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Are you making a specialty food? Tell us about it


Andrew H 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.

  1. wolfe May 3, 2010 11:58 PM

    Which deli has this marvelous meat?

    4 Replies
    1. re: wolfe
      Truffle Dog May 4, 2010 12:25 PM

      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
        wolfe May 4, 2010 01:21 PM

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

      2. re: wolfe
        Andrew H May 4, 2010 09:40 PM

        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
          Melanie Wong May 4, 2010 10:05 PM

          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. Robert Lauriston May 4, 2010 01:32 PM

        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
          celeryroot May 5, 2010 03:34 PM

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

          1. re: celeryroot
            wolfe May 5, 2010 03:51 PM

            Perhaps you were thinking of the Greenhouse.

            1. re: wolfe
              celeryroot May 5, 2010 03:56 PM

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

              1. re: celeryroot
                Robert Lauriston May 8, 2010 11:53 AM

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

        2. Stephanie Wong May 4, 2010 05:53 PM

          Also try Genova Deli @ 51st & Telegraph, Oakland

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

          1 Reply
          1. re: Stephanie Wong
            Stephanie Wong May 5, 2010 04:54 PM

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

          2. alpine chef May 4, 2010 08:05 PM

            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
              Tripeler May 4, 2010 10:24 PM

              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. re: alpine chef
                alpine chef May 5, 2010 05:28 PM


                you can order from them directly.

              2. CarrieWas218 May 4, 2010 11:01 PM

                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
                  boris_qd May 5, 2010 09:58 AM

                  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.

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