Thursday, February 4, 2010

La N'Duja Terza

This is my third effort at this now hot as a pistol(literally and figuratively) salame. I think this may be my best effort yet. It was also my quickest. I knocked this out from start to finish in 2 hours. A bunch of research, a couple of emails to Calabrese people, both in this country and in Italy, and I was able to formulate a recipe. I opted not to use any offal. I've never used any, so, that's a variable I was more comfortable leaving out of the equation. I read recipes that included almost everything from the pig you could imagine. One recipe, I believe to be loosely translated to English, simply read "pig face." I'll assume they meant jowl. Others calling for everything in and around the head and face, even skin, which I don't think I'd seen before. Well, Larbo and I discussed it a little bit. He told me his best texture came from using straight belly. That sounded like the best option. But, what sounded even better was the "pig face" option. If belly was good, jowl must be better. It IS softer, more unctuous and fattier. I've seen it used in many recipes. That was what I decided on. This will be the easiest salame to explain in terms of ingredients and ratios. 5lbs. is the max I can do in one batch with the Kitchen Aid mixer. So, always looking to one up Larbo, I went with 30% total weight in peppers. I'll give the ratios in pounds, don't even have to mess with grams for this one. 3.5lbs. jowl, 1lb. hot pepper paste, .5lbs. peperoncino powder. That's it. Well, not quite, I forgot 3.5% salt, .25% cure #2 and about .5% dextrose. I stuffed it in a 4.5" beef bung. This was my first effort using beef bung. I have heard things about their odor. Well, I must have a good batch, as they had no odor to speak of. I rinsed and soaked for about 30 minutes. Stuffed pretty easily and quickly. Trussed it up quickly, here it is. Looks pretty damn good, I think. I'll ferment it for a couple days, while I wait for my cold smoker to arrive. Cold smoke it for about 3-4 hours a day for a week or so. I would love to smoke it with olive branches, for some reason, I'm thinking that's hard to come by. Anyone reading who has olive branches, I'd love to barter for some. For any readers out there who make their own salame, yet have not tried N'duja, you have no excuse! I carry all the pepper products in the store. :)


  1. beef bung? is that what I think it is?

  2. Let's see if third time is the charm. It looks great! It should dry at a nice pace at that size. I am quite curious about how the face fat works out. I find it a bit more firm. And 30%!!! Yowzers, have some dairy ready Scott!

  3. Looks top notch thus far, Scott. What are you going to use for a cold smoker?

  4. We should all look that good when we're trussed up!

    As for taming the heat when it's time to try it, I've heard that alcohol binds to the same receptors as capsacin, so a quick mouth rinse with some grappa should do it.

    At first glance, those traditional recipes, which call for 1/3 chilis, seem ridiculously hot. But after seeing how the chilis mellow as the salame ages, I've bumped mine up to 1/4 of the recipe. Wouldn't be surprised if I end up at 1/3 as well.

  5. Dave, I just bought a proQ cold smoke generator.

    Jason, no culture. I didn't use culture in my last one either. I was contemplating not even using any cure. But, I thought that would REEEEEALLY be tempting fate. The last one with only cure #2 still got pretty hard.