Salami season is here again!
When Melbourne winter weather kicks in, artisans from far and wide get together in enthusiastic and organized groups of keen salami makers to banter, mince meat, fill casings and hang their newly made product to dry for the months to come. What was once a ritual revered only by the European community, now, in the last few years has become a practice that so many other cultures here in Australia have embraced! Each culture has its own wonderful twist on the tradition that makes it a wonderful way for us to diversify and experience old and new traditions together.
It is extremely gratifying to hear about and see more and more eager artisans giving salami making a go and the kinds of magnificent results they produce that they get to consume and enjoy. Talking to customers and friends we come across so many varieties, from the slowly fermented and course textured Italian salami to the lightly smoked Polish and the finely minced Hungarian. Not to mention the infinite variations of all the most famous recipes, depending on cultures and family traditions. It’s a practice and a pastime a lot of us hold dear to our heart, reminiscing about the warm memories from our carefree childhoods and time spent with family. We want to help bring these practices forward in the 21st century so that the art of Salami making never dies.
One of our favourites that we will be looking at today is called Finocchiona; an enticing Tuscan salami made with fennel (“Finocchio”). The recipe was given to us by our friend Michela’s grandmother from Carrara, Tuscany.
INGREDIENTS FOR 5 KG OF PORK:
- 5 Kg of a lean cut of pork (we suggest free range and normally use shoulder)
- 1-1.5 Kg of pork fat
- 2 Garlic cloves diced (or 50g garlic powder)
- 120-130g flossy salt (medium grain)
- 10-15g black peppercorns
- 10-15g cracked black pepper
- 10-15g dried fennel seeds (or a bit more if you really like fennel!)
- About 1 cup Tuscan red wine
- Salami casings size 70-80 (can be the type you prefer)
If you don’t have the time to source all the spices (or some of them are not currently available), try our new Toscano recipe! Adjust salt, mix well and enjoy your salami shortcut!
Make sure to dice the garlic and leave it infused in the wine for 4-24 hours before adding to mix, as they can create mould in your meat if they are not evenly distributed through the mix.
- Mince the meat with a fine texture (we suggest a 12-14 for this type of salami) and then the fat in chunkier bits. Mix them in a food grade crate (or a meat mixer for bigger quantities).
- Combine all dried ingredients and add them to the meat mix.
- Add the garlic infused wine and mix very well. Knead the meat for at least 10 minutes.
- Fill casings with a sausage piston filler or a mincer with filling attachments, then use a pricker to lightly pierce casings, allowing air pockets to break and release air from the meat.
- Press the meat down from the outside for a compact and safe filling. The casing has to be tightly tied.
- Using a strong waxed string, close off the end and knot a ring to hang them (or try our salami crimping tool for a quicker and easier procedure!).
- With the aid of a netting tube, net the salami to keep the meat nice and tight.
- Quickly ferment at room temperature for one day, then hang in a cool, humid (9-12C /65-80%) and draft-free place. Keep an eye out for bad moulds (black-bluish) and don’t worry about white-green ones that give salami that awesome, earthy and mushroom-like aroma and taste. Your salami will be ready in about 9-12 weeks (or several weeks less if you are using casings with a smaller diameter).
- And voilà, you have your delicious Salami ready to be eaten; Enjoy!
If you would like to learn how to make salami or brush up on your skills, you can book a course online through our website or at www.weteachme.com/artisansbottega.
Click on the image below to see a video of some of our up and coming artisans in action from our Salami Workshop!