I must be more of an idiot than even my 9th Grade math teacher believed me to be. The guy was a former Wehrmacht commando and competitive water skier so you can imagine how convincing his opinions were.
Sunday (6/7) was a beautiful sunny spring day. I had lots of garden related stuff to do: a huge pile of composted mushroom soil to move, shrubs to dig out and replant and a googoplex of weeds to pull. But instead of taking the rational course and spending the entire day out of doors, I spent about a third of it in the house starting a batch of Tuscan salami, taking pictures and writing this post.
Okay, no use beating myself up over doing something that I love to do, I suppose. Here’s what I did today with a description of how I did it.
Step 1) Determine weight of available meat and the weight of the proportion of fat.
I had a bone-in picnic shoulder ham from the supermarket. Since I could not use the bone or skin in the salami, I had to filet and skin it and determine how much meat I had to work with.
After the bone and skin was removed I had 2576 grams (~92 ounces) of meat. I like the salami to be smooth and fatty so I decided to add some belly fat at the rate of 20% of the meat or 504 grams (18 oz). Fatback would have been a better choice because it's firmer and holds up better during aging (So slap me!).
Step 2) Write a recipe from the master recipe in my secret book of salumi recipes.
Since my secret book has all the data for what percentage of the meat and fat each ingredient should be. All I had to do to work up the recipe was add up the weight of the meat and fat and multiple that number (3125 grams) by the percent value of each ingredient ( Column III in the table below) and determine how much of each thing I needed (Col. II)
|Ingredient||Weight (g)||% ingredient||Notes|
|Belly fat ||504||0.20||Grind coarse|
Total meat and fat
|Instacure #1|| |
|Fennel seeds, whole|| |
|Garlic, fresh|| |
|Pepper, black|| |
|Red Wine|| |
|Dextrose powder|| |
|Bactoferm F-RM-52|| |
|Disperse in water|
|Water, cold|| |
If I'd been at the farm where we almost always have some lactobacilli rich whey, I'd have omitted the Bactoferm and used the whey to lower the pH instead. Whey is way cheaper to use than Bactoferm and works the same way: the bacteria ferment the meat giving it a slightly tart taste and reduce the nitrate in compounds that brighten the color of the meat and destroy pathogenic bacteria.
After the meat has fermented for a few days in the refrigerator, I'll grind it. Then I'll take it to the farm where we have a proper sausage stuffing machine, stuff it into hog or beef casings, tie it off, bring it back home and hang it in the basement. I'll try to remember t take pictures of the rest of the process and post them here forthrightly.