Now that you have your curing chamber up and running, venison salami is a perfect string to your bow. Making salame is similar to curing a whole muscle (like our bresaola) but the process is harder and longer. The meat is also fermented before going in the chamber. A few words of caution before you proceed. Firstly, if you are in doubt about the safety of the salame, toss it in the bin. I know that it’s hard to throw away all your hard work, but a long spell in hospital with mould poisoning is no picnic either. Alongside a good vertical sausage stuffer, and meat grinder, you will also require a few more specialist products- namely beef middle casings, Bactoferm 600 and T-SPX starter culture. All of these are available at the super friendly Weschenfelders. Some advice- when grinding meat and fat together, it is vital to keep everything as cold as possible to avoid smearing everything in slimy pork fat.
Venison – 1000 gr
Pork Belly – 250gr
Salt – 2.75%
Cure #2 – 0.25%
Cracked black pepper – 1.25%
Dextrose – 0.50%
Garlic Powder – 0.1%
Spicy Paprika – 0.05%
Smoked Paprika – 0.05%
T-SPX culture – 0.042%
12 hours before you make your salami, dilute 5gr of Bactoferm 600 into 50 ml of distilled water and leave somewhere to bloom. If this is a pain time wise, you can do this and spray your salami 12 hours after making.
Take your beef middle casings and leave to soak in water while you busy yourself with the meat.
Cube up you pork and venison into inch pieces and add the salt. Put in the deep freeze for 45 minutes along with the internal parts of the grinder. This will not only make grinding easier, but also help develop Myosin which binds everything together in the casing.
After 45 mins, the meat should be firm and slightly tacky to touch, but not frozen. Add your other ingredients except the T-SPX culture. Mix thoroughly and grind through the coarse plate on your grinder. The meat and fat should cold enough to stay separate when it grinds and the fat should be solid enough to hold together.
Wearing gloves, mix everything together well. This part is important to achieve a good bind of fat and meat and thus prevent that bottomless shame that comes from a cutting into a crumbly salami. Gloves help as the meat should be cold enough to make your hands ache. Add the T-SPX culture to 30ml of distilled water, and pour over the meat. Continue mixing for another 2-3 minutes.
Place into your vertical stuffer and slide the beef middles onto the largest adapter. Leave a few inches of intestine on the end. Churn with your left hand while holding and shaping the salami with your right. Gently pump your right hand to fill evenly and ensure no air pockets. Run your right hand up and down the salame to form an even shape. Go on, have a good giggle if you must. Once your salami is 12 inches or so, pull off another couple of inches of casing and cut. Repeat till all used up.
Whatever meat you have in the tube can be saved and wrapped in clingfilm for PH testing.
Tie a strong knot in one end of the salami and fold over the excess skin and re-tie as a “Bubble Knot” (See photos). A bubble knot is imperative to stop your salami emptying itself all in your chamber as it dries. Gently push down the meat, till it fills the skin completely. With a sterilised needle, prick multiple tiny holes in the casing and force out any air. Tie off the other end again with a bubble knot and using butchers twine, tie up the salame like so.
Add 100 ml of distilled water to your Bactoferm 600 that you made 12 hours prior, and in a clean spray bottle, spritz the salame with a good coating.
Record the weight on a ticket and hang in your fermentation chamber at 22 celcius for 48 hours. Place the excess meat in the cling film at the bottom of the fermentation chamber. The T-SPX culture, should start eating up the dextrose and develop a nice acidic tang. After 2 days, test the PH by adding a little distilled water to your clingfilmed sample and using a precise paper test strip. It should read 5.5 or below. We want a nice acidic environment as it makes harmful bacteria harder to grow. Having said this, I am reliably informed by people who know much more than me that if the ph isn’t low enough then the salami won’t dry properly as the meat won’t lose water effectively. So sometimes I don’t bother checking.
After 48 hours, move to your curing chamber which should be set to 12 degrees Celsius and 85% humidity. After the first week, drop the humidity to 74% and leave to dry until the salami have lost 40% of their weight. (Should be about a month)