This Homemade Salami recipe appears on page 183 of Michael Ruhlman’s amazing adventure, Charcuterie. It is his Tuscan Salami recipe that I transcribed for the amount of pork I had. I bought 2 pounds of pork shoulder and told the butcher it was for sausage. I agreed with his suggestion of a 70/30 lean-to-fat mix. Once I got it home, I weighed it in grams to figure out my recipe. This is basically MR’s recipe (0.4x):
- 900g pork
- 20g salt
- 2.5g Instacure #2
- 8g Bactoferm (http://www.butcher-packer.com)
- 24g water
- 24g Dextrose
- 1/4 c red wine
- 5g fennel
- 5g pepper
- 1t garlic powder
Step One: Soak the casings
Pork middles are natural casings that come slightly dried and packed in a lot of salt. Soak them in a bowl of cold water for an hour. Running the tap and holding the end open under the stream of water will give the insides a good rinse, too. Use lots of water. These guys are salty!
Mise en place
Measure out your spices. I prefer whole spices that I can grind myself. That’s why the spice quantities are in grams. You can also suit your own tastes about how big the spice bits are in the finished product.
Rehydrate the Bactoferm in a little warm water. Stay away from that tap! Bottled water only! The chlorine in tap water will kill the mold you just dropped $15 on! Mix together the wine and the spices. I always write down my figures as I scale a recipe. I almost added the full amount of salt to my spice bowl. Measure twice, cut once is an old carpenter’s adage that I still use.
Chill the removable grinder parts in the freezer until very cold. In fact, everything should be very cold when making salami. You want the fat in the finished product to be autonomous, not smeared into the lean. Start with the fat half-frozen, if you can. Grind into a cold bowl. Everything should be very CLEAN when making homemade salami. Salami is fermenting while it dries. You don’t want random stray microbes adding off-tastes to your prize-winning salami.
Add everything to the mixer bowl (that you had in the freezer, right?). Give the filling a good spin for not more than a minute and then back into the freezer while you reassemble the grinder with the finer cutting disk and the stuffer tube.
Now the fun part: stuffing. Run the cold mix through the grinder again with the stuffing tube that’s been loaded up with the casings. Keep the casings as wet as you can or they’ll stick to the tube.
I like to put a piece of plastic wrap over the ice in my landing area. It prevents the ice from sticking to the casings and tearing them. Don’t forget to perforate the casings. Just use a large sterile sewing needle to poke lots of holes in the casing. This helps to allow the sausages to dry evenly and to release any air bubbles that occurred during stuffing.
Ready to go in the curing box! Just like my other recipes, these will spend the next few weeks in the meat curing cabinet. One of these days I promise a tour of the curing chest. Stay tuned!