Soppressata is a traditional Italian cured sausage usually oblong in shape which is a result of it being pressed with a heavy weight during fermentation. Dubbed as a “poor man’s salami” because it was formulated from the leftovers after the best parts of the pig had been sold at the market, today’s soppressata is made primarily from pork butt and back fat and seasoned with a generous amount of salt, pepper and garlic.
4 1/2 lbs pork butt (2.1 kg)
1 lb pork back fat (454 g)
3 tbsp Bactoferm LHP (10.3 g)*
3 1/4 tbsp pickling salt (63.4 g)
1 1/4 tsp Prague Powder #2 (7.0 g)
1 tsp red pepper flakes (2.1 g)
1 1/4 tsp garlic powder (3.88 g)
1 1/2 tsp chili powder (4.2 g)
2 1/2 tsp coarse black pepper (6.5 g)
2 1/2 tsp black peppercorns (9.25 g)
1 1/2 tbsp powdered dextrose (13 g)
65mm beef middles or 2 1/2” diameter protein-lined fibrous casings*
1. Chill pork/fat to 31°F (-0.55°C), grind pork butt once through a 3/8” (10mm) plate, fat one time through a 3/16” (5mm) plate.
1. Chill pork and fat to 31°F (-0.55°C), grind one time through a 1/4” (6mm) plate.
2. Prepare slurry by mixing F-LC culture with enough chlorine-free water to equal to 0.5% of the batch weight, stir well, set aside.
3. Combine ground meat with remaining ingredients; mix well until it’s batter like, add culture slurry, mix additional 2-3 minutes.
4. Stuff meat batter into beef middles or protein-lined fibrous casings, tie off in lengths to fit your drying chamber.
5. Ferment product at 85°F (29°C) at 90% relative humidity (RH) for 24 hours.
6. Dry age at 55-60°F (13-16°C) @ 70-75% relative humidity for 4-5 weeks or until product has lost 30% of its green weight.
7. Pepperoni has a shelf life of 75 days at 50-59°F (10-15°C) @ 68-70% RH if the original casing is left intact.
*The manufacturer of Bactoferm LHP meat starter culture suggests that you use at least at least one quarter of the 42-gram packet for small batches under 50 pounds. This breaks down to 10.3 grams or 3 tbsp per batch (see the manufacturer's complete instructions included with each culture packet).
A smoker can be used to incubate (ferment) dry and semi-dry sausages. Simply hang product in smoker, close damper and regulate the heat and relative humidity, according to the formulation instructions––no smoke.
Cure #2 is crucial in the production of dry sausage. It inhibits the growth of unwanted bacteria while improving the color and flavor of the final product.