Monday, May 16, 2011

Salsiccia di Calabria....."My Calabria" style

After my initial post on this, I conferred several times with my friend Rosetta, who is the author of the outstanding book, "My Calabria." I was fortunate enough to try some of her father's Salsiccia di Calabria. Rosetta informed me the recipe is exactly that of the fresh sausage recipe from the book. Easy enough, I figured. However, the recipe doesn't call for a starter or any nitrate. But, that's no big deal at all, really.

This time around it was just some pork shoulder with the addition of some mangalitsa fat from Mosefund, only 10% of the total weight. Salt, hot pepper powder, sweet pepper powder, and some fennel seeds, along with some cure #2 and f-lc starter.......that's it. I stuffed these in regular hog casings. Fermented for close to 80 hours. They were hung to dry at 52 degrees and about 79% humidity. I'm not quite sure what's been going on in my chamber recently, but, my salumi have been taking an inordinate amount of time to dry, my salame, in particular. Typically, salame I make stuffed in regular hog casings can be done in as little as 3 weeks. For some reason, this wasn't ready for a whopping 8 weeks! I speculate that it could be the lack of moisture in the mangalitsa fat, but, at only 10% of it's total mass, that seems unlikely. When I introduced that lot of 30lbs. of 'nduja, the humidity jumped to over 80% and averaged about 82% for a couple weeks, but, that still shouldn't delay drying to that degree. So, I'm at a loss for an explanation.

Regardless, the flavor seems unaffected by the chamber's issues. It is very tasty. Perfectly balanced to where everything can be tasted and no component overwhelms. I did vary the recipe slightly. I only used half the sweet pepper powder the recipe called for and replaced the other half with hot pepper powder. The rest of the recipe was followed closely. As you can see by the picture, the powders turned the fat orange. Good stuff. I suggest buying this amazing book and giving this one a try.