How to Dry Beef

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READY IN: 1248hrs
Recipe by mollypaul

An heirloom, butchering-time recipe akin to bresaola or basterma, using the same basic curing steps as for country ham or prosciutto di Parma. From the Pennsylvania Dutch chapter of the United States Regional Cookbook, Culinary Arts institute of Chicago, 1947. If you cannot find saltpeter to make the rub, substitute Morton's Tender Quick, curing salt or pink salt. Cooking time is curing time.

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 200 lbs beef (freshly killed, rounds only)
  • 1 pint salt
  • 1 teaspoon saltpeter
  • 14 lb brown sugar


  1. Mix the last three ingredients well, rubbing out all lumps.
  2. Divid mixture into three equal portions.
  3. Place meat in a large bowl and rub thoroughly with one portion of the mixture; let stand one day.
  4. Drain off any liquid and follow same procedure on second and third days, turning meat several times a day.
  5. Allow meat to remain in bowl for 7 more days, then hang up until meat stops dripping.
  6. When dripping has stopped, hang in a cool place about 6 weeks to dry thoroughly (a good curing temperature is approximately 40F).
  7. Wrap meat in clean muslin bags and keep in a cool place.
  8. If in 6 months, meat becomes too hard, soak in cold water for 24 hours and wipe dry.
  9. Wrap again in muslin and hang in a cool place.

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