Tie Duck Manila
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Bresaola dela Vatellina PGI

Star of the valley

An Ital¬≠ian cold cut, air-dried and salt¬≠ed, this cured beef is made from the top round (rear leg) of the cow. It comes from a val¬≠ley in the Lom¬≠bardy region of the North¬≠ern Ital¬≠ian Alps, called Valtellina.

TAST­ING NOTES FROM THE CURATOR

This beef cold cut has a sweet, musty smell, and is lean and more ten¬≠der than oth¬≠er types of cured meats.

The meat is com¬≠plete¬≠ly and thor¬≠ough¬≠ly defat¬≠ted and sea¬≠soned with a dry rub of salt and spices (usu¬≠al¬≠ly juniper, nut¬≠meg, and cin¬≠na¬≠mon). After a few days of cur¬≠ing, it‚Äôs dried for one to three months.

Dur¬≠ing aging, it los¬≠es about 40% of its weight, and becomes hard and the col¬≠or turns a dark red, almost pur¬≠ple. Cut very thin¬≠ly and served chilled or at room tem¬≠per¬≠a¬≠ture, this halal cold cut is salty to the taste, with hints of gar¬≠lic, pep¬≠per, juniper, and oth¬≠er spices.

PAIR­INGS AND PREPARATION

Bre¬≠sao¬≠la is incred¬≠i¬≠ble enjoyed as is or as antipasti. In fact, it‚Äôs high¬≠ly sug¬≠gest¬≠ed you eat it with as few addi¬≠tion¬≠al trim¬≠mings as pos¬≠si¬≠ble. Pair with an aro¬≠mat¬≠ic white wine.

Or do as the Ital¬≠ians do! Throw on some arugu¬≠la, a bit of lemon, a driz¬≠zle of olive oil and some black pep¬≠per, and you have a sim¬≠ple, but incred¬≠i¬≠bly tasty salad.

MOUN­TAIN MATTERS

A very big part of what makes bre¬≠sao¬≠la such a unique Ital¬≠ian cold cut is the place it comes from. The val¬≠ley of Val¬≠tel¬≠li¬≠na is a nar¬≠row area that runs between Italy and Switzer¬≠land in the cen¬≠tral Alps.

Val­tel­li­na is unique in that it runs trans­ver­sal instead of lon­gi­tu­di­nal like oth­er moun­tain val­leys. Because of this, it expe­ri­ences more sun­light, and milder cli­mate than oth­er alpine areas.

The val¬≠ley is also near Lake Como, mak¬≠ing it con¬≠stant¬≠ly well-ven¬≠ti¬≠lat¬≠ed. This unique com¬≠bi¬≠na¬≠tion of dry cli¬≠mate and mod¬≠er¬≠ate tem¬≠per¬≠a¬≠tures make the ide¬≠al con¬≠di¬≠tions for the beef cold cut to cure in a prop¬≠er, grad¬≠ual manner.

Storage Instructions

Vac¬≠u¬≠um-sealed packs of hand-carved cured meats can last up to five months in the refrig¬≠er¬≠a¬≠tor (nev¬≠er the freez¬≠er). Once the pack is opened, they‚Äôre best enjoyed with¬≠in the day.

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