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chopjwu12

Making Mortadella and other classic Italian cured-meat products

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Ok i just finished making my family's home made portugese sausage. Now im ready for my next challenge. I want to make homemade mortadella and other sausages. Who has any recipes or web sites anything that can help me out. Im interested in making mortadella but fennal sausage, any italian sausage will do. Im talkign about aged or smoked meats however. I know how to make fresh sausage. Oh and if anyone has a recipe for proscuitto(sp) that would be good too. Ive got one but it didn't work out that great. So any help would be apreciated.

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If you want to make a really authentic mortadella, you will have to find yourself a horse or donkey :hmmm: .

With making the proscuitto, the recipes are pretty basic, (basically a brine soak, then hang), but the most important thing is to be able to hang it in a cool, dry location. If you get the initial soaking time wrong then the meat tastes over salty, this can be a problem because different legs of pork have different bone:fat:meat ratios, so going by weight isn't the whole deal. Maybe somebody else has a fool proof formula, but my guess is that it is experience (in my family my grandmother did this, my father is only now starting to take over). There are a few variations on proscuitto as well, in Croatia they cold smoke the hams and the brine solution contains red wine, garlic, spices and a few herbs.

I have a few old British recipes for now extinct smoked/cured meats that I could post if you like. I will see what I can do about recipes from other the rest of Europe.

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Dave,

i've seen the recipe in the Garde Manger: The Art and Craft of the Cold Kitchen book. Unfortunately i don't have this book, but you can find it in most bookstores (you might check B&N on Route 35, close to your work) and just copy it from there.

edit to add the question: Where do you get casings?


Edited by helena sarin (log)

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i get the casing from my dad who get sthem from foodtown where he works. He has them ordered. I can get them i work though.

Please post any recipes that you may have adam i would apreciate it.

Dave

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OK, here is a basic recipe for a dry cure ham.

Take leg of pork/"ham", remove bone with small sharp knife (do not break the skin!). Rub the following mixture all over the ham (incuding where the bone was): 2 pounds of salt, 3/4 ounce of saltpetre, 1/2 pound good flavoured brown sugar. Leave overnight in a dry cool area (no a refridgerator).

Make brine: Boil together 1 l red wine, 1 l of water, 1 1/2 ounces of saltpetre, 1 pound sea salt, rosemary, juniper berries, allspice berries (whatever aromatics you like). Allow to cool.

Place ham in cooled brine and weigh down with a very clean board or other cleaned weight (ham must be covered with brine). Leave for 12 days in a cool place (brine never to get above 65.F). Drain ham and hang for about 3-6 months. If you wouold like to smoke it then smoke it after the first 48 hours of hanging.

A variation on this would be to use a mutton ham. In Italy, they would not use the red wine, in Croatia they would add garlic to the brine cure.

A very good book for cureing recipes and techniques is Jane Grigson's "Charcuterie and French Pork Cookery" (actually two books, now in one volume). A wonderful book, everybody should have it.

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chopjwu12!!

I have a great website to recommend to you. This guy is very experienced and is very friendly via emails with beginning sausage makers. His name is Len Poli.

http://home.pacbell.net/lpoli/index.html

Here is a paragraph exerpt discussing dry curing:

----------begin quote --------------

DRY-CURED PRODUCTS: Dry-cured meats are those commonly held without refrigeration; example, Smithfield-type hams and salami among others.(<-moved from below) The meats used in these products can be ground, like in salami, or whole muscle meat like ham or prosciutto. Dry-cured pork products are often eaten uncooked. It is strongly recommended that before attempting to make any dry-cure product that the reader review the documents linked below that relate to guidelines for the destruction of Trichinae (causes Trichinosis) in pork muscle. Please be advised that the treatments described in those documents are not designed to destroy pathogenic bacteria that may also be present in meat. Prescribed concentrations of salt are a necessity for making dry-cured sausage and meats. A lot of discussion can occur around this topic. Let me describe my understanding. I understand dry-curing to be a treatment designed to destroy or reduce pathogenic organisms that may be found in pork. Among those organisms are Clostridium botulinum (causes Botulism), Escherichia coli O157:H7, Listeria monocytogenes, and Staphylococcus aureus. The use of salt, time, temperature and nitrites play important roles in the curing of meat. The curing and aging processes either kill or minimize these organisms so as they are not infectious. There are strict guidelines regarding the processing, curing and aging of meats which are completely described in both the publications of the Food Safety And Inspection Service of the United States Department of Agriculture as well as the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

