An attempt to demystify the salami making process.
To overseas readers, I apologise that the links to suppliers are all UK based, however, the information is relevant regardless of that.
The basic process
Making the sausagemeat
Adding a salami culture
Stuffing the sausagemeat into casings
Fermenting them in a warm environment for a controlled time period
Hanging them at a controlled temperature and relative humidity to dry
Many governments have rules about the production of commercial salami products even if it’s only the level of curing salts that are allowed in them. The USA and Canadian authorities also have rules governing the time drying and time allowed for fermentation – it’s to those rules I’ve looked for good practice in those areas. It makes sense for home producers to follow those rules or at least make informed decisions about choosing not to.
The US and Canadian governments have rules limiting the amount of time that a salami can be held above 15.6°C (60°f) for fermentation of cultures. They are very similar other than one uses Fahrenheit and the other centigrade. It’s the Canadian rules (centigrade) that I’ll use for this explanation.
The rules use a calculation based on what is termed degree hours. The salami must reach a pH of 5.3 within a set number of degree hours. This is the number of hours that the salami is above 15.6°C multiplied by the amount that the temperature exceeds 15.6°C:
Degree hours = hours x temperature in excess of 15.6° C (60° F)
This number of degree hours is limited depending on the temperature being used:
Back in 2016 my good friend Paul started a thread on the sausagemaking.org forum about making snack stick salami. Nothing new in itself, other than it allowed people to try curing a salami product in a domestic fridge; as such it was pretty ground-breaking.
Over the years the thread has grown as Paul has added further recipes to it. I encourage you to read it as it shows quality products made using best practices.
It’s not until now that I’ve got around to making any myself – it’s something quick and fairly easy in salami terms that I’ll be making regularly.
The ones on the left are fuet from the recipe by Jeffrey Weiss in his book Charcuteria – The soul of Spain and the others are an adaption of Paul’s cheese and Worcestershire sauce recipe using local Red Leicester cheese and Henderson’s relish – a sauce from Sheffield similar (and superior) to Worcestershire sauce. As I’m about equidistant between Sheffield and Worcester I could claim either as being moderately local!
I’ve been looking for a good recipe for chicken sausage and back in October, I made one that was devised by a friend and was flavoured with thyme, lemon and garlic having been inspired by Chef Thomas Keller’s famous recipe for chicken brine. I was so confident that it would be great that I even posted a ‘coming soon’ photo. After all, what’s not to like? They’re a classic combination. Well, somewhat embarrassingly, the family didn’t like it. I’m sure others will though and the recipe’s here for people who want to try it… …and I encourage you to do so.
I love a sausage roll but blimey, you kiss a few frogs before you find a prince! Too many are absolutely dire; the sausage meat is like meat paste and what is it with that pastry that’s neither short nor puff and is similar in texture to cardboard? I guess people tolerate it because they’re relatively cheap and they’re convenient.
As sausagemeat can be made without any fancy equipment they’re a great project for making at home. I would normally mince the pork myself to make these but to illustrate my point I’m using bought pork mince for these. You could get this from your butcher, or as in this case, the local supermarket. If it’s from your butcher ask for 80/20 visible lean. From the supermarket, buy the 20% fat pork mince, not the 5% fat one.
I assembled what I needed for the sausagemeat, most of the spices in the spice dabba won’t be used on this occasion but they do add a bit of colour to the photo!
The ingredients for each kilogram of pork mince are:
280gm Water 180gm Rusk 22gm Cornflour 18gm Salt 4gm Ground white pepper 2gm Ground black pepper 1.5gm Ground nutmeg 1.5gm Ground ginger 1.5gm Ground coriander 0.5gm Ground mace 3gm Rubbed sage
To make things easier, there is a calculator at the end of this post.
Some time back I posted about my trials of an Irish White Pudding recipe that I developed in collaboration with my forum mate John.
