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Nduja Salami

This salami is in my top 5 favorite salami. It’s delicious, very easy to make, and incredibly forgiving. The high fat content along with the Calabrian pepper paste makes this salami very spreadable. Perfect for a charcuterie board, a dollop on pizza, or even cooked slightly and added to pasta!! So tasty!

Follow basic salami preparation practices when making this sausage.

  1. Clean and sanitize all of your equipment.
  2. Keep your meat and grinder parts super cold (under 34f or 1c) during the grinding process.
  3. Rehydrate your starter culture (in non-chlorinated water) for 30 minutes prior to use.
  4. Mix your very chilled mincemeat (under 34f or 1c), seasonings, and starter culture till the mince becomes very tacky.
  5. Tightly stuff the mince into casings and prick out any air pockets.
  6. Record the starting weight and the target weight of each salami link.
  7. Brush with protective mold culture (unless you plan on cold smoking)
  8. Hang the salami to ferment.
  9. After the pH target has been hit, hang the salami to dry till the weight loss target has been achieved.
  10. Remove from the drying chamber, slice thinly, and enjoy.

Here are a few things you might find useful when making salami.

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Print Recipe
3.50 from 4 votes

Nduja

An Italian Spreadable Salami
Prep Time2 hours
Drying time60 days
Total Time60 days 2 hours
How much do you want to make? 1362 grams

Ingredients

Neutralized Pepper paste

Instructions

Make the neutralized Pepper Paste

  • If you are using store bought peppers they usually are packed with oil and vinegar. Neutralizing this sauce will keep the nduja from tasting too tangy.
  • To neutralize the paste, weigh the amount of pepper paste that you need. Place that into your blender and add the baking soda that recipe calls for. Blend on high till a smooth paste is formed. Pour into a container and set to the side.
  • If you happen to have a ph meter you want the pH of the sauce to be between 5.6 and 7.0.

Prepare the sausage

  • Clean your meat of any sinew or silverskin and cut the meat and fat into small chunks (small enough to fit into your grinder)
  • Chill your meat to below 34f (1.1c). Grind chilled meat and fat through a medium plate (6mm). Then grind 2 more times on a fine plate (4.5mm). Rechill between each grind. The meat's temp needs to be below 34f (1.1c) at all times.
  • Rehydrate the starter culture in distilled water for 30 minutes prior to using.
  • Prepare the casing by soaking in luke warm water for 15 minutes.
  • Add all of the spices, cure, wine, pepper paste, garlic, and starter culture to the chilled ground meat. Mix well until everything is thoroughly incorporated.
  • Stuff the mince tightly into your casing, prick out any air pockets with a sausage pricker. Save a little extra mincemeat and wrap it in cling film. We will be testing the ph of that piece.

Cold smoking/fermenting your salami

  • This salami ferments very fast. So, I like to cold smoke while I ferment. So, as soon as you get your nduja cased up I would place it in the cold smoker and let it go for 8-12 hours. At which point test the ph of your little sample piece. Just remember that you will need to keep the temperature and humidity parameters the same in your smoker. Keep the cold smoke to under 86f (29.4c) and add a pan of water with a paper towel in it to "wick" the moisture.
  • Once you have reached the target pH you can transfer your salami to the drying chamber. I like to target anything between 4.9 and 5.2pH

Drying this salami

  • The drying conditions should be set to 55F (13c) and 80% humidity. The bigger the diameter of your salami (like in this case 100mm) the longer yu can leave it in your chamber and the better it will taste. For a 100mm size I would let it dry for 5-6 months. If you use a 60mm casing, you can let it dry for 3-4 months.
  • You are not really looking for a specific weight loss with this salami, rather maturing time. It will eventually get firm, but it will always be spreadable.

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7 thoughts on “Nduja Salami”

  1. Thank you for this recipe, reads awesome!

    I have a question… I’ve successfully made Salami and various hams in my fridge using the Dry Aging Steak Wraps. I’m planning to do the same for the Nduja.

    Do you happen to remember they weight loss you had? I’m thinking that, if the Nduja dries too much in my fridge (despite the wrap), I could transfer it into a vacuum bag once it has lost enough weight and then complete the ripening under vacuum to prevent further weight loss.

    Eric, do you think this would work, or will the sausage spoil once sealed?

    Thanks,

    Michi.

    1. LOL. You must have skipped out at the very end of the video. After I give my sign off (literally at the very end) I show this sausage being weighed. In 7 months, it lost 33% of the weight. Making this with a wrap might be a little tricky. The batter is super soft. With that being said, if you can make it work then I say go for it. You could age it in a vac bag but I don’t think it will dry too quickly in your fridge. If anything I think it will take longer because the fat will firm up quite a bit.

  2. Thanks Eric! Yes, you are right. I skipped out just after you said “bye bye” 🙂

    I was thinking of wrapping the whole thing in steak wrap, on the outside of the casing and netting, to slow down the drying rate. I can’t hang the salami in the fridge, so it will have to go on a wire rack. I’ll have oval salami, which I don’t mind as long as the salami itself turns out alright. I’ll keep an eye on the weight and if it dries too quickly, I’ll seal it in a vacuum bag.

    Give me a few months, and I’ll report back 🙂

    Thanks again for your help!

  3. Hi Eric,

    I’d like to make this but hopefully using casings I already have on hand. In this case, 40-43mm beef casings. I was thinking to keep everything the same, except age them for 4-5 weeks. Perhaps I will sacrifice a little complexity that would result from the longer ripening from the 100mm casing. Otherwise, what are your thoughts on this??

    Thank you!!
    L

    1. LOL. Hi Josh. Funny you would give this recipe 2 stars without having even tried it. I suppose you didn’t pay much attention to the way the recipe was written because if you had you would have noticed what is quite possibly the most incredible feature of any recipe maker on the internet. I want you to pay close attention to the area above the recipe that reads “How much do you want to make”. In that box all you have to do is enter the amount of meat you have (in grams), and the recipe will auto calculate everything for you. If you want the percentages all you have to do is enter 100. Then the recipe will show you the percentages of each item. Lets take this recipe for example. When I enter 100 in the box “how much do you want to make”, here’s what it reads:
      33.33 g pork shoulder
      33.33 g pork back fat
      33.33 g Calabrian pepper paste neutraliazed
      1.67 g salt
      0.25 g Insta cure #2
      0.99 g Calabrian pepper powder
      0.73 g smoked paprika
      0.48 g fennel powder
      1.47 g minced garlic
      4.41 ml red wine

      So, the value for each ingredient is directly translated to percentages. 33.33% pork shoulder, .25% curing salt, .48% fennel powder, so on and so forth. Next time you want to rate a recipe you should make it first and if you have a question you should ask. Now why don’t you change those 2 stars into 5 😉

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