Home cured salami & chorizo

You all seem to be such proficient chefs. Well here is a place to share some of that cooking knowledge. Or do you have a cooking problem? Ask away. Jams and chutneys go here too.
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The Riff-Raff Element
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Home cured salami & chorizo

Post: # 176289Post The Riff-Raff Element
Tue Nov 10, 2009 9:19 am

I’ve now managed to reach a competence in sausage making where I am prepared to throw caution (and possibly about €25) to the wind and have a go at home curing some salami and chorizo.

I would very much like to hear any tips from anyone who has done this.

As far as I can see, the process is pretty straightforward:
  • Make the mix;
    Stuff the tubes;
    Hang somewhere warmish for a couple of days to start the fermentation;
    Hang somewhere airy & cool for a few weeks until dried.
A couple of questions though:
  • I’m assuming that flies (the few that might be around) simply won’t bother with these because the salt content renders them inedible – is that fair?
    I’m in two minds about using saltpetre. I can get hold of the stuff, but one reason I want to make my own is to have control over the ingredients and I don’t really want to use this unless it is an essential. So, is it an essential?
With thanks.

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Re: Home cured salami & chorizo

Post: # 176316Post MKG
Tue Nov 10, 2009 11:56 am

Hi Riff-Raff - where you been?

I've got HFW on this somewhere. I'll look him up and tell you what he says, but my memory tells me that saltpetre isn't absolutely necessary - but it does have a distinctive taste and is a more effective preservative than ordinary salt. So, if my memory is correct, your sausages won't taste the same and you'll have to eat them sooner.

I've been trying to push myself into making chorizo for years - never plucked up the courage!

Mike
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Re: Home cured salami & chorizo

Post: # 176328Post contadino
Tue Nov 10, 2009 1:12 pm

The Riff-Raff Element wrote:Hang somewhere warmish for a couple of days to start the fermentation;
Hang somewhere airy & cool for a few weeks until dried.
Different types of salami require different lengths of time in specific conditions. Generally speaking 10 days for them to start work, then anything from 3 to 10 months to cure. That's based on the 10-12cm casings used for Salami di Napoli, Salami Ungherese, etc... If you use different sized casings the recipes, and storage times need adjusting accordingly.
The Riff-Raff Element wrote:I’m assuming that flies (the few that might be around) simply won’t bother with these because the salt content renders them inedible – is that fair?
Not 100%. There are two things you can do to take flies out of the equation. Either leave them to cure in a fly-screen container, or give them a lime-wash. The lime-wash technique is what all the epicurean producers opt for here in Italy. However, they cover the salamis first in some sort of material. I've not yet managed to find out exactly what that material is, and my book doesn't go into sufficient detail.

I should add that this is purely for salami. I don't know anything about chirizo. Salsicce Stagionata (the Italian equivalent) are just left to dry - there's no fermentation going on there.

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Re: Home cured salami & chorizo

Post: # 176404Post The Riff-Raff Element
Tue Nov 10, 2009 8:49 pm

Thank you for the tips gentlemen - very helpful.

Mike - just been very, very busy with the gites. The season is now over - we get a handful of winter lets - so I have some time to surf and catch up, which is nice.

I've been doing a little more digging. The ox casings I have access to are from the narrow end of the gut and should fill to 7 or 8cm. Fermentation can be stimulated, it seems, by adding acidophillus bacteria to the mix (the same stuff you get in friendly yoghurts!) in powder form rather than waiting them to drift in on the air, and this, it seems, reduces the risk of early spoiling and the need for nitrates / nitrites.

So I'm going to take a punt this weekend. People have been doing this for centuries, so, without being disrespectful to the accumulated knowledge and wisdom this represents, it must be a fairly straight-forward process with a fair degree of success, otherwise it would never have become so widespread.

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Re: Home cured salami & chorizo

Post: # 177402Post The Riff-Raff Element
Mon Nov 16, 2009 9:25 pm

And the first batch are hanging up to dry!

Image

At worst, it can only end in failure. At best, they might be edible in a few weeks.

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Re: Home cured salami & chorizo

Post: # 177417Post MKG
Mon Nov 16, 2009 10:36 pm

Looking good - but what cure did you choose to use in the end?

Mike
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Re: Home cured salami & chorizo

Post: # 177458Post The Riff-Raff Element
Tue Nov 17, 2009 8:26 am

In the end I followed an approach copied from Hugh F-W and used only salt, red wine and acidophilus.

The nitarte / nitrate method is more sure, it would seem, gives a nice, pink, product and allows for more rapid curing, but I'd still like to find a way around using it if I can.

Of course, if this fails I'll be straight down the chemist for a tub of the stuff :wink:

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Re: Home cured salami & chorizo

Post: # 178990Post The Riff-Raff Element
Mon Nov 30, 2009 10:06 am

They've gone white!!! :shock:

Which I think is what is supposed to happen. They smell pretty good too. They seem to be drying out, so I'll give them a couple more weeks and "harvest" them.

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Re: Home cured salami & chorizo

Post: # 178993Post Green Aura
Mon Nov 30, 2009 10:13 am

They look great rre! :thumbright:

I tried hanging a sheet of home-cured bacon to dry in the shed, but the air is so wet here it didn't work. I'll have to see if I can rig something up in the house.
Maggie

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Re: Home cured salami & chorizo

Post: # 179000Post contadino
Mon Nov 30, 2009 11:07 am

The Riff-Raff Element wrote:They've gone white!!! :shock:
That's called bloom, I think. Just like the bloom on grapes.

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Re: Home cured salami & chorizo

Post: # 179029Post Millymollymandy
Mon Nov 30, 2009 4:55 pm

Just call it boudin blanc. :iconbiggrin:
boboff wrote:Oh and just for MMM, :hugish: (thanks)
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Re: Home cured salami & chorizo

Post: # 179064Post MKG
Mon Nov 30, 2009 9:58 pm

Hmmmm. I'm reserving judgement - but I hope they're OK, RRE.

Mike
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Re: Home cured salami & chorizo

Post: # 180296Post patR
Sat Dec 12, 2009 10:14 am

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Re: Home cured salami & chorizo

Post: # 183949Post The Riff-Raff Element
Mon Jan 18, 2010 12:40 pm

Well, they were great. I survived.

They were a bit drier than the commercial variety, but the flavour was excellent.

I'm planning to start another batch this coming weekend but using smoked paprika this time.

:iconbiggrin:

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Re: Home cured salami & chorizo

Post: # 183952Post Green Aura
Mon Jan 18, 2010 12:46 pm

Were they drier because you hung them too long, or was it an improvement being drier?

Glad they worked out. :thumbright:

I've still not sorted it but have decided the pantry ceiling is a good place to hang my cured meats etc from - constant temperature. And I've got my hands on a "meat safe" to store cheeses in the pantry too.
Maggie

Never doubt that you can change history. You already have. Marge Piercy

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. Anais Nin

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