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