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Ventricina Salami

Talk about one amazing salami. The ventricina is one of Italy’s most decorated cold cuts and it’s easy to see why. It’s amazing!! Enjoy the recipe!!

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.

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Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Ventricina

Award winning Italian Cold Cut
Prep Time2 hours
Drying time60 days
Total Time60 days 2 hours
How much do you want to make? 1000 grams

Ingredients

Instructions

  • If you are using a mold culture (mold 600) prepare at least 2-3 hours before you need it. This will give it a chance to "wake up".
  • Also rinse, flush, and soak your casing for several hours prior to using.
  • 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 the coarsest plate you have. I used my kidney spacer plate, and it worked out great. Alternatively, you can hand chop all of your meat. (You will get better results if you grind your meat) Rechill, keep the meat below 34f (1.1c)
  • Rehydrate the starter culture in distilled water for 30 minutes prior to using.
  • Add all of the spices, cure, wine, dextrose, and starter culture to the chilled ground meat. Mix well until your meat gets very sticky and tacky and will stick to your hand if you turn your hand upside down, when finished.
  • Stuff the mince tightly into your casings, prick with a sausage pricker, brush on the mold culture. Also weigh your salami and record the weight as well as the target weight. Target a 40% weight loss for this salami.
  • Ferment your salami by placing it in an environment that between 75F (23.9c) and 85F (29.4c) with high humidity for 18-24 hours. You can achieve high humidity by wrapping your salami in cling film. This locks in the moisture. A good place to ferment is in your oven with the light on but the oven off. (EVERY STARTER CULTURE IS DIFFERENT. THESE INSTRUCTIONS ARE FOR THE FLAVOR OF ITALY STARTER CULTURE). The goal of fermentation is to reach a pH between 5.2 and 4.9.
  • Once you have reached the target pH you can transfer your salami to the drying chamber.
  • The drying conditions should be set to 55F (13c) and 80% humidity. This salami is unique in the sense that after you lose 40% moisture, you'll let the salami age for several more months. Technically at 40% weight loss you can eat it, but the beauty of this salami is the aging period that extends past the initial drying stage. How long you dry this is up to you, but I would let it hang for at least 5-6 months.
  • slice thinly and enjoy

Storage Instructions

  • To store your salami, remove the casing and wash the salami with either vinegar or wine. Place your salami in a vacuum sealed bag and refrigerate.

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9 thoughts on “Ventricina Salami”

  1. As this is a brand new recipe that you’ve shared and I haven’t gotten fully set up to make salamis, I can’t rate this recipe. It sounds great though! I would like to ask a question to get your opinion on dry curing. I have seen a number of people that are running their dry cure chambers at 39-40 F as they claim that while it will slow down the drying process, that will in fact give more time for flavors to develop. What if anything would that do to fermented sausages? Also what is your opinion on this. One advantage to doing this is that I can move my curing to the dry chamber and free up space in my home fridge. Just have to be a little more patient waiting for the slower drying.

    1. The idea of flavor development comes from bacterial activity. While in theory a slower dry time would increase the flavor of the meat, the reality is that those temps are too cold for any significant flavor to be developed as the bacterial activity is very slow. In my experiments at having salami in the refrigerator for 6 months I did not notice a significant flavor improvement.

      I’d love to see their chambers because at those temps the humidity plummets and it’s very difficult to maintain the proper 80% humidity.

  2. Velimatti Ollilainen

    Hi Eric
    I made the second set as the first salami was filled into unsuitable casing – I got the wrong casing which did not shrink during the drying process and separated totally. I skinned the salamies but probably loss some flavour.
    In this second version’s pH was 4,4 using Bitek LS25 starter. I decreased a little bit the amount pork fat and filled tha mass into 50/55 beef middles
    Let’s see
    Greeting from Finland, matti

  3. I need some guidance on Salami fermentation. A month ago I made a Finocchiona and a Ventricina salami. After 20 hours in the oven with the light on the Finochiona read a ph of 4.96 so I transferred it to the curing chamber. The Ventricina was still at 5.47. After 24 hours it was at 5.46 and finally at 36 hours it was at 5.28. I wasn’t happy as my goal is 5.00 but I transferred it to the curing chamber also. I then built a fermentation chamber with perfect 80F and 90% humidity. Made another Ventricina, same “Flavor of Italy” starter culture and placed it in the chamber. The ph reading are extremely confusing, after 20 hours it was 5.47, after 30 hours it was 5.42 and at 40 hours it went back up to 5.48-5.52. Why doesn’t it go down past 5.40? I calibrated my Apera Z twice, bought some salami at the store to test and I’m convinced the ph tester works. The salami is still in the fermenter and my next reading will be at 52 hours, will it be going further up or stay, who knows. What am I missing, what am I doing wrong?
    Quick update, i still don’t know where I screwed up this bad, I checked again the ph value of my salami after 52 hours of fermentation and it’s up at 5.8. I also noticed that since I hang my salami to ferment, on top is where I measure 5.8 and on the bottom it’s at 5.36, this just doesn’t make sense, the whole chamber is at a constant 80F and 90%RH.
    Salami is about 3000 gram, was, cause it’s in the trash. Before my next attempt, please advise.
    Also, got some lean pork at the butcher and measured its ph, raw, 5.02, is that normal? I read about raw meat usually be like 5.8.

    1. Flavor of Italy is very predictable. Within 24-30 hours you should have your ph drop. The only 3 factors that would hinder that are culture condition, food, and temperature. If your culture is no good, then obviously it wouldn’t work. If there’s not enough sugars, the culture won’t produce lactic acid, and if the temperature range is way off the culture won’t perform as expected. How old if the probe on your ph meter, also what is the expiration dates on you calibration solution 7.0 and 4.0?

  4. Good Afternoon Eric,
    We are currently making Ventricina for the first time and we are using TSPX as our starter culture as Flavor of Italy was not available when we made our order.
    Our question is when we are measuring our pH in the test sample we are getting different pH readings between the meat matrix, chunks of meat and the chunks of fat, is that normal? Currently we are reading in our sample 5.1 in the matrix, 5.4 in the meat chunk and 5.3 in the fat chunk. The safe range for TSPX is 5.0-5.2. Your advise would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you,
    Ken

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