BRESAOLA without nitrates... any recipe reccos??

I have a huge chunk of organic grass-fed backyard top round (thanks Skippy!) and want to make bresaola... and do not want to use nitrates, nitrites, etc... I searched all over the web and it looks like the real-deal Italian bresaola curers do not share their secrets on the web, big surprise ;), b/c they obviously didn't use that stuff back in the day. I did find Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's recipe and think I'll go that route... Has anyone tried it? Any leads on any OG bresaola recipes?? Thank you! JvT

saucy. von Trapp


Bevi February 22, 2012
Hey Jordan, check out Mrs. Wheelbarrow's site for other curing projects:

You will love it!
usuba D. February 22, 2012
I saw your website and have your email. I am going to take this off line and discuss with you. I do not want to give out too much propitiatory information.
scott_d February 22, 2012
Be sure not to eat any spinach or celery if you're concerned about nitrates.
usuba D. February 22, 2012
Guess what . . Parma is made without nitrites using coarse salt (not sea salt). There are many myths out there about meat, nitrites is one of them. What you are going to lose is the cured flavour & colour nitrites can give you. But, if cured slowly (figure a week per inch thickness of meat), you will get a very mild cured flavour and a dull cured colour.

To start, make sure that there are NO cuts or loose parts of meat, only solid. Cure it at 40 - 45 degrees F, no colder or warmer. If I knew the thickness and weight, I can give you more detail on the curing process. My family have been dry curing products without nitrites for over 50 years, so I have a lost of experience with this process.
saucy. V. February 22, 2012
Hi all, thank you for your insight... I have heard answers from all over the spectrum!
I knew that about parma Usuba dashi, and that is my next project, after the next round of our piggies are slaughtered! (
but bresaola is first... I have a 4lb top round roast thawing now... I was considering dividing it into a 3lb and a 1lb piece but I would love your recommendation. I have read some successful accounts of Hugh's recipe which is marinated in wine first and then cured for a month, with no nitrites...
thank you all so much!
Aleksandra G. July 10, 2014
HI usuba dashi - found your post recently in a hunt for bresaola recipes that are nitrate/curing salt free. I know nitrates are not necessary as that's not how it was done in the old days, and I know not to expect a perfect pink product in the end but was hoping you might be willing to share your own experiences as this is my first time curing meat! Any input would be great!
Ms N. February 22, 2012
Have to agree with Mrs. W. Don't do it without pink salt. The amounts are really in the "trace" arena, and do not have an affect.
MrsWheelbarrow February 22, 2012
I applaud your desire to make bresaola, but I'm not sure I would hang meat up to air dry for over a month without nitrates. Pink salt, which is inexpensive and effective, will keep away the botchulism baddies. You will need very little to be safe. I've been making bresaola for a few years and would never take the chance. Also, be sure to remove any fat at all before curing. The fat can go rancid, making the effort and expense a waste.
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