This is our version of bresaola, Italian air-dried beef The curing process takes about ten days and is worth the wait. We like to slice this thin and serve it as an appetizer with slices of ricotta salata, a slightly salty sheep’s milk cheese, and/or slices of sautéed artichokes on a bed of arugula or winter greens. You could also serve the sliced beef as an hors d’oeuvre without the accompaniments but with a ginger or horseradish aioli for a dipping sauce. Finally, you could cure the beef for a shorter time, cut it into individual steaks, and grill them. We like to serve these hot with Horseradish Cream (recipe follows) and Potato Strudel.
Rub the filet with the sugar and all the spices except the salt. Place it in a noncorrosive dish and cover with foil. Refrigerate for 2 days, turning the meat once a day. Then rub the filet with the salt and refrigerate for 8 more days, again turning the meat once a day.
Sear the filet evenly on all sides on the grill, under the broiler, or in a heavy skillet or griddle on top of the stove until a meat thermometer inserted in the center registers 90°F. Let the meat cool and slice thin.
To serve the beef as an entrée, cure the filet for only 3 days, salting the meat for the last day. Cut it into 6 individual filets. Brush with oil and grill, preferably rare of course.
© 1998 Joyce Goldstein. All rights reserved.