As the excitement of the holidays fades and my January cleanse is over the cold of February can mean only one thing - salami making time.
A time honored tradition learned from my father and his friends, and he from his father and uncles before him, salami making is steeped within my family tradition. Not overtly Italian in many other traditions or cultural events, curing pork in to amazing salami is one tradition that has been ingrained throughout the lineage of the Giacopassi's.
And since I have no young ones of my own to pass this knowledge along to - I assembled a motley crew of friends to share and transfer the knowledge to in hopes they pass it along to their progeny.
In what might be a first, and quite possibly a cardinal sin I am sharing this old world, classic salami recipe with you. I am going to leave out some of the steps, as I cant give the whole farm away - but this will get you most of the way there. I can tell you I ground the peppercorns with my mortar and pestle, I crush the garlic and soak it in wine for two weeks and I don't add any starter culture to the mix at all.
The cure is nitrate - yes if you spoon it in to your coffee every morning you may get cancer. But you will also get cancer by talking on your cell phone. Plus, you have been eating nitrates forever in hotdogs, cured meat, celery and everything else.
- 50 lbs ground pork
- 23 oz salt
- 2 oz cure
- 2 oz cracked peppercorn
- 2 pints dry red
I get my casings, nettings and cure from either Butcher and Packer or The Sausage Maker. You don't need the Mold 600 - however it does help promote the growth of good mold - this white stuff on the outside of most salami you see. This good white mold helps fight off the bad fuzzy mold.
There are a few different ways to tell when your salami is ready. You can get a PH Tester kit - I have heard nothing but bad things about those. You can weigh before and after and wait for about a 40% weight loss - or do what we have always done - wait three months and you should be good to go.
You want to hang/cure your salami in a cool place - about 55 degrees Fahrenheit and between 60 - 70% humidity.
I will probably get killed for this info - not because I am giving away secrets but from those who feel it is too lackadaisical on the precautions and procedures one should take when making salami - because yes, Botulism is a real thing, a deadly thing - but I am living proof it doesn't always happen. If I were dead could I even type?
Take all needed and necessary safety precautions, read a lot lot more than just this blog article and do all your homework before embarking on your own stash of salami. Once it is done, and you live, let me know how it comes out.