It took me all afternoon, not bad for four hours work with a small bean hanging around being very interested and wanting unreasonable things like food and drink with me all up to my elbows in minced pig fat with some aromatherapy herbs and spices to cut the stink of the hog casing! that stuff is pretty rank! phew-eee! But I managed and its worked, so far. 'Scuse the crappy pics throughout; various issues with kids taking some, fat smeared on lens, no light in the pantry and computer issue so no editing available.
I have made sausages many times beforebut never salami. Im not sure why as when watching some River Cottage it looked so damn easy, and i thought 'what they hey? charcuterie adventure here i come'. I have the requisite mincer and sausage/salami nozzle and Im always up for learning and trying something new. And when it means you can actually EAT SOME SALAMI, Im all in. I dont eat salami anymore as i havent found any free range or organic stuff and Im sure if i did it would cost me an arm and then two legs. I do buy a local free range chorizo occasionally but i treat it like gold as its pretty expensive; $11.50 for two 10cm lengths. So, i forked out the cash for some wild boar and venison and some back fat and i reckon i might just be about two hundred and fifty ahead if this stuff proves edible. If you can get over the obvious similarities with some rather adult activities and body parts this is something you can try with the kids. The teen beans found this whole process highly snortable and in betwen trying to elevate the process out of the gutter, I resorted to a few, 'hey check THIS out' myself.
No nitrites (saltpetre) in this salami, so i hope the natural fermentation process steps up tot he mark! Its all about the salt and the ambient temperature.
Wild boar and venison salami and chorizo.
The primary mix is the same for both so i combined all meats and seperated them into two lots when it came time to add seasonings specific to each type of cured sausage.
2.5 kg diced wild boar meat (cinghiale)
1.5 kg diced venison
1.5 kg boar/pork backfat (you can use 'salami fat' but its floor scraps)
hog casings (about 6 metres)
20 cloves garlic minced with meat
salt (to equal a minimum 2.5% total weight of meats) I used murray river salt flakes.
The pork backfat came with skin so first task was to remove the fatty strip so it could be minced, my knives are terribly blunt knife and I hacked away after doing my two knife sharpening trick that seems to work but really just makes a great sound.
It was strangely satisfying. Then i minced all the meat using the coarse mincer attachment, with the garlic, then the fat and mixed them together with salt. I did this all by hand as you need to really get in there to mix without mashing the fat completely and used a big plastic box to do the mixing as it makes it much easier.
I split this 5kgs in half to make half salami and half chorizo.
Salami seasonings for half the meat mix.
2 tsablespoons lightly smashed black peppercorns.
2 tablespoons lightly smashed fennel seeds.
1 tablespoon ground coriander seed.
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons coriander seed.
1 tablespoon cumin seed.
3-400ml red wine (i used elderberry)
Chorizo seasonings for the other half
2 tablespoons fennel seeds
4 tablespoons smoked sweet ground paprika
1-2 tablespoons ground hot paprika
3-400 ml white wine (i used quince)
Mix seasonings well into the meat paste using your hands. Now begins the fun stuff!
Slide washed casing length over the stuffing nozzle and tie at end. Turn on machine and begin to stuff! Being rather impatient, i must admit that i had begun the session without really checking some good tying off techniques so i ended up with soe pretty random and not very professionally tied salamis. Next time i will brush up on knotting and finishing technique before I start as having this knowledge would certainly would have made the flipping and contorting process easier. I pricked any air pockets i could see with a pin sterilised in the flame of a match.
2.5 kgs of wild boar and venison salami and chorizo now hang in the pantry, 2.5kgs of each. It smells ..interesting.
One thing to definitely ensure before you begin the process of salami making is to nail down and prepare your hanging place;it needs to be airy and cool. We hung ours in a walk in pantry and lined its drip line with a sheet of newspaper and despite the room being made of mostly rock it still was alrady stinking out the house, so much so that i got concerned that something funky had already happenned to my lovely looking specimens which were dripping a little and Googled 'what should homemade salami smell like'. Gives you some idea of the pong. I was glad to read the following...
The smell of rot — the ripe funk you breathe in Italian pork stores and French charcuteries — has always been part of the craft of curing... the raw meat is stuffed into natural casings and left exposed to each stage of a salami's life: gocciolamento, dripping; asciugamento, drying; stagionatura, ripening in the air, picking up wild yeasts and cultures that start fermentation.
"When I was a kid, the salamis used to drip on the customers' heads, and the smell was fantastic," said Louis Faicco, an owner of Faicco's Pork Store in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. "Now they are all locked away upstairs where no one can see them or smell them." I felt much better after reading this.
No one tells you this when you start.
'smell of rot'...'dripping'...reassuring words to this novice! Doesnt sound very appetising does it? just gota keep you nose on the prize, that lovely rounded, sweet, rich full flavoured and aromatic air dried salami taste. So the pantry is now smelling delightfully of rot (we opened the ceiling window and this has helped with ventilation no end) so i really wouldnt recommend drying it in your clothes closet in the bedroom (unless you're into the exotic, rather feety smell of fermenting pig) If the pong doesnt become more manageable we will move them to the garage and shroud them in a loose cage of wire to stave off the hungry hoardes of wild urban animals.
Most salami sold is apparently cooked, this reduces cost, time and potential litigation due to the sometimes unpredictable nature of dried, fermented meat product. This risk reduction strategy has also reduced the flavour. When i think about it , this explains why they dont have the traditional white, chalked look! no mould as no fermentation occourred and hence no bacteria growth! The white mould on the outside is all good. It's when it's green there's a problem.
They'll be ready in 4-6 weeks, in time for the good weather and wood fired pizza. Next time i make salami i wont forget to do it traditional style; with coretto (coffee with grappa) that might just make it extra interesting, oh and some extra hands on deck might be a good idea too!
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