The average person doesn’t wake up in the morning declaring to the world that “it’s a good day to make sausage.” However, if you are of a mind to break from the same old luncheon meat and give sausage making a try, cooked salami is a good place to start. It is really simple to make and an excellent cold cut whether you slice it thick or thin.
4 1/2 lbs beef chuck, marbled (2.1 kg)
1/2 lb fresh beef fat (227 g)
2 1/2 tbsp pickling salt (48.7 g)
1 tsp Prague Powder #1 (5.7 g)
1 tsp cardamom (2.8 g)
1 tsp coriander, ground (1.7 g)
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder (4.65 g)
1 1/2 tbsp cracked black pepper (15 g)
1 1/2 tbsp black peppercorns (16.7 g)
1/4 cup corn syrup solids (54.4 g)
1 cup non-fat dry milk (94.6 g)*
1 cup ice cold water (236 ml)
4 3/4” (120mm) high-barrier plastic casing
1. Chill beef and fat to 34°F (1°C), grind one time through a 1/4” (6mm) plate.
2. Combine ground beef/fat with remaining ingredients, mix well until the mixture is sticky and batter like.
3. Stuff freshly mixed batter into high barrier plastic casings cut/tied into lengths to fit your cooker; refrigerate overnight to cure.
4. Next day, cook salami in 170°F (77°C) hot water bath until it has an internal temperature of 152°F (67°C)*.
5. Remove cooked salami from hot water bath, shower with cold water until internal temperature drops to 110°F (43°C).
6. Hang cotto salami at room temperature for 1 hour to dry.
7. Refrigerate up to 7 days or vacuum seal and freeze up to 6 months.
*The USDA recommends smoke cooking meat and sausage to an internal temperature of 160°F (71°C) when checked with a digital thermometer.
Al though I advocate altering ingredients to suit your individual tastes, do not use more pink curing salt #1 (Prague Powder #1) than a given recipe calls for as it contains Sodium nitrite which can be toxic at levels higher than those suggested.
Hunters may use venison in place of the beef chuck to produce cotto salami. For the best results use 75-80% lean venison trim to 25-20% beef fat.
*You may use soy-protein concentrate in place of non-fat dry milk.