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Friday 12 November 2010


I promised you several weeks ago, more from Matthew Downing South West Chef of the Year 2010. Well here I will show you how Matthew builds up a dish using Bresaola he wet cured and air-dried himself. Those who are new to this blog, I had the privilige of mentoring Matthew earlier this year through some charcuterie recipes and techniques and whilst visiting him at his work at The Jack in the Green, near Exeter, he demonstrated to me his version of how Bresaola ought to be served.

Here Matthew has hanging some Bresaola which is maturing above some buckets that contain brine with his follow up pieces curing.

You can notice a bought in salami hanging with his meats, the reason for this is that good mould spores will inhibit bad moulds from growing. So to get started, place in your fridge one of your favourite air dried products to give you a healthy start.

Matthew here used the loin of beef for his Bresaola, when ready he thinly slices his meat and arranges on a plate so; he explained by placing clingfilm over the plate until required, the meat will remain pink for longer as air is unable to reach the meat thus not being able to darken the slices from oxidiation. You will notice the beef has a dark rim, where it highlights the red inner meat, this is achieved by using red wine in the brine.

Using pickled fruits and vegetables for a garnish will lift your dish.

Saute some baby spring onions and mushrooms.

Ensure you dry off any excess fats or oils from your mushrooms.

Remove the clingfilm from the plate, brush the Bresaola with truffle oil before dressing your dish with the sauted spring onions, caper berries and a twist of coarse sea salt.

Then add your mushrooms and any decorative flower petals you may have along with a few micro leaves of herbs and finally a quenelle of creme fraiche infused with horseradish and cracked black pepper.

If it looks anything like this dish then people with cameras will appear out of the woodwork, who was this guy?

I can tell you this dish tasted as super as it looks, a nice generous helping too!
Well done Matthew and congratulations on winning your prestigious title.


  1. Marc, this looks interesting. Truth be told, I've always been a bit squeamish about meat. (I KNOW, what the heck am I doing following YOUR blog?!) Just had to tell you what I had for dinner Tuesday evening--braised veal cheek! Can't believe I ate it, but it was good. You can see a picture on my latest post. I was just going to take a nibble (you know, just to be polite), but it was tasty. And there was this yummy sauce and veg and wine to help it down.

  2. Hi Jean

    I checked your latest blog, the food looked champion, veal cheeks I've never had albeit I do like veal, when I lived in France I often saw Tete de Veau on the menus, having half a calfs face on my plate never appealed to me and I'm not squeamish!

  3. Wow so interesting!!!

    I hope to have food so good that photographers come out of nowhere to photograph it hehe :)

  4. Marc! Loving the blog and thanks so much for the course yesterday, James and i both loved it. I blogged about your expertise!

    Thanks again! Laura

  5. Laura it was a pleasure, you got stuck in and without showing any signs of being squeamish. Well done.