Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Salami making

This post comes with a warning for those of a squeamish nature, some of the photos are a bit 'meaty' so by all means look away now.

Andrew is a great charcuterie fan, particularly salamis and saucisson. Last year I bought him a copy of Jane Grigson's classic 'Charcuterie & French Pork Cookery' which is heaven for a meat lover.  He had a chat with our butcher about supplies for sausage and salami making and was recommended Weschenfelder . So for Christmas I ordered a salami making kit and waited for the creativity to begin.

This Saturday Andrew deemed to be the right day for salami making and bought the meat for a basic Italian salami. His preference is for chunky saucisson, bold flavoured with peepers but sensibly decided to follow a simple recipe for a Milanese style salami before venturing into his own flavourings.

Weighed ingredients

It was recommended that the meat be partially frozen before going through the mincer to stop too much 'smearing'.

First pass

The meat is then mixed with salt, seasoning and the all important nitrite/nitraite mix. This is where salami making gets a bit technical. Bacteria has to be introduced to cure the meat but it has to be the right type of bacteria or things could turn a bit, say, nasty...

Once all mixed up then the salamis get made and Andrew was using natural casings. I had been observing most of this process from a distance anyway, but when the skins came out I nearly vacated the house. They are really not pleasant!

Of course Mortimer found the whole thing fascinating.

Self appointed sous-chef
Finally the skins were stuffed and tied.

Looks so wrong!

So now the maturation phase starts. For the first 24-36 hours they have to incubate somewhere warm so we used the boiler cupboard.

Even after 24 hours you could see the change.

After 24 hours

They now hang for around six weeks and will probably lose about 30%  of their original weight. We chose the back of the understairs cupboard, possibly an unfortunate choice as it does not have a catch. But it does have a guard dog!

We'll let you know how the salami project progresses.


  1. Fascinating stuff. Oddly, as an ex-vegetarian I'm not too squeamish about all this, possibly because I was brought up making things like brawn with whole pigs' heads. But it does loook kind of, well, labour intensive. It may have to wait till we're not in full moving mode....

  2. So now I'm really impressed - pig's heads! My limit is rabbit, I've only cooked it once and never again. The smell was disgusting and it looked like a skinned cat. Actually it was the smell this time, the sausage casings were horrible, even Andrew was not impressed. Hope the moving preparations are going well and not too traumatic.