|Homemade dried sausages, ready to be eaten!|
As the snow began to fall in what is the biggest snowstorm of the century in Italy, we got to work making an additional 25 kilos of salami & sausages to be cured with our friend Milud (adding to our grand total of over 250 lbs of meat to be cured). This time we mixed it up a bit and made dried sausages with fennel seeds, spicy red pepper flakes and one with meat from a different farmer. Dr. Gaggi was just itching to be here to over-see the operation but was unable to make it due to the snow. The newly restored 'meat machine' not only worked perfectly but looked brand spanking new! Jason did a great job painstakingly restoring the meat grinder from rusted metal junk to a working tool that will be used for years to come.
Five weeks after we visited the meat laboratory at Vittorio's in Fano and started our charcuterie-craze, the first batch of dried sausages are ready! If you squeeze the sausage it should have a firm consistency with a little give to it - not hard as a rock or mushy. As I type Jason is zipping up the sausages in air-tight bags. Vacuum-sealing is the best way to conserve dried meat not only for protecting it from air but it does not impose other flavors onto the meat (ie. some old-timers conserve their sausages under oil or lard, changing the flavor in my opinion. And a total mess digging the sausages out). They should last at least a year using either method, but at our house they never seem to last that long.
|Can you find Jason?|
The salami's hanging below in the photo started a week later than the sausages and need about a month more time in the cool air, depending on their thickness. At the time of 'stuffing' the salami's weighed about 700gr or 1.5 lbs once they are finished curing they will loose about half of their weight.
I'm working on a sausage making video.....