Bresaola is one of the most basic forms of salumi you can make. It's accessible to just about anyone interested in curing, from the basic beef cut of top or eye round to the spicing mixture and finally the length of time required from start to end product. One of the things I like most about salumi is the ability to introduce variations by region, as well as perhaps your own point of view on anything you produce. Traditional Bresaola however, is one that doesn't vary a whole lot by region, maybe some wine here, a spice different there, but on a whole, it's pretty standard. It is however, due to it's simplicity an area where you can play a bit with different versions. On a whole, I'm pretty traditional in terms of how I like my cured products, however Bresaola is where I try and play a little bit more. You may have seen some of the previous versions I've made, (Cow Parsnip & Green Juniper, source comparison, and standard). You see the same playfulness with some of the variations that friends of mine have produced: Ribeye Bresaola, Venison Bresaola(bresollina di cervo), Bresaola with Tyrol spicing and finally Smoked Venison Bresaola (bresaollina di cervo affumicata). There is still latitude within this simple preparation, but it's pretty basic at it's core, no matter what way you spin it.
My take this time on Bresaola was to use Aleppo pepper on the outside. Aleppo pepper is a pepper from Syria that can often be found in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food. It's a beautiful pepper with medium heat that is very different then the common flaked pepper you'll find in most spice shops or grocery stores. For those interested in purchasing, here is the spice shop that I purchase most of my stuff at who also does mail order.
Anyhow, being that I'm behind on posts, this is both the pre and post version of the making of this. The making was simple and followed the exact process I've done in the past with standard bresaola. The difference however was that the eye round was rolled in Aleppo pepper after being tied and prior to being hung.
Post drying, I was very pleased with how it came out. As you can see from the photo, the white mold that's been inoculated in my chamber jumped all over this one. This doesn't impart much of a flavor, but did make it look pretty interesting. The flavor was solid, good salt and a nice subtle heat from the pepper. I would say that I probably took it out a bit early, as it was softer than I generally like it, but on a whole it was a good experiment.