Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Salami with fennel (week 1)

So after the disappointing failure of my venison prosciutto, I wanted to try something that was maybe a bit more realistic and not quite as expensive. So, I chose salami. I've made regular pork and beef sausages before, so I was fairly comfortable with using a sausage maker and there's something strangely satisfying about making these sorts of products using it. 

As this is my first attempt at salami, I wanted to keep the ingredients fairly basic - so next time I know what the base flavours are going to be like and I can build up on them with more seasonings.

Perhaps the most difficult ingredient to obtain is the back fat as it's not readily available in supermarkets. I did a bit of research online and I don't really think there's a reasonable substitute. I just went to my local butchers and they had a small amount I could have - they use it to make there own sausages said I could just call them first and they'll put some aside for me. 

I picture shows the salami hanging in my drying box (made from an old wooden wine box) that I drape a muslim cloth over the front off the stop any flies getting in. I've also got a couple of duck leg proscuitto and pancetta hanging in there. 

Makes 4 salami

1kg pork shoulder
200g back fat, cut into 1cm cubes
60g black peppercorns
20g fennel seeds
24g salt
36/40mm hog casings

Soak the casings in cold water for a couple of hours.

Using a meat grinder with a coarse screen, mince the pork shoulder then combine thoroughly with the remaining ingredients – except the casings, obviously. If you don’t have a meat grinder, you can always chop with pork by hand but try and make sure it’s fairly fine so there’s more surface area to make contact with the salt.

The following video can show you the basics of using a sausage maker. But, instead of making one large sausage, form sausages of about 30cm and tie of the ends with string. I used a simple shoe-type knot so I had hoops to hang the salami on hooks.

Once formed, hang the salami in a warm place for 12 hours, then transfer to a cooler location (12-18C) that was some air circulation. It should take about 6-10 weeks before the salami is ready and it should feel warm.

I've also used tags tied to each salami with the date it was made and the weight. I plan on recording the weight off each salami on a weekly basis, they should lose weight as they air-dry.

I'll keep you posted on the progress!

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