*This recipe is gluten-free according to industry standards


  • 900g topside or silverside beef, trimmed of all fat and sinew (see notes below)


  • 100g sea salt flakes
  • 100g brown sugar
  • 5g black peppercorns, roughly ground
  • 5g Prague powder No 2, (see notes below)
  • 1 tsp juniper berries, crushed
  • 4 sprigs, leaves only thyme, finely chopped


  • STEP 1

    Precisely weigh out the dry cure ingredients using electric scales and combine in a bowl. Mix well and weigh the mixture again and put ½ aside in an airtight container for use in a week’s time.

  • STEP 2

    Thoroughly rub the other ½ of the cure all over the surface of the beef. Put the meat into a freezer bag with all the cure mixture and seal. Put the bag into a large, lipped dish (to catch any leaking juices) and chill in the fridge for 1 week, turning the bag each day.

  • STEP 3

    After a week, remove the beef from the freezer bag. Dry the meat with kitchen paper, then rub over the reserved cure mixture. Return the beef to a new, clean freezer bag, seal and put back in the fridge for another week, turning every day.

  • STEP 4

    Remove the beef from the freezer bag, discard any liquid, and dry the joint using kitchen paper. Tie two pieces of butcher’s string along the length of the meat, then tie short tight butcher’s knots every 2cm-3cm along the joint. Wrap the joint in muslin, twisting each end like a cracker and tying with string to fix in place. Tie a loop of string at one end with which to hang the beef.

  • STEP 5

    Weigh the wrapped-up beef and make a note of the weight. The bresaola will be ready when it loses 30% of its weight (our bresaola weighed 897g, so its target weight was 628g). Find a spot to hang the bresaola – somewhere cool, away from direct sunlight, not exposed to extremes of heat or cold. Weigh the bresaola every couple of days – ours took two weeks, losing 200g in the first week, and 120g in the second week.

  • STEP 6

    When the target weight is reached, unwrap the muslin and cut off the string. The outside of the bresaola should look dark, dry and a little shrivelled. Using a sharp knife, cut the bresaola into wafer-thin slices to serve. Store the remaining bresaola in an airtight container in the fridge and eat within 1-2 weeks.

Good quality meat really makes a difference here – well marbled beef will result in a beautifully succulent bresaola. Prague powder No 2 is a curing salt – it helps preserve the colour of the cured meat and prevents spoilage. Buy it online at and Feel free to experiment with different herbs and spices to flavour the bresaola – rosemary, cinnamon and nutmeg also work well.

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