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Home Cured Salami. The tasting.

Home Cured Salami Recipe

Six weeks ago Becky Selengut and I started another batch of salami. You may remember, dear reader, that we threw the last batch we made in trash, because I considered the salt percentage too low to be safe.

Well, I am proud to say that this salami cured pretty much perfectly, and quite frankly is one of the tastiest things on earth. How is that for a kick in the pants to my usual modesty?

Becky came over today, we sliced some up, and compared tasting notes. I couldn’t talk, I had too much salami in my mouth. Her’s was perhaps the best analysis:

“wow, the first taste is bay, the middle taste is all porky flavor, and it ends in… YUM”

She hit the nail on the head. This one is pretty heavy on the bay. The first slice you get a lot of it. Chew through your second slice, and you start noticing the subtle notes of the pork coming through. By the time you have reached your 4th or 5th slice, you start to notice the fennel and port in there a bit too. After that you start to pick up some subtle pepper tones.

Perhaps one of the greatest things with curing meat is just how long these cuts have to let flavors develop. This thing hung for about 6 weeks. All that time bacteria’s are doing their work. Flavors are developing. The booze notes are mellowing. Meat slowly becomes infused with everything you mixed in to it.

SIX WEEKS of flavor development.

That has to yield a really pretty incredibly complex flavor profile. It does just that. I must have eaten 20 slices today, and each slice you notice something else. Flavors bounce off each other nicely. Some slices are more meat, some a little more fat. There is always that bay undertone which is quite frankly just lovely (especially since bay is my favorite of herbs in the cooler months).

The white that you can see in the photos is mold. It looks like it is wrapped in moldy paper, right? That is actually the beef intestine casing the salami was stuffed in to. The casing thins right out during the curing process, to a thickness of thin paper. Even though it is pretty dry, it can still let moisture in and out – letting the meat cure further. I might well keep one of these salami for another couple of months, and see how the flavors are then.

Something like this is best served by itself. Include some bread if you wish. You could also make it part of a larger course, with some a few side dishes. Maybe some lentils cooked with a bone and meat left over from Easter?

If you are interested in the process of making this salami – check out this post from a month back.

Making charcuterie is now a full on addiction. Heck, a few years down the road I might even open up shop. And that, I can promise you, is no April fools joke.

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22 Responses to “Home Cured Salami. The tasting.”

  1. Scott says:

    looks perfect!

  2. Kairu says:

    That looks amazing! Well done, you two.

  3. Lorraine says:

    Wow, looks delicious. And when is that tasting you mentioned :)

  4. Salami is not easy. Congrats. I’ll trade you a slice of cheese for a slice of salami…

  5. nina says:

    I am afraid Matt after 2 April fool tricks, seeing is believing(about the shop). However you will definitely make a killing selling these products. You photos are awesome as usual!

  6. ohh! Looks brilliant Matt! How about using it as a topping for some home made pizza?

  7. This dish is the style which i like .So ,i want to eat it very much.

  8. Alan says:

    Outstanding!!!!!!!!

  9. kathy says:

    Ahcan I have some for my sandwich. It looks so delicious. :-)

  10. Angela says:

    Hello Matt, stumbling upon your blog has made.my.day. You are such a talented cook and photographer! And, the salami looks damn good. :)

  11. I’ve become a huge fan of charcuterie since moving to France and that is one delicious-looking saucisson!

  12. I’d love to eat it but I’m still reluctant to undertake charcuterie. Thanks for sharing your experience and the long-awaited result!

  13. papawow says:

    Feel free to send me some, I won’t mind! Sounds delicious, one day I may gather the cajones to try this myself. Thanks for the reassurance that real people can cure meat too (it seems like a dark art that is dangerous and taboo). Let’s make sure thousands of years of knowledge don’t slip through a generation. Thanks for sharing!

  14. hank says:

    Glad you finally got to taste (and liked) my recipe! Yep, it is heavy on the bay, but I like that. I’ve been bad this year — haven’t made any. That’ll change soon I hope…

  15. Susan says:

    ummm, hello. Looks soooo yummy!!

  16. zenchef says:

    Pffeww.. you live too far, Matt. I want to be on the tasting team!
    This is a beautiful thing. Truly. Beautiful.

    Open the shop, already! (i believe you this time)

  17. Brian Asis says:

    I was suprised that the salami was wrapped in beef intestine, I thought it was cheese cloth. Just love how the salami looks!

  18. Peter Bagi says:

    Looks amazing! great job

  19. It looks perfect. I can’t wait to get together and do some sampling.
    Heading to Napa Thursday – Next week might be the week we’re gonna have to meet-up for some tasting.

  20. pixen says:

    oooh yes…good idea to open charcuterie shop! Please do consider! You really made me craving for it! :’-( Over here it’s so difficult to find quality charcuterie …sigh.. But like you one day I hope to make my own provided I can find the ingredients and expertise to pitch in :-D Congratulations to your success…as always practice made perfect…

  21. Andre says:

    Matt, first a great thank you for sharing your charcuterie experiences and passion. I am a Chef by trade and will start doing my own charcuterie in the fall . I am so excited and grateful at the same time to you guys in cyberland as the charcuterie making rookies like me get to learn from and avoid ( hopefully ) the mistakes you’ve made along the way. I have a few Chefs I know who are interested in doing what you do also but it is a bit complicated at the commercial level with all the rules that must be followed. I’ll keep you posted.

  22. Mike says:

    Congrats on that great looking salami!

    I love dry cured sausages and after making my own fresh and smoked sausages for years I really have to step up and give this a shot.

    Mike