Bresaola of sottofesa is derived from the muscle along the thigh of the vast cattle and has a weight of about 2 kg. The product is processed in the traditional production area, which includes the entire territory of the province of Sondrio.
The raw material is subjected to salting, dry place in steel tanks where the meat is sprinkled with salt (in various amounts from 2.5 to 3.5 kg per quintal, depending on the season), ground pepper and natural flavorings.
You can add wine, spices, sugar (in order to facilitate microbial phenomena in large part responsible for the maturation of the product), nitrites and nitrates of sodium and potassium, ascorbic acid and sodium salt.
The salt mixture often changes from manufacturer to manufacturer, and is handed down as a recipe from guard jealously. The duration of the salting goes from 10 to 20 days, depending on the season, the size and altitude of the place of manufacture.
Every four days the pieces are transferred into new containers after removal of the excess brine by means of massage, which allow a more rapid and smooth migration of the salt within the product. At this stage the meat is flavoured losing part of this freedom in the muscle tissue.
We then move on to the washing of BRESAOLE which are then bagged in protective casings (natural or artificial casings) and sent to the next stage of drying in special cells.
The drying should enable a rapid dehydration of the product in the first days of treatment. Is conducted at temperatures between 20 and 30 ° C and in conditions of humidity equal to 35-65%. In the drying step follows to conduct the curing temperature of between 12 and 18 ° C and in conditions of humidity equal to 70-90% for a period ranging from 2 to 4 months.
The premises of maturation, as well as drying, must be equipped with facilities for the maintenance and measurement of temperature and humidity so as to enable an optimal change of air.
This process of aging causes significant weight loss and a subsequent seasoned product due to the concentration of aromas and salt, making possible the preservation of bresaola for quite long periods while maintaining all the characteristics of flavour, softness and digestibility.
Bresaola is one of the sausages with the lowest fat content.