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    Adapted from Franco Taruschio's book, Leaves from The Walnut Tree (Pavilion, out of print).

    • Preparation time: 15 minutes, plus 15 days curing
    • Total time: 15 days

    Makes: 20 to 30 servings


    • 2.5-3.5kg joint of topside, or silverside of beef
    • Marinade
    • 1 kg coarse sea salt
    • 12 sprigs rosemary
    • 12 bay leaves
    • 20 whole cloves
    • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
    • 1 tbsp cracked black peppercorns
    • 2 tsp dried chilli flakes
    • 5-6 strips pared orange zest
    • 5-6 strips pared lemon zest
    • 1-2 bottles red wine
    • To serve
    • 1-2 pink grapefruit
    • Extra virgin olive oil


    1. Trim the meat of fat or sinews and remove any string.
    2. Mix all the dry marinade ingredients. Put in a non-metallic container into which the joint fits snugly. Add the meat, turning it to coat well. Leave for two days, turning every few hours or so (there's no need to get up in the middle of the night). Pour over a bottle of wine. It should just about cover the meat. If not, open another bottle, add up to half, and use a non-metallic weight (such as a bottle of water) to submerge the meat.
    3. Turn the meat over daily for three days, then remove from the marinade and pat dry with tea towels.
    4. Wrap in a double layer of butter muslin, secure with string, and hang in a dry but cool and draughty place (such as a draughty outbuilding, a covered porch or the loft) for 10 days. By this time, it should be firm to the touch with just a little give in it.
    5. Slice very thinly. The bresaola slices should be harder and saltier on the outside, becoming soft in the middle. If they are very sticky and raw in the middle, turn the piece around and start slicing from the very end. You can rewrap and rehang the middle portion.
    6. To serve, spread 4-5 slices on each plate. Thinly slice the whole grapefruit horizontally and trim off the peel. Put a slice on top of each portion of bresaola, and drizzle sparingly with extra virgin olive oil.

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