Duck Bresaola with Barlotti and Red Onion Jam

  • Serves

    serves 4

You'll want to clear some space in your refrigerator to accommodate this three-week home-curing exercise. Note that canned borlotti beans are available in Italian and upscale markets.


  • 3 tbsp. kosher salt
  • 3 tbsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. hot red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 whole (2-lb.) duck breast
  • 6 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 2 red onions, cut into 1/4" dice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 (10-oz.) can borlotti beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 12 tsp. hot red pepper flakes
  • 14 cup red wine vinegar


Step 1

To make the bresaola: In a small bowl, combine the salt, black pepper, sugar, red pepper flakes, rosemary, and thyme. Rub the duck breasts with this mixture, wrap it loosely in wax paper, and refrigerate for 4 days. Unwrap the breasts, then wrap like a package with string, leaving one long end. Suspend the breasts from a shelf in your refrigerator for 3 weeks.

Step 2

To assemble the dish, make the onion jam. In a 12" to 14" sauté pan, heat 2 tbsp. of the olive oil over high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the onion and cook over low heat until softened and just slightly golden brown. Season with salt and pepper and add the orange juice. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the juice has reduced and completely coats the onions and the onions are falling apart, adding a little water if necessary to keep the onions from sticking. This should take about 20 minutes. Season again with salt and pepper if necessary and set aside to cool.

Step 3

In a mixing bowl, gently stir together the beans, the remaining 4 tbsp. of olive oil, the garlic, red pepper flakes, and vinegar until well mixed, and set aside for 1 hour.

Step 4

Slice the bresaola very thin with a sharp knife or on a slicer. Arrange some of the slices on each of 4 chilled dinner plates. Remove the beans from their bath with a slotted spoon and divide them evenly among the plates. Finish each plate with a dab of the onion jam and sprinkle with parsley. Serve immediately.

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