Bresaola is a cured beef product from northern Italy. This lean cured meat makes a delicious accompaniment to any charcuterie board and can be used in a variety of recipes and dishes. 

What is Bresaola?

Bresaola is thinly sliced beef top round that is air dried, salted, and aged. The dried bresaola is fairly firm to hard and dark red in color. It takes 2 to 3 months to age bresaola, depending on the size of the top round. This cut of beef is quite lean and is typically trimmed of any additional fat before salting and drying, making it unique from other types of cured meats such as prosciutto, which typically has marbled fat. In addition to plain salt, bresaola is often rubbed with other herbs and spices to add additional layers of flavor to the meat. 

Image Credit: Flickr user snowpea&bokchoiCC BY 2.0 )

History of Bresaola 

Bresaola is believed to have originated in the Valtellina valley in northern Italy near the border with Switzerland. The word bresaola comes from the Lombard word for braised, bresada. Bresaola is a protected product, and only products originating from Valtellina may bear the name bresaola. Outside of this valley, bresaola may be known as viande sechee. 

Cooking with Bresaola 

Image Credit: Flickr user chefpercaso ( CC BY-NC 2.0 )

Bresaola tastes great when you can let the unique flavor of the meat shine. Try it in this delicious burrata salad recipe in place of serrano ham to offset the sweet corn and melon. Alternatively, try bresaola on top of our Salad Flatbread recipe with shaved Parmesan and well-dressed salad greens for a delicious lunch or dinner.

Bresaola is typically served alongside leafy greens in Italy, especially with arugula, so consider adding a few pieces to your next salad with a drizzle of olive oil to try it in the traditional way. 

Sourcing Bresaola 

Want to add bresaola to your next meal? Look for bresaola in specialty cheese shops or Italian markets. Well stocked supermarkets that specialize in cured meats may have it, but bresaola can be difficult to find. For the best selection we recommend shopping for bresaola online.

Feature Image: Flickr user chefpercaso ( CC BY-NC 2.0 )

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