Sunday, May 5, 2013
Holy moly, we made salami at home! Talk about things we never thought in a million years we might do. And not some vaguely sausage-y, meaty thing, but honest-to-goodness salami.
We revisited the book Salumi: The Craft of Italian Dry Curing for recipe guidelines (which we more or less followed).
If you try this at home you’ll also want to visit Butcher & Packer for supplies such as larger casings for the salami and (optionally) mold for the outside of the salame and bacteria for the inside. the book advises strongly to use the bacteria for the inside partly for safety and partly for consistency of flavor. Well, we don’t really care about consistency, since variation is part of the fun of home cooking. We do care about safety, but decided to forego the bacteria and trust the acid in the added wine to keep the nasties away. We did buy the exterior mold, but, of course, not much grew, unlike on our spalla which did mold nicely without any added help.
This salami is amazing; it’s like nothing we’ve ever had. The flavor is milder than commercial versions, but also much more complex. We chose a straightforward fennel and pork salami for our first try (Mrs. Monkeyshines’ favorite) and you can really taste the fennel. What's more, the texture is a bit creamier than the store-bought product. There are none of those nasty bits that get stuck in your teeth – the book says that this is the gristly bits of the meat that commercial producers are not as meticulous about removing. Eww...
At the end of the day, it’s nice to enjoy a salami without wondering what scary cuts of meat are in it. More importantly, that you are justifiably proud of having made yourselves. And even more importantly, that tastes terrific.