Exquisite Homemade Air-Dried Meat – a Delicacy Surpassing Italian Standards

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

I used to believe that drying meat at home without a cellar or special equipment was an impossible feat. Every return from an Italian vacation meant stocking up on packs that would last only a few weeks. The anticipation for the next trip was accompanied by a dash to the supermarket – again. So, when I was recommended this recipe, trying it was a culinary necessity. The result? Simply astounding! Even my parents initially couldn’t tell it was homemade; they thought it was store-bought. The most challenging part? Allocating an inviolable shelf in the fridge for a couple of weeks. Shall we begin the drying?

Even more interesting recipes on our Facebook page. Click here to open!

Exquisite Homemade Air-Dried Meat – a Delicacy Surpassing Italian Standards

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg (about 2.2 pounds) of meat (*)
  • 40 grams (about 2 tablespoons) of sea salt
  • 30 grams (about 2 tablespoons) of sugar
  • 4 grams (about 2 teaspoons) of ground coffee
  • 10 grams (about 2 teaspoons) of coarsely ground black pepper
  • 10 grams (about 2 teaspoons) of juniper berries, crushed (**)
  • 5-6 bay leaves

*It’s preferable to use beef, not veal, in a long piece along the fibers. The recommended cut is topside, which I understand to be similar to rump.

**If juniper berries and coffee are not available, you can use a spoon of coriander seeds and a mix of peppers (black, white, green, and English) as a substitute. It’s not an equivalent replacement, but it’s equally delicious. The meat turns out spicy and tangy.

Instructions:

Mix the spices, salt, and sugar, then coat the meat on all sides.

Exquisite Homemade Air-Dried Meat – a Delicacy Surpassing Italian Standards

Place the meat in a narrow dish (to avoid leaving space on the sides) or an English cake tin.

Cover with plastic wrap, place a board or narrow plate on top to cover the entire surface of the meat, and put a weight on it.

Send this structure to marinate in the fridge for a week (mine stayed for 8 days). Turn the meat every two days and drain the liquid.

Exquisite Homemade Air-Dried Meat – a Delicacy Surpassing Italian Standards

In a week, the meat may lose 10-30% of its weight. I started with a piece weighing 1451 grams, and after marinating, it weighed 1293 grams. After a week, remove the meat from the fridge and pat it dry with paper towels. At this stage, you can remove the spices – they’ve played their part in marinating. Visually, it looks more beautiful with them. They will add spiciness if you slice the meat with the spices. So, do as you like. I left them.

Exquisite Homemade Air-Dried Meat – a Delicacy Surpassing Italian Standards

Now, if there’s space, simply tie the meat and hang it in the fridge. If there’s no space, lay it on a rack above a plate and place it on the fridge shelf (that’s what I did). Don’t cover the meat – it should dry and firm up. Flip the piece every day or two.

Exquisite Homemade Air-Dried Meat – a Delicacy Surpassing Italian Standards

Age it for a minimum of a week, a maximum of three. In my photos, the meat is after 1.5 weeks. By the way, the weight of the finished piece was 998 grams, so the weight loss was 32%. Wrap the finished meat in a dry cloth and then in baking paper; store it in the fridge. The finished meat can be stored for no more than a month, so don’t make too much.

Exquisite Homemade Air-Dried Meat – a Delicacy Surpassing Italian Standards

We’ve already finished our meat, and my husband immediately said, “Prepare the next one!” This time, I’ll make sure to stock up on juniper berries in advance.

Rate article
TASTYDONE
Add a comment