Today we are dry curing some beef in our home refrigerator. I will confess that this is not my favorite way to do this but anyone looking to preserve meat without all of the associated cost of a drying chamber, this way is brilliant!!
The secret to this method is a wrap from the sausage maker called “Dry Aging Wraps“. These wraps limit the moisture loss and allows the meat to dry nice and easy. Just cure your meat first. Once cured pat it down with a paper towel (you want the meat a little moist as that helps the wrap stick better), wrap the meat in the dry aging wrap (only cut off what is needed and save the rest). Finally, place the netting over the meat. That’s it. place it in your home refrigerator till you lose the appropriate amount of weight and you are done!! So easy.
When it comes to curing your meat, I am a big fan of the equilibrium method. This method is all about adding a precise amount of salt and spices to cure your meat. With this method you will want to use100% of the spices, so be sure not to leave any behind. As far as the amount of time it takes to cure your meat, well that all depends on how large it is in the first place. Here is a website that helps you figure out curing (brining) time. Click on the tab that reads BRINING TIME: https://genuineideas.com/ArticlesIndex/saltbrinecalculator.html
Once finished this meat can be stored in a vacuum sealed bag in the refrigerator or freezer for a long time. Enjoy.
Here are a few things we used in this project
- Dry Aging Steak Wraps
- Twine Dispenser w/ cutter
- Jende Butchering Knife G3 Mini
- Jende Butchering knife G3
- Small accurate Scale for spices
- Heavy Duty Vac Sealer
- Custom Cutting Board
If you want to see the different things that we use in operation our be sure to check out our new Amazon Store.
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Dry Cured Italian Beef
Classic Italian Flavor (recipe #1)
- 1000 g Beef Eye of Round
- 30 g kosher salt
- 10 g sugar
- 4 g black pepper
- 1 g dried rosemary
- 1.5 g dried thyme
- crushed juniper berries (2 for every 2.2 pounds or 1,000 grams of meat)
Spicy Calabrian Style (recipe #1)
- 1000 g Beef Eye of Round
- 30 g kosher salt
- 10 g sugar
- 2.5 g black pepper
- 2 g red pepper flakes
- 5 g crushed fennel seed
- 2 g cayenne pepper
- 3 g Calabrian pepper powder
- 2 g smoked paprika
- 4 g granulated garlic
- crushes bay leaf 1 bay leaf per 2.2 pounds or 1000g of meat
- trim the meat of all silver skin and fat
- weigh the raw meat and record the weight. Enter the weight of the meat into the box that reads "How much do you want to make" on this recipe from my website.
- Mix together all of the spices.
- Season the meat with 100% of the spice mix and place it in either a vacuum bag or a zip lock bag. Be sure to scrape up any spices that fell off the meat and add those to the bag as well.
- Measure the diameter of the largest side of this eye of round. Head over to the website: salt brining calculator (genuineideas.com). Click on the "Brining Time" option, then enter your information. Once you receive your results be sure to add an additional 20% to it. This ensures it cures completely to the center.
- After your eye of round has finished curing, Pat it with a paper towel and wrap it in a "Dry Aging Wrap". The meat needs to be a little tacky in order for the wrap to adhere properly, so you can splash it with a little water or wine if it needs it.
- once wrapped, weight the meat and record the weight. I like to target a 35% weight loss but if you like a firmer product, you can target a 40% weight loss. Whichever you choose, write down your target on a piece of paper. Once you hit that target (i usually weight my meat every 2 weeks) your meat is finished.
- To store this meat, vacuum seal it and store in the refrigerator or freezer
- If you find that your meat has developed a slight dry ring, vac seal the meat and place it in the refrigerator for 3-4 weeks. This will help the moisture equalize in the meat and soften that dry ring out.
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19 thoughts on “Making Dry Aged Italian Beef”
If hanging in my cellar I assume you would use cure 2?
you could. It would give it a nicer color and a slight flavor improvement
This is going to be my first ever recipe from your channel. It was a toss up between this or the Biltong. I think my wife will like this more so plunging in.,
Not got any specialised equipement so seems ideal. Season 3 good for us beginners. Thanks for inspiring me.
Also thanks for the handy calculator on your website. Also it uses grammes rather than oz, cups, cubits or any other none decimal system. Dividing by 10 and percentages for the win ! The French were always good at cooking, he grudgingly admits from England … 🙂
Joking aside you have set me off on the curing side even if no smoking etc. Many thanks Eric.
You deserve more youtube views. Quality shines.
Nice!!! Thanks for the comment. I just saw your message. How did the dry cured meat turn out? Thinly sliced is the way to go..
Dear Eric, I have been watching your channel for a couple of months now,
First, your knowledge and presentation are inspiring, pls keep up the good work.
now to my question: I get a little confused when you decide to go without cures (#1 0r #2) and when you choose to use either of them in meat preservation.
(I think I got it in sausages: fresh sausages that are not cold smoked or cured do not need any curing salts. #1 is used when cold smoked or cured)
with great appreciation,
Oh, and is it good? better? to wrap the meat in plastic wraps instead of a ziplock bag (I dont have a vacum sealer yet).
Wrapping in Plastic wrap tightly would be better than nothing. The idea is to keep the meat from drying out
Here’s a video I made explaining the difference and when to use them. Let me know if you still need clarification after watching the video. https://youtu.be/SR2ISLFEMew
You thought about it all…great video. I dont know how I have missed it. No more question…Im going to cure now 🙂
Thanks a lot!
what are those small labels you use to record the actual weight and the target weight called???
Here you go: https://amzn.to/3GMYKfo
Fairly new to dry age meat and salami’s etc…..Quick question around using a drying chamber for this recepie, would you still use the steak dry aging film? or a different film, or none at all, I currently have this hanging in my fridge, but am in the process of building a dry age chamber from an old fridge so i have better control over temp & humidity.
If you are using a drying chamber with controlled humidity, you can use natural casings or synthetic casings. Collagen casings work as well
Eric hoping you can help me out. I have made dozens of your recipes and all have been excellent. I just finished curing this recipe using the refrigerator method and Umai dry cure bags rather than the dry age steak wraps. I used the recipe provided but added cure #2 since it was gonna take 6-8 weeks to dry. I cured per the calculator plus an extra 3 days so about 14 days total. I dried it to 38% it took 6.5 weeks. When I cut it open something was wrong. Large gray and black color except a bright pink 1.5” dot in the center. The texture was almost spongy and looked raw in the center. . I presume the spices which I left on and fairly thick prevented it from drying correctly. It smells fantastic no off smell but the color says it’s all wrong. Presume I need to toss it? I used eye of round cut in half made half as bresaola and the other half as pastirma they both finished about the same time and I just put the chamman on the pastirma but didn’t flatten it so I fear it is the same. Had it in to dry when I cut the Bresaola open. I have used the Umai bags for capicola and Lomo, and for all my salamis with no issue so am thinking I made a mistake somewhere.
Very interesting. I wonder what happened. The umai bags are supposed to let the meat dry nice and even. Sounds like yours dried quite fast. You could vac seal the meat and let it hang out in the fridge for 3-4 weeks to see if the moisture will equalize a bit
How could I add wine to this recipe and at what percentage ?
Thanks so much for your channel and help😊
I would add it when you begin curing it and i would keep it at 5% -10% ish
Could I subacute use pickling or sea salt? If I would like a smoke flavor, should I cold smoke it after its cured or before its dried
If you plan on smoking I would use Insta Cure #1 in the cure then I would smoke the meat after it’s finished curing and before you dry