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"Oh, Wow!"

Amid their menagerie of meats, Clancy's in Linden Hills has a hidden gem: homemade bresaola.

Butter. It’s like herby, meaty, slightly sweet butter, melting in your mouth.  As Malcom Kaplan of put it when he had his first piece of bresaola when living in Italy with his wife and Clancey's co-worker Liz: “Oh, wow!”

Thinly sliced, this traditional element of Italian charcuterie has generally been overshadowed by its its cousin, prosciuto crudo di Parma, although the production methods are roughly comparable. While prosciutto is generally sweet-salty and fairly fatty, lean bresaola betrays its bovine origins with a darker taste that still keeps the same smoothness that fans of the former love.

At Clancey’s, they take the whole eye of round, defat it, and pack it in salt, thyme, juniper, and a little sugar, for two weeks changing the rub halfway through, before leaving it to air-cure for three or four weeks. Once you see the process in action, you’re surprised it’s so easy. Liz Kaplan said they sometimes have customers who make their own in the refrigerator.

Of course, you can always eat it plain, savoring each shaving of cow to your heart’s content. If you’d like to share the joy with company, serving it as part of a larger charcuterie platter is always an option, or you could do it Liz Kaplan's favorite way, drizzled with olive oil and served it with Parmesan cheese and arugula. My recommendation: toss slightly thicker slices with a few new potatoes, a little horseradish, and celery tops for a small salad.

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