Making your salami is a great way to control the ingredients that go into it, and you’ll end up with a delicious, healthy snack in no time. Salami making is a simple process, but there are a few tips you should follow to make sure your salami turns out just right. In this article, we’ll teach you everything you need to know about how to make your salami.
- What is salami, and where does it come from
If you’re reading this, you probably already know that salami is a form of cured meat. It’s made by fermenting and drying out lean cuts into delicious wafers. The exact cut of meat used in traditional salami will vary depending on where it was made. For example, Italian Salame will be made with pork shoulder while Spanish Chorizo will use beef or pork leg.
- How do I make my salami?
First, buy the ingredients! You’ll need to purchase a “salami kit“, which can be found online. There are a few different kinds of kits available – some include starter cultures, and others don’t check before buying one. Once you have your kit, you’ll also need to get a bag of salt, pepper, coriander seeds, garlic cloves and some all-purpose flour. You can use any spices you like, but these are the basics!
Next, prepare your workstation. Unpack everything, so it’s laid out in front of you – this makes the earlier steps much easier. If you have a kitchen scale, weigh out your meat now – you’ll need about 250 grams for each salami. After that, wash your hands thoroughly to prevent contaminating food with bacteria or moulds while handling the meat later.
- Mixing the ingredients
Before mixing, it’s important to chill everything except for your bowl of water – cold temperatures will make it easier to handle the sausages later on when fermenting them. For the salami kit, simply follow the directions that came with it. If you’re using different ingredients (e.g. starting your own culture), carefully combine meat and all other ingredients in a large bowl – make sure to mix them well!
Now is the time if you want to add extra spices like coriander or caraway seeds. Then pour cold water over everything – this helps extract myosin, an important protein in meat that helps bind everything together when making salami. Now grab your hands and start mixing vigorously – keep mixing until the mixture starts sticking together slightly, then form into a ‘snake’ shape on your board before folding back on itself several times.
Once it’s formed into a loose snake shape, about the size of your forearm and about 25cm long, bend it into a horseshoe and press down with your palm to form a wide loop.
- Filling the casing
Now for the fun part! Your meat mixture should be firm enough at this point so you can start filling the casings – if not, put everything back in the fridge until it is. Take one of your sausage casings and rinse it under cold water to moisten it, making stuffing easier later. Put the open end over the nozzle of your stuffer while holding onto both ends tightly together. Carefully slide onto casing onto the nozzle, ensuring that both ends are even before continuing – if they aren’t, simply pinch them together to even out.
Now it’s time to stuff! Put your salami mixture back in the fridge so that it stays firm while you do this. Crank the handle on your sausage stuffer steadily until all of the meat is squeezed into the casing – stop cranking for a second now and then to let air bubbles escape. Keep cranking until you run out of meat mixture, then tie off one end with some kitchen string before snipping off the other end leaving about 5cm left. Repeat until you have used up all of your casings or meat mixture!
Then twist each salami fairly tightly – they don’t need to be perfect unless you’re planning on entering them into a competition! To make sure it keeps its shape during fermentation, tie off one end with kitchen string and hang the salami by its other end for at least twelve hours. You can cut it into smaller pieces now if you want, but this is optional – most people will store them whole.