Saturday, January 21, 2012

Mosefund Soppressata di Calabria

This is not "supersod," it is soppressata, and it is THE salame of Calabria. I've made soppressate before, but, that's just some generic name loosely applied to almost any salame. Throw a little hot pepper in it and you got, "supersod." It took me a quite awhile and a trip to Calabria filled with innumerable questions to get me to this point. Poring over Italian language books and email correspondence with family members in Calabria(they don't check email regularly in Italy) for several months, I felt I had an authentic recipe. Bear in mind that these recipes, like all recipes in Italy, vary from home to home. So, this became an amalgamation of several recipes.

I was given a good amount of meat again by Michael at Mosefund farm for this project(he also lent me his new meat grinder to make my life easier). The meat and fat were ground up through what I believe to be a 6mm plate. Where it gets interesting and little controversial is the addition of the peperoncini products. Really, only one ingredient is the issue, hot pepper paste or crema di peperoncino. It is hotly debated whether or not it gets used...........I used it. The rest is easy and predictable, hot pepper powder/peperoncino in polvere is a lock, salt, black pepper, cure #2, t-spx starter and dextrose and red wine.

Onto the next issue of import.......casings. Hog middles, without question. I've seen most made here using beef middles, which are fine. But, the DOP item assuredly uses hog middles, which you see pictured. After everything was ground up, mixed together and stuffed into the hog middles, it was time to press them. Not having a dedicated press, I had to get somewhat resourceful. I placed the soppressate on the bottom of my fermentation chamber. On top of which I placed several plastic cutting boards to cover them. On top of those, I placed a roasting pan, in which I placed a case of bottled water. I told you.....resourceful. They were pressed for the entire fermentation process which lasted a little under 72 hours. Now they hang, and I wait, for what I believe to be 12 weeks or so based on the drying time of the Salame Mugnano.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Speck d'alce(elk speck)

My cousin, whom I've mentioned here prior, stopped over for the 1st of 2 venison drop offs.(More on that at a later date) Among all the "roasts" was a little vacuum sealed frozen pearl, on which "elk" was scribbled in black marker. I was asked if I wanted it and/or if I could do anything with it. He didn't ask again. Being only one genome off from venison, I knew I could treat it the same. So, with that, I decided to "speck" it. The speck subject has been covered ad nauseum here, so, I'll spare you the banality. This was prepared exactly as pig speck. This was cured, cased, smoked and dried the exact same time as 3 other venison bresaole I just made. However, this took about 1.5 weeks longer to dry out. Tough to say why, the leanness is near the same, which is to say quite lean. Just pulled it down today and cut into it. Tastes no different than venison, honestly. Slightly gamey, nicely smoked. All around very tasty. Side by side, you wouldn't even know it was elk vs. venison. But, at least I've satisfied my desire to work with elk.........successfully.