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May 3, 2010 10:49 PM


AKA Binderfleisch. Its an air dried beef delicacy from Switzerland. My friendly neighborhood deli guy comped us some while we ordered sandwiches. He called it "the cocaine of coldcuts".

He wasn't kidding

from Wiki

The main ingredient is beef, taken from the animal’s upper thigh or shoulder, the fat and the sinews being removed. Before drying, the meat is treated with white wine and seasonings such as salt, onion and assorted herbs. The initial drying process, lasting 3 – 5 weeks, takes place in sealed containers stored at a temperature close to freezing point. The meat is regularly rearranged during this stage, in order to ensure that the salt and seasonings will be evenly distributed and absorbed. During a second drying phase the meat is then hung in free flowing air at a temperature of between 9 and 14 degrees Celsius. It is also periodically pressed in order to separate out residual moisture: from this pressing Bündnerfleisch acquires its characteristic rectangular shape. Traditionally Bündnerfleisch was not a smoked meat.

The extent of water loss during the salting and drying processes, whereby the product loses approximately half of its initial weight, is sufficient to confer excellent keeping qualities and a high nutritional value, without the need for any additional preservatives.

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  1. Which deli has this marvelous meat?

    4 Replies
    1. re: wolfe

      I know they have Bundnerfleisch at the Junket, a German deli in the El Cerrito Plaza. Somewhat easier to find is Bresaola, which is a similar product from the Alpine region of Italy. You can frequently find Bresaola at AG Ferrari and Andronico's.

      El Cerrito Plaza
      San Pablo Ave and Fairmount Ave, El Cerrito, CA

      1. re: Truffle Dog

        Thanks, both close, but I was wondering why Andrew was keeping his place secret.

      2. re: wolfe

        Fircrest Market in Sebastopol has a small brick of it. I hadn't seen it before so I doubt they get it regularly. It was over 20 a lb which doesn't surprise.

        1. re: Andrew H

          You know, I've driven by Fircrest countless times and have never stopped in there.

          Have you tried the Texas smoked meats?

          Fircrest Market
          998 Gravenstein Hwy, Sebastopol, CA 95472

      3. I think I saw that in the deli case at Lehr's.

        Lehr's German Specialties
        1581 Church St, San Francisco, CA

        4 Replies
        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          Is Lehr's still there? For some reason I thought t was gone , maybe not.

          1. re: celeryroot

            Perhaps you were thinking of the Greenhouse.

            1. re: wolfe

              nah the one on church.........I dont why I thought they closed some years back

              1. re: celeryroot

                You're probably thinking of Speckmann's, which was replaced by Incanto.

        2. Also try Genova Deli @ 51st & Telegraph, Oakland

          Genova Delicatessen & Ravioli
          5095 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

          1 Reply
          1. re: Stephanie Wong

            Oops, just called Genova -- they carry braesola, not bundnerfleisch ("close, but no cigar").

          2. not sure where to get it, but saags has a decent one. i get a lot of saags products from italico. do you have friends in the bizz? maybe they can order you some.

            2 Replies
            1. re: alpine chef

              My favorite encounter with Bundnerfleishch was many years ago when I visited Lazy Creek Vineyards in the Anderson Valley, operated at the time by Hans Kobler. I asked him if he ever missed Bundnerfleisch from his native Switzerland. He went into his kitchen and brought back a hunk of it. Turns out that deer would routinely get into his grapes, so he took a deer out one time and made some from it. Hans gave me a taste, and while fairly different from that made from beef, it was pretty darn good.

              1. It might be worth looking at European Foods at 32nd and Clement; I am frequently astonished at the quality and quantity of their cured meats.

                1 Reply
                1. re: CarrieWas218

                  Actually there are any number of places in outer Richmond that have large eastern european focused meat selections.

                  You might also consider Bresaola which is dried beef (not quite as dry as Buendnerfleisch). If you see pastirma and you're ok with paprika and other spices on the outside that might also work.