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!
Forgive the long title; I was going to title this ‘Fennel Lonzino’ and had actually typed that when I thought that it’s a bit of a liberty to do so when I’ve not got a clue as to whether the Italians use fennel in their lonzino.
I’d got in mind to make a more classic product with the simple flavours of pepper and garlic, which I understand to be a traditional lonzino. However, given that this is a piece of industrially produced meat and is likely to have less flavour than the meat I would usually use, I decided to go with the stronger flavour of fennel.
I started two last month; I’ll smoke one and leave one unsmoked as my wife, Pauline, is not too keen on smoked food.
We’ll use it sliced in place of ham and it may even find its way into the odd bacon butty as it’s a loin version of US bacon! I’ll not be stopping making real British bacon any time soon though – have no fears about that!
I prefer to use a rough puff pastry rather than a shortcrust or shop-bought puff pastry but these could also be used. I make the pastry using this quick rough puff pastry recipe.
I’ve dropped a clanger by not taking a photo of the sheet of pastry after it’s rolled out but I roll it to approx 250mm (10″) by 400mm (16 “). Square the edge off that’s nearest you. I will make 2 long rolls from this that I’ll then divide each one into 4 individual sausage rolls.
For approximately 100gm rolls use 170gm of sausage meat and roll pieces to form a long sausage to lay along the nearest edge. Then, lifting the pastry, roll it to just encase the meat. At this stage dampen the next inch or so of pastry with water (I think that water is better than egg wash for this) and roll the meat/pastry roll onto this. The roll can be cut away from the sheet at this stage.
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.
Whilst I am a great believer in using locally produced meat from independent suppliers I’m also aware that many people don’t have the income to do this.
I hope to show with this project that you can still make some great products despite this. Many are cheaper than buying them from the supermarket. Yes, the quality may be better with meat produced to higher standards but good products can be made using meat produced on an industrial scale.
This is the piece of meat I bought from a local supermarket that sells pork produced in Britain. It’s around a kilogram of pork loin and cost £4.26 as it was discounted to £4 per kg.
That still may seem like a lot of money to some but the meat it makes can be used instead of cured ham, fried as bacon or be cut into thick slices to use as pork steaks/bacon chops – all of which would be more expensive to buy.
In Germany, it’s called Kasseler and is usually cured with the bones still in; it’s served as bacon chops. Some online references talk of it being smoked, cooked and then stored in brine which seems an odd way of going about things! However the few recipes I can find all make it in the normal way.
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.
There are only so many faggots a man can take (I hope that no one in the US misunderstands this!). So what’s different that you can do with the masses of pork liver from your half pig? Liver Pâté is the obvious one but it’s taken me ages to find a recipe that isn’t just too… …well just too ‘livery’.
This recipe, a slight amendment of the one from ‘Charcuterie’ by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn, is the best so far. The one I formulated myself was too strong in the liver department, and bitter in taste. In my notes I wrote: “add breadcrumbs/rusk, add milk product”, that’s exactly what this recipe does. Some parts of the method are my additions.
1 lb/450 gms pork liver, cut into large chunks 1 lb/450 gms boneless pork shoulder, diced 1 ounce/25 gms salt 1 tsp/3 gms freshly ground black pepper 2 bay leaves 2 sprigs fresh thyme 2 tbsp/30 ml vegetable oil ¼ cup/50 gms chopped shallots 2 tbsp/30 ml brandy 2 slices white bread, crusts removed and roughly chopped ½ cup/120 ml whole milk ¼ cup/60 ml double cream. 2 large eggs 1 tbsp/6 gms chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley ¼ tsp/0.5 gm ground white pepper ½ tsp/1 gm freshly grated nutmeg
1. Put the meats in separate bowls with half the salt, pepper, thyme and bay in each, mix and marinate separately for 8 hours or overnight. 2. In a frying pan, sear the liver in the oil until brown, add the shallots and cook until translucent, add the brandy, cook off the alcohol, scrape all the bits off the bottom of the pan and put in a bowl to cool in the fridge. 3. Mix the bread, milk, cream and eggs well and set aside. 4. Keeping everything very cold, mince everything except the bay and thyme (which can be thrown away) through the fine plate of your mincer. (watch out as the liver has a tendency to squirt through the mixer plate!). 4. If you want an even finer pâté put the lot in the freezer with your food processor bowl for 20 minutes or so. Then process until very fine. Check the temperature with a thermometer regularly – don’t let it exceed 15°C. (Food processors heat food very quickly so watch out – or omit this step). 5. Line a mould with cling film, greaseproof paper, or baking parchment and fill it pushing the mix into the corners. Cover the pâté with the chosen lining and then with foil. 6. Put in a bain-marie (roasting tin of hot water) in the oven at 150°C, test with a thermometer after about 1-1½ hours – remove when it’s been above 65°C for 10 minutes if using pork (or when it reaches 72°C for chicken liver). 7. Put weights on top of the pâté and cool.
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.
It’s not been a very productive week, however, I managed to start off a Lonzino Stagionata. I think this is the correct term for what is a cured air-dried loin of pork, Italian style.
It’s basically like a parma ham but from the eye of the loin. Expensive, but superb.
I started off with 4½ kg of pork loin from Joseph Morris’s. It was boned and the eye of the loin removed yielding 1½ kg of meat for the Lonzino and a further 2¼ kg of meat/fat that will be used in chorizo.
Now for the cure, what should I use? I am at something of a disadvantage here as I’ve never tasted Lonzino. Online recipes, of which I found only two from trusted sources, varied considerably in the spices used so I was left with making up my own interpretation from the (little) information available – it’s turned out as a sort of combination of the two online recipes. Whether it will be anything like the original is anyone’s guess! Anyway, here it is:
For 1 kg meat I used:
Salt 34gm Sugar 10gm Cure #2 – 2.4gm Black Pepper 5gm Fennel Seeds 4gm White Pepper 3gm Garlic Powder 2.5gm Cinnamon 1gm Mace 1gm 1 Clove
Grind the spices and mix with the other ingredients. Rub cure into the loin then put it into a food grade bag or vacuum pack it.
It will cure for 10 days or so.
The Lonzino was cured for 12 days. I washed and dried it and put it into a 90mm collagen casing. The casing was tied (badly!) and pricked to aid drying.
I left it drying at 10 – 15°C in a humidity of 60 – 70% (ish) until it lost about 40% of its weight.
The black wires in front of the Lonzino are from the humidity and temperature sensors in the fridge.
In late August I sliced some of it Getting to that stage was not been without its problems what with a new fridge set up for the drying it’s been a case of juggling things about to get the humidity at the correct levels – not helped by the weather we had at the time.
It’s a little dry around the edges, surprising as if anything the humidity was a little high in the early stages of drying. I dried it to a 36% weight loss. Next time I’ll dry it less and test for water activity to make sure it’s safe. I don’t think the drying was helped by the small size of the loin or the fact that I de-cased it after about 20 days as some undesirable moulds were starting to form under the casing – I obviously hadn’t got it tight enough around the meat. The mould? I brushed that off, rubbed the area with wine vinegar to kill any remaining nasties, and sprayed the meat with Penicillium Candidium – the white mould that is seen on Brie and Camembert cheeses. Within a few days a nice coating of white had appeared:
Pauline really likes its fennel overtones; I’m not as keen. Yes I like it, but think I will do a Lomo next time – basically, Lomo’s the same thing but with paprika flavours – Spanish as against Italian. That said it’ll make a nice addition to the growing charcuterie store.
Food, Curing and Sausage