Cecina. Cured smoked beef

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Cecina. Cured smoked beef

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We need good beef, sirloin and tenderloin or back part pieces. We cut it along fibers by pieces length 25-35 cm and width around 6-8 cm. A piece should be 1-1,5 kg.
Add salt and spices
Salt 2%
Sugar 0,5%
Black pepper 0,3%
Granulated garlic 0,5%
Flavorings: thyme, rosemary, chinese pepper, caraway, bay leaf – at your taste, not much.
We seal it in airtight bag and put in fridge for 5-8 days.
Later we wash the meat with water, mop it dry and let it dry 1-2 days in a fresh place at temperature not higher than 18C.
Cold smoking is used. 3 days by 6-8 hours each day. The degree of readiness is determined by the meat’s color. I would not recommend to smoke it strong, it’s important to maintain the proper taste and aroma of the meat, not only fume.

Afterwards, the beef is placed in chamber (cool basement) and it is dried until 30-45% of its weight is lost (depends on the fat content). Theoretically, the beef should be dense throughout the entire thickness. Mind that it should not be easy to cut it with a knife. When the process of drying is over it worth seal the meat in airtight bag once again for a week to balance humidity. If you are going to keep the meat more than a month, I would recommend to freeze it like this in an airtight bag.

The entire drying process takes 1 – 1,5 months, which is hardly compared to a year of waiting when you deal with a big piece of meat.

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Stanislav

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