http://home.pacbell.net/lpoli/page2.html

-------------- end quote---------------

Make sure you read up on safety before embarking on dry cured meats. Saltpeter is NOT a substitute for Cure#1 or Cure#2 (should a recipe call for either type of cure product).

Here is a great one stop site for sausage making supplies:

http://www.butcher-packer.com/index.htm

BTW - I too am looking at making a few Salumis this winter. I'm looking forward to your future posts. I'll do the same! :smile:

Safe Regards,

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Adam --

I don't believe freezing is necessary as these type of hams are brine injected and fermented to promote the friendly mold growth that you often will find when one is shipped to your door.

Also, I believe this type of freezing is flash done way down to -32F ? (Not entirely sure). There wouldn't be a noticable loss in quality of taste.

Another factor: many of the premium ham producers would be purchasing specially raised hogs, fed on premium grains, nuts etc to yield more marbled product. They wouldn't be raised in a typical hog confinment operation.

Here's a nice page explaining the types of ham.

http://www.country-ham.com/about.html

They really are worth the price, and even the lesser expensive Smithfield's taste very good. Just don't forget to change the water during soaking, or the meat will be way too salty :wacko:

Mario did a great show on Salumi where he discussed how the pigs over there were fed a diet of acorns!! Feed a pig a fatty diet...get a lovely...fatty porker!! I also think his wife raises pigs on her farm. He is one lucky dude. I think he supplies his restaurants that way. :cool:

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Adam --

I don't believe freezing is necessary as these type of hams are brine injected and fermented to promote the friendly mold growth that you often will find when one is shipped to your door.

Also, I believe this type of freezing is flash done way down to -32F ?  (Not entirely sure).  There wouldn't be a noticable loss in quality of taste.

Another factor: many of the premium ham producers would be purchasing specially raised hogs, fed on premium grains, nuts etc to yield more marbled product.  They wouldn't be raised in a typical hog confinment operation. 

Here's a nice page explaining the types of ham. 

http://www.country-ham.com/about.html

They really are worth the price, and even the lesser expensive Smithfield's taste very good.  Just don't forget to change the water during soaking, or the meat will be way too salty  :wacko:

Mario did a great show on Salumi where he discussed how the pigs over there were fed a diet of acorns!!  Feed a pig a fatty diet...get a lovely...fatty porker!! <G>  I also think his wife raises pigs on her farm.  He is one lucky dude.  I think he supplies his restaurants that way. :cool:

The native USA ham that I had was given to me by some fellow egulleters (sadly I have forgoten the name of the ham type), it was very similar to a Serrano/Bayonne/Parma type dry cure. It was very good, but having questioned various Americans on it, they consider it to be too salty. Sad really.

I'm guessing that quality Serrano/Bayonne/Parma type dry cure hams are never frozen, even in a liquid N2 bath, there not a chance of instantly freezing something of the mass of a leg of pork. Loads of lysed cells and brining solution would be a very bad thing for making a ham.

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Adam --

The traditional salt cured products will be salty, even after following all the soaking instructions. But, Who's to say a person couldn't double the time of the soak. Also, The water could be changed every 4 hrs instead of just twice in a 24 hr period. The more a ham soaks, the more the salt should leach back out.

For those more traditional, salty ones, they are perhaps better served as appetizers in smaller portions. After the soaking, the ham could be cut into say 3 smaller portions, then cooked as per instructions. Serve 1 portion for the party as an appetizer type course. Freeze the other two.

Manufacturers are also aware that some dislike the saltiness of the tradtional ham, so they may also offer a ham that is dry cured but has a bigger brown/maple sugar content.

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