20141210_111621

Spice mix, black pepper and juniper berries.

Lately, I have been curing what’s in season, and right now, it’s hunting season so this series of posts will feature venison. All of these products are cured. It requires an environment where you can reliably control temperature and humidity. Once you have the environment, and the basic knowledge of safely curing meat, the recipes are up to your imagination.

Here, we’re talking venison bresaeola. See also venison landjaeger and cured deer heart.

I started with a roast from the hind quarter.

My spice mix contained:

  • 598g deer roast(1.5 lb or 21 oz.)
  • 18g kosher salt
  • 15g sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. pink salt #2
  • 1 tsp. rosemary
  • 2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 20 juniper berries, ground

Mix the spices real good. Put the roast on a plate, and rub both sides of the deer roast with the spices. You want to get as close to 100% of this spice mix into the bag with your roast since everything, especially the pick salt, was measured to the weight of our roast.  Put the roast in a zip-lock bag, or vac bag… and dump the rest of your spice mix left on the plate in with it. Seal it up and put into the fridge for 7-10 days. Massage and flip the bag every other day.

Once cured, remove the roast from the bag, and rinse the spices off the roast (use red wine to rinse off the spices if you like).

Optionally, you can cold-smoke at this time as well, but first, decide how you will dry it. For example, if you will wrap it in cheese cloth, and tie, you might cold smoke it before doing so. If you stuff into a beef bung, you would do this first, then cold smoke it.

Now, you should weigh the bresaeola and mark its weight in your log. Your bresaeola is ready for the fermentation stage. Place the bresaeola in a 70-75 degree F environment for 24-48 hours. I put in my oven with the light one. Just be sure to put a note on the oven controls that says “No Oven” so your spouse doesn’t come in and pre-heat the oven!

After fermentation, your bresaeola is ready to head into your chamber to finish drying. Currently, my dryer is running at 60 degrees F, and 80% RH. I will gradually turn the RH down to about 70% during the drying process if the other products also allow.

When the bresaeola loses 30% or more of its original weight, it is ready.