I fell in love with bresaola when I was researching A Lombardian Cookbook in Italy with Alessandro Pavoni. A specialty of Lombardy, bresaola is salt-cured beef eye round that’s dried in the crisp Alpine air. Virtually identical to Swiss bündnerfleisch (viande des Grisons) from just across the border in the canton of Graubünden, it has a beautiful deep red colour. It’s also similar to Middle Eastern bastourma (pastırma in Turkish) which can be used instead. They’re all best left raw and served simply, as in this bresaola salad. Add some crusty bread and a glass of Grey Sands rosé and I’m in heaven. See video below for a Turkish recipe using pastırma.
Serves 4 as a starter
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Bresaola is a specialty of the northern Italian region of Lombardy. It’s salt-cured beef that’s dried in the crisp Alpine air. Virtually identical to Swiss bündnerfleisch (viande des grisons) from just across the border in the canton of Graubünden and Middle Eastern bastourma it has a beautiful deep red colour.
Bresaola is traditionally made in Valtellina, an Alpine valley in the Italian region of Lombardy.
Yes, they are very similar. Valtellina, the home of Italian bresaola, borders the Swiss canton of Graubünden (Grisons), and was even part of it at one time. Many similar foods appear on both sides of the border, including air-dried beef, which is called Bündnerfleisch (or Viande des Grisons) in Switzerland.
Yes. Curing and air-drying meat is also popular in the Middle East, where it’s called bastourma, basturma, basdırma, basterma, pastırma or pastourma. The main difference is the spices used to flavour it.
Peeling soft boiled eggs without damaging them can be tricky. I find the best way is to tap them all over with a spoon to crack the shell, put them into a bowl of cold water for a few minutes and then carefully peel them under gently running water. If you end up with a few pock marks, it doesn’t matter in this dish as the dukkah hides them!