ATTN: curing RKIs and SMEs -- bresaola question

Discussion in 'Curing' started by hardwoodalchemy, Oct 1, 2016.

  1. My wonderful wife bought me the Umai Charcuterie kit not too long ago, and the first thing she wants me to do is bresaola.

    I've watched this Umai bresaola youtube video and this one repeatedly, as well as one that does not use the Umai system but rather the more traditional muslin wrap and hang dry method.

    My question relates to the curing process. In the Umai videos, they rub the beef and cure it for 1 - 2 weeks. However, in the other video they use red wine as part of the curing process. I think I would like to blend the two processes and mix the cure #2 into some wine and cure it that way, the goal being to get the wine flavor incorporated. I've never done a proper cure using cure #2 -- closest thing I've ever done is corned beef -- so I want to be sure it's actually curing. Will the meat cure properly if I mix the cure #2 in with the wine? If it won't work that way, what if I do wine first without spices and then do the Umai dry rub method with cure# 2 and spices?

    Thoughts / concerns / suggestions?

    Thanks in advance!
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2016
  2. daveomak

    daveomak OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Why not start with the basic cure...  do you have a humidity chamber type thing that is temp controlled ??  or an area that will substitute for it...

    Personally, I would skip the wine on the first try.... See how things go... as you gain confidence, then alter the recipe...
  3. Why would I not do it the "standard" way? Short answer? Because, simply put, I'm bad that way... [​IMG][​IMG]

    The reason for that is because I'm culinarily creative and actually quite good at imagining flavors -- what a dish needs more / less of, combinations that would taste good together, how a spice blend or dish might be modified for a different but good outcome, etc. (Had I the temperament to cook under pressure, being a chef would probably suit me very well. Alas...)

    All that said, I understand your point.

    To answer your second question, the closest thing I have to a humidity / temp controlled chamber is our fridge.

    My thought was that, if the meat would cure properly, I would mix all the spices and cure #2 together, add them to red wine, and submerge the beef. Once cured, I'd use the Umai bag.

    Putting aside for a moment the issue of "walk before you run," do you know if my suggestion would work from a practical standpoint? I did search the internet before asking, but it turns out that when the words "wine" and "cure" are grouped in the same search, Google thinks that I'm looking for a hangover cure. [​IMG]
  4. Like other packaged cures and spice mixes, stick to the directions provided by the manufacturer. If you're going to use the Umai bags then follow the procedures that they line out. or contact them and ask them directly with your question.
  5. My apologies if my question was poorly worded. My question has nothing to do with the Umai bag, since it isn't actually involved with the curing portion of the process.

    Here are my questions:

    A. Will the meat cure properly if I mix the cure #2 with the wine?

    B. If the above will not work, would it work to use wine first (without spices) followed by dry rub with cure# 2 and spices?
  6. I don't know of any restriction on the use of cure with wine. Having said that...bresaola is an air dried meat product. Very little from the flavours we are eagerly adding during curing will be detectable in the final product.

    Post pics.
  7. I couldn't watch your videos because they are blocked at work for me... using wine as the liquid for your curing brine will be fine... it will likely speed up the curing process because of it's lower PH; however, i have no idea about how much it will speed things up and it would be better to wait whatever you calculate the cure time to be based on the thickness of the meat.

    if you use the wine as the liquid for the curing brine, you should weigh the meat and the wine and add the appropriate percentage of cure# 2 based on that combined weight... same with whatever percentage you are salting at

    (weight of wine + weight of meat) * .0025 = your cure if you are curing at .25%

    (weight of wine + weight of meat) * .0275 = your salt if you are salting at 2.75%

    sugar works the same as above as well; however, i don't 'think' other spices work as well in transferring flavor into meat during brining. this is not something i know for a fact, it is merely from my own observations. adding a spice as a rub after curing will leave a stronger taste than adding that spice to the brine and then curing.
  8. crankybuzzard

    crankybuzzard Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Just my opinion, so take it as you will...

    If you've never performed a complete cure utilizing cure #2, I'd HIGHLY recommend doing it the first time as defined by the manufacturer.  Once you know that the items and equipment you have will be sufficient for curing meat products, then begin to experiment a bit.  Set your baseline and then build upon it ONE thing at a time.  That way you will know what the problem is when said problem arises.

    Also, the pH of wine varies between 3-4, the lower the pH the more likely your meat will begin to "cook" somewhat due to the acidity. 
  9. I have used wine when making breaola, but I marinated in red wine for 24 hours before I started a dry cure ( using half the cure/spice mixture for 7 days then applying the rest of the cure/spice mix for a further 7 days). I then used the UMAI bags to dry the meat .

    My recollection is that there was very little benefit from the wine which simply darkened and flavored the outside of the meat.
  10. Thank you all for your good, useful, and wise comments. I'll be doing a "standard" cure the first time (or three?) out. I am definitely adventurous, but I also like to do things the right way so as to get a high quality product with minimal risk.

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