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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.