Now, I have to admit, I can take or leave these Irish delicacies but I believe that this recipe is as close to the commercial ones, as we can get. That is, the ones that I was sent which are made by Breeo Foods of Dublin and sold under the ‘Shaws’ brand name. They’re the ones on the left in this picture:
The final recipe stood up to the ‘John’s mother-in-law’ test and passed with flying colours.
I’ve been making this sausage for while now. It first came to my attention when a recipe was posted on the sausage-making forum by member Wittdog. His was an amended version of one in a book by Rytek Kutas.
I don’t write much about fresh sausage, mainly because we generally stick to the two recipes I’ve already put online, my Thurlaston sausage and Lincolnshire sausage. However, I thought I’d do something different for a change and chose to make Pork and Apple sausages. Now I’ve tried these before and wasn’t happy with the results so I trawled the web to see what I could plagiarise from other people! The results received rave reviews from the family, so here’s my recipe with thanks to Welsh Wizard and Parson Snows from the sausagemaking.org forum on whose recipes’ it’s loosely based:
Sausage Seasoning Mix
16g Salt 3g White Pepper 1g Fresh Rosemary 0.5g Dried Sage
Chop Rosemary then mix together well. I mixed them in a coffee grinder.
For 1kg of meat
1kg Locally Produced Pork Shoulder (about 20% visible fat) 85g Rusk 40g Dried Apple 110g Apple juice plus extra (see below) 20.5g Seasoning mix (above)
Start with about 400ml of good-quality apple juice. Boil it in a pan until it is reduced by half and leave it to cool. Then soak the dried apples in it for about 1 hour before chopping them.
Having kept the pork in a very cold fridge, mince it. I minced it through a plate with 6mm holes and then through one with 4.5mm holes. Add the rusk, seasoning, and chopped apple and then pour 110gm (110ml roughly) of the remaining apple juice over. Either mix by hand until you think you’re going to get frostbite or use a Kenwood-type food mixer (not a food processor) to mix it for 3 or 4 minutes until the mixture is sticky sausage meat. That is, it changes from just a burger-type mix into a sticky mass; the smell seems to change too. It’s hard to describe but you need to do this to develop the myosin in the meat that will stop the sausage from becoming dry and crumbly when you cook it. You may need to add a little more apple juice to get a good mix. Don’t add more than an extra 20ml – 25ml though, otherwise, the sausage will spit like a camel when you fry it!
Stuff the sausage into pre-soaked casings (follow the supplier’s advice for soaking the casings), then hang them to ‘bloom’ (develop flavour) in the fridge for 6 – 8 hours. Some fridges are very dry so check the sausages regularly and if they appear to be drying out too quickly put them on a tray and cover them for the rest of the ‘blooming’ period.
You could use cider instead of apple juice in this recipe. Preferably a local one.
The only disappointing thing about these sausages is that I had to buy imported dried apples; it looks like I’m going to have to dry some myself when they’re next in season
It’s great to get back to doing some real sausage making. We’re fast running out of ham, bacon and sausage from my last mammoth session, so it’s time to clear all the frozen meat out of the freezer to make way for the next lot.
Given that the meat’s been frozen, it shouldn’t then be refrozen unless it’s been cooked – making fresh sausage is, therefore, a no, no. I was going to make hot dogs but the weather looked a bit iffy and I’m very much a fair-weather smoker, so that left a choice of the many and various other cooked sausages/luncheon meats.
When I started making my latest batch of ASDA clone chorizo it was my intention to photograph everything and create a sort of mini-tutorial. Needless to say when I got involved with making them I forgot to take most of the photos!
I started off with a big chunk of pork collar, also known as shoulder spare rib, and cut it into strips. If you have a small mincer you will have to cut it smaller. I prefer strips to chunks as the screw in the mincer pulls them through with very little need to use the pusher.
The meat with plenty of fat attached was cooled right down and then minced through an 8mm mincer plate.