Bresaola and Lomo too dry, too soon

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1 month 23 hours ago #15882 by funbags
Bresaola and Lomo too dry, too soon was created by funbags
Hi All,

I currently have two lomo's, two breasola's, and some pancetta aging with Umai bags. I'm about 6 weeks in and while the pancetta is right on track, the bresaola and lomo have hit the ~32-35% water-loss mark (the lomo is actually closer to 40%).

I anticipated each taking closer to 8-9 weeks to lose that much water, so am unsure of where to go from here. Is it the water-loss that determines when these types of charcuterie are ready to eat, or the aging time? If the latter, any reason to not let it go another couple of weeks (other than risking it turning into a rock)?

Many thanks for the thoughts, and happy aging!

Nic

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3 weeks 6 days ago #15894 by funbags
Replied by funbags on topic Bresaola and Lomo too dry, too soon
Shamelessly self-bumping in case anyone has thoughts. Anyone? Someone??

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2 weeks 2 days ago #15904 by RRP
Replied by RRP on topic Bresaola and Lomo too dry, too soon
Weight is usually the only gauge of “doneness” with charcuterie and salumi. Once they’ve genuinely lost 35-40% of the start weight, the water activity should be at safe levels. Sometimes the texture requires the finished product be vacuum sealed for several days to balance out the drier surface with the moister center.

That said, unless you used remarkably small cuts of meat, this time frame is very short. You are right to be doubtful.

There are two possible explanations:
1) You weighed the meat before curing, rather that after bagging in UMAi Dry®. This would give a false start weight because the two week curing process causes weight to be lost, but it is not “drying weight,” per se.
2)You might have done the math wrong.

In other words, it's hard to believe these cuts losing that amount of weight so quickly under the recommended UMAi Dry® aging conditions in a regularly used modern frost free kitchen refrigerator located in a room temperature environment.

Ron

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2 weeks 1 day ago #15905 by funbags
Replied by funbags on topic Bresaola and Lomo too dry, too soon
Hey Ron,

As always, thanks for the help and guidance. The math is a good place to start, but I triple-checked that and it was right. I also purposely weighed the meat post-cure based on some feedback you gave another member on the forum, so it wasn't that.

After thinking about it some more, I tied the bresaola to hold a more cylindrical shape, whereas the lomo was kept au naturel in the bag, which caused it eventually go semi-flat. Since the bresaola lost water at a rate faster than normal, but slower than the lomo, I'm thinking shape, thickness, and mass had most to do with this. Interesting, as always.

As of last night, the lomo and bresaola were at 8.5 weeks of aging with 49% and 41% water loss, respectively. Based on that and your feedback, I went ahead and cracked into the bresaola and I have to say - it's one of the most delicious and rewarding things I've ever created in the kitchen. I did a 36-hour red wine soak prior to the curing process and also added a healthy amount of rosemary to the cure, and both come through very well in the final product. Both pieces are going on the Beswood today; I plan on freezing most of it and making a nice plate of carpaccio tonight with the rest.

I didn't try the lomo yet, as I only like to try one thing at a time when experimenting in case it makes me sick. I feels pretty hard, but might soften up a bit when cut. Either way, I'll circle back with an update a pics in a day or two.

Thanks again!

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