Bündnerfleisch – Interesting Facts

The red, rectangular Bündnerfleisch is almost completely free from fat and tendons and is usually served in very thin slices. It has a spicy flavour and, because it is a cured meat, is lightly salted. It tastes delicious on fresh bread or finely sliced in a soup or salad. Bündnerfleisch is a lean meat and rich in protein and iron. It contains hardly any carbohydrates and less than 5% fat.

Food Facts Food Facts

Bündnerfleisch

Class

beef

Calories

242 kcal per 100 g

Nutrients

0g carbohydrate, 0g fibre, 9.5g fat, 39g protein per 100g

Season

available year-round

Storage

store cool, dark and dry in cellar or pantry

Shelf life

well packaged, several months

Bündnerfleisch – Air-Dried with Tradition

The term Bündnerfleisch refers to both the origin and the production of the meat. It is a protected term that can only be used for meat originating from the Graubünden region in Switzerland which has been the home of the cured meat since the 18th century. It served as a nutritious meal during the winter months and slowly developed over the decades into a delicious delicacy that is exported worldwide.

In order to survive the long winters, the meat had to be made long-lasting, i.e. preserved. Air-drying Bündnerfleisch is a long procedure. First, the fat and tendons must be removed and then, it is cured in salt, saltpetre and alpine herbs, and stored at temperatures close to freezing point for three to five weeks. During this time it loses a large part of its liquid and forms its own brine. The meat pieces are then rinsed and stored for a further 5-10 days in low temperatures. After this, the meat is finally ready to be air-dried at a temperature of up to 18°C.

During the drying phase, the meat is pressed a number of times, so that the moisture is equally distributed throughout the meat – this is where the meat gets its characteristic rectangular shape. No further measures, such as smoking, are required for preservation. The high loss of liquid and the removal of the fat are sufficient techniques for preserving the meat. Bündnerfleisch can be found at the meat counter or in the refrigerated section of supermarkets. The meat can be stored up to a couple of months when vacuum-packed, but once opened and sliced, it should be eaten in the next few days.

Bündnerfleisch – Subtle and Spicy

Traditionally, a glass of red wine and some fresh and crispy bread were the perfect accompaniments to fully enjoy the flavour of Bündnerfleisch, but there is a lot more to be done with the tender red meat. The meat contains approximately 242 calories per 100 grams, which is less than most varieties of sausage and makes it a protein-rich topping to a salad. It adds a rustic and hearty flavour to a baked cheese raclette, and acts as an excellent alternative to salami on a pizza.

The cured meat also goes well with fresh melon or wrapped around some baked asparagus. The spicy meat is a great added element to soups such as barley, potato or asparagus soup. Let our Bündnerfleisch recipes inspire you.

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