February 28th, 2010
I’ve been wanting to make sausages after being inspired by the Around Britain with a Paunch series on sausage making. Then I fell in love with a fennel salami from Trealy Farm (anyone coming to our wedding in May will get to taste it!) and have an ongoing obsession with chorizo. To top it off, Henry Leon started tweeting about salami making, and that was where this all started.
In the intervening period, Henry supplied me with a salami recipe to test out and I got to ordering a mincer and some ox runners (the natural casings used to make salamis).
Next, I had to source some relevant pork bits including shoulder and back fat. After a search of Borough Market I found that Sillfield Farm didn’t offer any back fat, Ginger Pig only have it on Tuesdays (when they do their pork butchering), but luckily Northfield Farm had plenty and offered it up for free.
With all of the ingredients to hand, the rest was salami history. Now I just have to wait 4+ weeks for them to mature and hope the maggots don’t get to them (and also that I got my salt levels right). See how the salamis shaped up (literally):
1: Soaking the ox runners
The ox runners come salted and you need to rinse and then soak the runners in water before you can use them. If it isn't obvious, these will be our salami skins. I got mine from Weschenfelder.
2: Pork shoulder before mincing
Got my pork shoulder and back fat (not shown here) from Northfield Farm, Borough Market..
3: Mincing the pork
My first attempt at using a hand mincer, slightly confusing at first but it ended up being really quite satisfying.
4: Adding peppercorns and fennel
Next step is to add some toasted fennel seeds and whole black peppercorns along with the 2% salt required to preserve the meat.
5: Next - adding the back fat
Pork back fat gets added to the mix, in this case in 1/3 proportion to meat. (500g to 1.5kg meat)
6: Big wet mess after adding red wine
After adding half a bottle of Sicilian shiraz the mixture became a big wet mess, but all the better for filling the skins!
7: Threading the runners
You have to thread all of the runners on the meat filler (aka the mincer with a different attachment). The fun begins!
8: A salami!
And there we have it, a filled salami ready to be hung. It actually helps to have two people at this stage, one to turn the handle and one to supervise the salami filling.
9: Friendly salamis waiting to be taken to the shed
As the salamis were finished they just needed hanging somewhere temporary and the pan rack seemed the best place.
10: Salamis hanging in the shed
And here the salamis will hang for 4-12 weeks until they have dried out and hardened sufficiently. They've been wiped in vinegar and I rubbed an old salami on them to encourage the growth of mould on the exterior.