Bresaola di cervo or venison deer bresaola is one of the cured meat cold cut or charcuterie. Bresaola, sometimes called brisaola is air-dried, salted and spiced beef or venison deer that has been aged for several months until it becomes hard and turns a dark red. Bresaola usually made from lean and tender meat like eye round or tenderloin.Properly trimming process is essential to the rich taste. The meat of beef are thoroughly defatted and seasoned with a dry rub of coarse salt, spices, and herbs. They are then left to cure for a few days. A drying period of between one and three months follows, depending on the weight of the particular bresaola. The meat loses about 30-40% of its original weight during aging.
Eversince i’ve made my Homemade Duck Prosciutto (Air Dry-Cured Duck Breast), i’m obsessed with making homemade cured meat or charcuterie. Homemade version of venison bresaola is away cheaper than the gourmet deli store price tag. Making venison deer bresaola is actualy effordless since you let the time doing it’s drying and aging process. Beside, you can control all ingredients and adjust the taste according to your own personal licking. For example, i add szechuan peppercorn to my homemade venison bresaola to satisfied my asian descent taste buds and you won’t get any of it in the store.
Venison bresaola is popular among the hunters because it was ancient old meat preserving method. Properly dry cured method of bresaola can save the good amount of hunting harvest. Than they can enjoyed it for a long day since it can last for months or even years. Some would love to inocculate a good white mould in the exposed meat to make it last longer. To mantain the red meat color and prevent spoiling and poisoning from botulist, bresaola cured with nitrites like salt peter or potassium nitrid. The nitride oxide binded and reacted with the remaining myoglobin in the flesh and make a red pigmentation. This process get even better when the water is drained out from the flesh, but since i was using a junvenile deer for making this bresaola, the meat color is not as red as the matured ones.
To make venison bresaola, you must have the tenderloin or the round eye meat of it. Make sure you deboned the loin from the ribs properly and cleaned it from any silver skin or it won’t be well cured. The tenderloin then cleaned, salted and cured with good seasoning for about 2-3 days, depend on your venison loin size. During this time the venison loin is gently pressed to drain all the blood that remains in the meat. After the curing process, the cured venison loin is carefully washed in running water, patted dry and hung in a dark, good-ventilated environment. The humidity and temperature of the inviroment is the key success of making a good quality of venison bresaola. The best enviroment for making cured meat is cold climate with low humidity. The cured venison loin is then left until dry and loosen 30 percent of it’s weight. When you lived in a tropical country with high temperature and humidity, don’t worry about it, as long as you can set your refrigerator in “dry mode” you can made your own dry cured meat or bresaola.
The spices and herbs used differ according to the traditions and your personal preferences. For making my homemade venison loin i’m using a combinations of nutmeg, szechuan pepercorn, fennel seed, cumin, cardamon, sage, tarragon, juniper berries, black pepper, bay leaf, cloves, thyme, oregano, and rosemary. For the salt, i’m using homemade wood smoked salt and also salt peter (sendawa). All of the rub then processed in a food processor until form a fine powder to made it penetrate better to the meat.
How to enjoy venison bresaola is up to your preference, bresaola usually sliced into paper thin and served at room temperature or slightly cold. It is most commonly eaten on its own, but may be drizzled with olive oil and lemon juice or balsamic vinegar. I love to serve venison breaola as a salad or as an appetizer on a top of toasted whole wheat bread with blue cheese, pesto or spicy salsa dressing. Another variation is serving venison bresaola as a pasta or pizza topping. If you ask me about how does venison bressola taste like, i guess it almost the same with beef bresaola, but got a gamey deer flavour within. Venison bresaola is got more iron-like taste with metal aftertaste, just like you eat your anemia supplement.
Homemade Venison Bresaola Recipe:
- 1 1/2 pounds venison deer tenderloin (replace with beef)
- 20 gr (about 2-3 percent from the meat) wood smoked seasalt
- 1/4 tsp of salt peter/ pottasium nitride (you can either use pink salt)
- 30 gr brown sugar (you can replace with regular sugar)
- spice : nutmeg, szechuan pepercorn, fennel seed, cumin, cardamon, juniper berries, black pepper, and cloves
- herbs : sage, tarragon, bay leaf, thyme, oregano, and rosemary
- Trim any siverskin and fat from the venison deer tenderloin, note the weigh it for counting the salt weigth
- Process all salt, sugar, spice and herbs in the food processor until form fine powder, set aside
- Rub the venison loin with half amount of the rubs, make sure all surface are throughly coated
- Put the spiced venison loin in the non reactive airthight container (or using zip lock bag), let it refrigerate in 7-10 days until very firm, flip it every 12 hours
- In the following next day, discard the liquid that dripped off from the meat, rub the meat with remaining rubs
- Put it back in the fridge, flip the meat every 12 hours for following next 1-2 days depend on your venison loin size until it stiff and hard
- Wash gently your cured venison loin in running water, pat dry it well
- Wrap it in a cheese cloth and secure the end, note the date and the weight of your salted and cured venison loin (count and note your 30 percent weight lose of your venison bresaola)
- Hung the venison bresaola in your refrigerator, set it in “dry mode”
- Watch and weight your venison bresaola until it got ideal 30 percent of weight lose target
- Voila, your venison loin bresaola is done!
- Thinly slice your venison bresaola and enjoy it!
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