Time for another salami recipe. This week’s recipe is no ordinary salami though, it’s Soppressata di Calabria.
So what makes this air cured sausage so special. Well for starters it’s not cylindrical like most salami. It’s oblong. This shape comes from the act of pressing the salami during the initial stages of processing and fermenting. Matter of fact the very name soppressata is derived from the word “soppressare” which means “to press or the act of pressing”. So a purist could argue that if it’s not pressed then it’s not sopressata.
There are many gastronomical wonders that come from the Calabrian region. This one could quite possibly be the most famous (nduja is right up there as well). The unique selection of Calabrian peppers in this soppressata give it a smokey and uniquely spicy flavor. Don’t try to use cayenne pepper or chili powder for this recipe if you want to call it Calabrian. It won’t even be close. You can get Calabrian pepper powder and Calabrian pepper flakes at your local Italian grocer (usually). If you don’t have one close by Amazon will be your best bet.
Another thing that makes this air dried sausage unique is that it’s fermented. Fermentation happens when the bacteria present in the mince meat begin to eat digestible sugars and release lactic acid. This process acidifies the soppressata (which is one of the things that makes it safe to eat) and at the same time gives it very unique flavor, aroma, color, and texture characteristics. The Italians who have been doing this for many many years already have areas where these bacteria are naturally present. Unfortunately we do not, so if we want to produce this sopressata safely at home we need to add these beneficial bacteria to our process. The one I’m using in this recipe is called T-SPX.
T-SPX is a great starter culture for beginners and experienced salumist alike as it is a slow fermenting culture. A slow fermenting culture allows the bacteria to slowly develop that rich flavor, incredible aroma, and beautiful color without acidifying your sopressata to much. After all sopressata di Calabria is not a tangy salami. It’s a mild, smoky, spicy, flavorful salami that will leave a lasting impression on your from the very first bite!! The best way to determine when your sopressata is ready is to monitor the pH during fermentation. With TSP-X you are looking for a target pH of 5.0-5.3. I highly recommend investing in a good quality pH tester as part of your arsenal. My personal favorite is the Apera Instruments PH60S-Z pH meter. This portable/handheld unit is reliable, fast, and has so many features that will help you product excellent charcuterie!
Enjoy the video presentation of how I make Soppressata di Calabria from beginning to end. If you have any questions or thoughts be sure to let me know in the comment section. I’ve added a printable recipe with adjustable quantities for your convenience.
Here are a few items we used to make this recipe:
- Butchers Twine & Dispenser
- Scale for meat
- Humidity & Temp Reader
- Cure #2
- Calabrian Pepper powder
- Calabrian Pepper Flakes
- Meat Grinder
- InkBird Controllers temp & Humidity
- Dehumidifier Eva Dry 2200
- TaoTronics Humidifier
If you want to see all the items we use in our projects like humidifiers, temp controllers, and all that stuff be sure to check out my amazon storefront. I have everything listed under it’s very own category. If you buy something from my storefront I get a very tiny percentage at no extra cost to you. This helps support the blog. It is greatly appreciated
Sopressata Di Calabria
- 1589 g lean pork
- 681 g pork back fat
- 56.75 g kosher salt
- 5.67 g Insta Cure #2
- 2.27 g black pepper
- 4.54 g whole peppercorns
- 4.54 g dextrose
- 2.27 g sugar
- 2.27 g calabrian pepper flakes
- 15.89 g calabrian pepper powder
- 6.81 g garlic powder
- 2 tbsp red wine
- 45.40 g nonfat dry milk powder this is optional but really helps with the binding properties of your mince
- Mold-600 re-hydrate 1/2 tsp of mold in 1/2 cup of non-chlorinated water. This will do about 5-10 pounds of salami. Let sit at room temp for at least 5 hours before use
- TSPX starter culture dilute 1/4 tsp of starter culture in distilled water for every 5 pounds of salami, Allow to re-hydrate for 30 minutes prior to using
- Grind chilled pork (35F-37F) and half the fat through the 6mm plate and grind the rest of the chilled fat through the 10mm plate. (This will give you nice fat marbling)
- Prepare all the seasonings and prepare the starter culture and set to the side. You starter culture needs about 30 minutes to "wake-up" before use.
- Mix the meat, seasonings, and culture together till the mince is tacky and looks like it's fuzzy. You mince meat will be very sticky
- Stuff your mince tightly into a 76 mm salami casing making sure there are no air pockets. Tie the end well to ensure that it doesn't come open. Weigh your salami and record the weight
- Prick your salami to get rid of any air pockets and brush your salami with the prepared mold 600 solution (if you are using this)
- Ferment your salami at 65F with 85-90% humidity for 48-72 hours (these parameters are for this culture, other culture require different parameters). Place heavy weights on your sopressata during this step to achieve that "pressed" look
- Test the pH at 48 hours to see where you are at. You are aiming for a ph between 5.0 and 5.2.
- Once you have reached your target pH place your salami in your drying chamber at 55F with 80% Humidity. Let it dry in this chamber until you have reached a 38%-40% weight loss.