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5 from 6 votes


Italian Meatbal Salami
Prep Time2 hours
Drying time30 days
Total Time30 days 2 hours


  • 600 g lean beef
  • 300 g pork shoulder
  • 100 g pork belly
  • 25 g Salt
  • 2.5 g insta cure #1
  • 3 g black pepper
  • 2.5 g fennel seeds crushed
  • 30 ml Red wine
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1.8 g Dextrose
  • Flavor of italy starter culture re-hydrate 1/4 tsp of starter in 1/8 cup of distilled water for every kilo (2.2 pounds) of meat/fat. Let this rest for 30 minutes
  • Additional wine for dipping salami meat balls
  • corn flour (polenta flour)


  • Clean meat/fat and cut into small strips. Place in the feezer to chill for 45 minutes
  • Grind the meat on a 6mm plate. (You can also finely mince the meat by hand if you don't have a grinder). Rechill before mixing (keep the temperature of the meat below 34f (1c) at all times during processing.
  • Add the starter culture, the wine and all of the rest of the ingredients to the chilled mince meat. Mix to combine till the meat mass gets sticky. If you grab a small handful it will stick to your hand if you hold it upside down.
  • Grab a handful your meat mixture and form the meat into a meat ball. I personally make 200 gram size balls. Dip the meatball into some red wine then roll it in some medium ground corn flour (polenta flour), and place it on a tray.
  • Ferment your pitina by placing them in an environment that between 75F and 85F (24c-29c) with high humidity for 18-24 hours. You can achieve high humidity by covering the pitina 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.
  • After 18 hours test the ph of your pitina. Once you hit your goal you can move on to the next step. The goal for fermentation is anything between 4.9 and 5.2. I personally try and get
  • Cold smoke for 1½ to 2 hours. Keep temps under 85f
  • After you have finished cold smoking place the pitina in an area to start drying. Ideal temperatures are 55f (13c) with an 80% humidity. Let dry for 3-4 weeks. The longer these dry the more firm they will become. I let mine dry for 4 weeks.
    We use a dedicated drying chamber to dry our salami but if you have a cellar or basement with the above mentioned parameters you can dry that in there without any issues.
  • After it's finished drying, thinly slice and enjoy. Store what's remaining in an air tight container in the refrigerator.