Carne salada

The “carne salada” (salty meat) is a fine quality of leg of beef in brine, tinly sliced,to be eaten raw or cooked. It is a real specialty which comes from the area between the towns of Arco, Tenno and Varone. Then it became very popular throughout the Trentino. In fact in the 18. century this receipt was already known. Until the ’50s people used to salt veal in order to keep it for long time. This made it possible to store food and eat it during the long winter and the following spring.

Basic recipe:
– 5 pounds of leg of beef
For the aromatic mixture:
– 200 grams of salt
– 20 grams of freshly ground black pepper
– 20 grams of chopped fresh garlic
– 10 grams of saltpetre (potassium nitrate)
– Juniper berries
– Sage
– Rosemary
– Laurel
– Lemon peel

Separate the meat and cut it into pieces of one or two pounds, then arrange them in layers in an earthenware pot, sprinkle each piece with the following special aromatic blend. Place a suitable weight on the so prepared and turn thoroughly every day the single pieces, bringing up the lower parts and vice versa. Keep the meat in a pretty cool room, where the temperature does not exceed 6-8 °C. On the eighth day, to avoid that the beef excessively dries, you could add some Traminer or another aromatic white wine. The „carne salada” is ready after fifteen or twenty days. Cut it into rather thin slices and eat it raw or cooked. Side of string-beans with olive oil, vinegar, onion and garlic, served with black bread or, even better, with potatoe tortellini.

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