Salami season is here again! When Melbourne winter weather kicks in, people start to get together in enthusiastic and organized groups of keen salami makers, ready to mince, fill casings and hang their newly made product over entire weekends. It used to be a ritual revered only by the European community, but in the last few years Australians have embraced this tradition in its fullness and now make excellent salami and cured meats too.

It is extremely gratifying to see more and more people giving it a try at least once and then being very happy with their result and stoking up for more consumables! It is also particularly satisfying to see people choosing free-range, rare breed pork meat.

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. And many more!
Not to mention the infinite variations of all the most famous recipes, depending on areas and family traditions.

One of our favourites is called Finocchiona, a Tuscan salami made with fennel (“Finocchio”) and the recipe was given by our friend Michela’s grandmother from Carrara, Tuscany.

INGREDIENTS FOR 4-5 KG OF PORK:
  • 4-5 Kg of a lean cut of pork (we normally use shoulder);
  • 1-1.5 Kg of pork fat;
  • 2 Garlic cloves (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)
PROCEDURE:
  • Mince the meat with a quite 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 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, using 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 create a ring to hang them.
  • 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 12-16 weeks.

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