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December 10, 2017 at 7:51 pm #2996Steve MarchettiMember
I recently made about 25 lbs of fermented Italian Dried Salami with fennel and stuffed it into 50 mm umai dry casings. It’s been hanging in the fridge for 5 weeks and as of today has lost an average of 35% of it’s weight, casings have pulled away like normal and the external color is excellent, and the salami is firm but not hard. I’ve never used the 50 mm casings before, last time is used the 30- or 35 mm casings and let it go to 40% weight loss, the salami was very tasty but frankly a little on the dry and chewy side (more so than commercial pepperoni) but acceptable as a snack, too hard for a sandwich. Is a 35% weight loss adequate for dried salami or should I wait it out for 40%? I’d like to slice and vacuum pack it to avoid it getting too dry provided that it’s done.December 11, 2017 at 4:17 am #11375JimMember
With the 50 mm casing you will get something you can slice thin and if it is a bit on the hard side it will not be very noticeable when sliced thin. I would go to 40%, but it is a matter of taste.January 5, 2018 at 9:20 pm #11401Mark D’AmbrosioMember
I have such interest in such topics as I am Italian myself, and have a lifelong affinity for the old fashioned home made dry Italian Sausage that the old timers used to commonly make during the winter months in the Chicago Area.
Theirs typically was basically nothing more than a fresh Italian Sausage, and contained Fennel Seed, but one thing I recall, I never remember them ever using any fancy Cures, only salt, and probably a slightly higher percentage to aid drying. I imagine that could be dangerous, but never got sick.
I tried such myself a few times years ago, but it was hit and miss, finding the outside drying too fast perhaps, getting “Hollow Sausage Links” at times. Yes, I stuffed into natural Casings like they did, prick with a toothpick, hang, good ventilation, cool temps, etc.
My question would be pertaining to your questions in your post, you related that you dried for a period of 5 weeks time.
Now my question would be, what if you yanked the Sausage-Salami at say a shorter period, let’s say 4 weeks? What would the end results then be? Yes, a more tender product I’ll guess, but will there be any dangers in eating it would be my question? Or what other downsides to such would there be?
I can recall an old friend making this Sausage on the slightly soft side a couple times, and to tell the truth, it was the best I ever ate in my life.
I know an old trick that he did, was with the Sausage Sticks, he’d pack them in Jars of Olive Oil for long term storage. Not as good but of course still quite edible.January 11, 2018 at 12:54 pm #11406Steve MarchettiMember
I’m by no means an expert at this but I would first, not make any dried product without using cure #2 and second, monitor readiness by weighing the product when fresh and periodically while drying in a refrigerator rather than using time. I shoot for a 40% weight loss to determine if it’s ready or not. I suspect that curing for less time would lead to soft and possibly “raw” meat in the middle. Finally I would really not store anything in olive oil. Oil does not permit air and thus if there are anaerobic bacteria that have contaminated the meat (say Botulinus) you could get really sick or worse.
I follow the Umai recipes and use their casings with good success. Adjusting the spices is OK but I don’t mess with changing the salt, cure and bacterial additives.January 11, 2018 at 3:13 pm #11407Mark D’AmbrosioMember
Surely no disagreement with what you say. I reckon if such techniques I mention were safe and foolproof, there would be widespread/commercial use of such.
One major reason I myself have investigated Umai as a source to decide to use their products and proven Charcuterie recipes-methods to get safer and more reliable-predictable end results
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