Tags: Mexican · Spanish
Cecina is salt-cured, air-dried beef, and is truly a delicacy of Spain. The origin of the word cecina is not altogether clear. Some believe that it comes from the Latin siccus, meaning dry, while others believe it originates from the celtic ciercina, and is related to modern Spanish "cierzo" or North wind. The oldest written reference to cecina dates from the 4th century B.C. and the description of the process is the same as it is today. For centuries homes in the Maragara area (in the northwest of Spain) traditionally kept a dried beef leg in the larder to feed the family.

Although cecina can be made of other meats, such as goat, horse, bull or rabbit, the most common is made of the hind leg of beef.

Ref: spanishfood.about.com

Where to get Cecina


2010 Jul 28
there is Mexican Cecina, that is quite tasty, not as dried as Spanish
you can make it at home....I did it a few times in Seattle when there was a big Bresaola craze

recipe as follows:
Mexican Cecina with Guacamole

Ingredients -

1 lbs eye of round steak, in one piece
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoons salt
Tortillas and guacamole to serve
Cilantro to garnish
cup oil (optional)


Trim the ends, top and bottom of the beef with a very sharp knife so you get a loaf-shaped chunk of meat which weighs about 1 lbs. Have the length and grain of the meat running crosswise in front of you, put your hand flat on top and start slicing it at one end, 1/8 inch below your hand.

Work your way across but stop 1/8 inch before you get to the end. Do not cut right through!

Turn the meat 180 degrees and start another cut another 1/8 inch down. When you have cut an inch in, open the top slice with the hinge you have made, put your hand on the new top and keep cutting.

Repeat the process until you have one long 1/8 inch thick piece of meat.

Combine the lime juice, oregano, and salt and stir until the salt dissolves. Smear this mixture all over the meat then fold it all back to its original shape. Let it stand for 30 minutes.

Unfold the meat and hang it to dry somewhere with good air circulation for a few hours for semi-dry beef or overnight for drier beef.

Cut it into pieces, cover, and refrigerate.

You can rub some oil over it if you like to make sure the meat does not dry out any more.

Serve with tortillas, guacamole, and some cilantro for garnish.

pretty sure it's not what you're looking for but it's d*mn tasty

2010 Jul 28
I have never seen it at the Costco on Innis. How does the quality compare what you find in a deli? I generally have not been impressed with Costco's cold cuts.

Along the same line, has anyone found a good source for Armenian Bastorma? There was an Armenian from Egypt in Montreal by the name of Yevant, but he closed years ago. The only source I found made here is not very good.

2010 Jul 28
I used to get "viande de grisons" at Costco, in Gatineau anyway. We buy it when having a raclette.

2010 Jul 27
Nicastro on Merivale and their store in the market also sell viande des Grisons which is from the Swiss Canton of Grisson. It is often served with cheese fondues.

I always thought Cecina is made with horse meat?

As a side note, Jeffrey Steingarten claims that horse fat makes the best french fries.

2010 Jul 27
You could also try the European Delicatessen, as they used to carry fantastic "air dried beef" (Bindenfleisch) from Switzerland. They've moved to a new, smaller location so I can't guarantee they still have it, but it's worth checking out if you're desperate!

2010 Jul 27
I will run, not walk, to try this bresaola.

Edited to add: Thank you thank you thank you!

2010 Jul 27
Cecina is a lot like bresaola, which you can find at some Nicastro's. Good luck!

2010 Jul 27
I assume you've tried the nicastro locations?....

2010 Jul 27
Cecina made of beef, to be specific.

2010 Jul 27
If anyone can help me find cecina, I'd be quite grateful.