We have just had a salami making day – and by we I mean the boys. As a non meat-eater I hesitantly said yes to having my house turned into a pork-a-looza. I thought all of my senses would be overwhelmed by the process, but I was wrong. By making myself the photographer I managed to remove myself from the reality of it and enjoy the process for what it was. Yes there was pork and pork fat everywhere, and some bleeding – there were some questionable knife skills – but all in all it was a entertaining day.
At the start of salami day the kitchen is clean and ready to go.
and the butcher’s tools are ready to go.
The fridge was overloaded with 20 kilos of pork, 2 kilos of pork fat and a massive ball of salty intestines – and naturally they were all lady pigs!
Preparing the intestines, even though they never made it through to the finished product – the ease of the artificial casings won out in the end.
To start skin the pig – the first incident happened here, man down temporarily to treat a bleed. The bleed continued to be an ongoing problem throughout the day but commitment to the cause meant work must continue.
Dice the meat to the very specific size of small enough to fit through the grinder. Including any fat that you can save from the removed skin. And if you thought that would be enough fat, let’s throw in the 2 kilos of extra fat for good measure.
All diced, two injuries down and 22 kilos of porky goodness was turned into a pile ready for the grinder.
Spices are very important and it is highly recommended to consult the recipe periodically throughout the day and it is particularly important when considering how much salt and how much spice should be added.
Now add the secret ingredients: conserved peppers, spice mix – heavy on the chilli and paprika – and some red wine, precisely measured – ‘yeah that’s about a cup’.
Liberally add in the flavour…
Now it is time to get elbow deep in pork fat and spices. Get ready for a paprika tan!
Who mixes the salami mixture you ask? Is it decided by straw drawing? Is it the job that everyone shies away from? Well no, it is quite easily decided upon actually – who has the least hairiest arms!
And at this point, even though I can’t figure out how you take any spices out it is essential to do a taste test. Verdict: the correct amount of chilli and wine, although not unanimous on the chilli.
Time to commence the salami filling, the most tedious of jobs – once you’ve passed the using of knives – is tying string. This can make or break your salami, literally!!
Once you get the ball rolling the process gets easier, helped along by the red wine that didn’t make it into the salami mix.
Finished product: 6 hours later, 22 kilos of pork and fat turned into 2 dozen salami ready to be aged. May the waiting game begin – will this salami be edible in a few months?
The final bit of last year’s salami for a sneak peak at what the finished product will hopefully look like.