Piemonte is a region that is close to my heart in that that's where my Italian side of the family is from; my Dad, Nonna, Nonno, and Zii. I like finding cured meats from that area as a way to stay connected to my family. This salume is from the eastern area of Piemonte.
Salam d'la Duja was born out of the necessity to cure meats in an area where the humidity is generally too high, not allowing for proper drying and preservation. Because of the high humidity the salami are dried for just a short while and then buried in liquid lard inside a clay pot, called a Duja. They're kept here for anywhere from 3 months to a year. They stay soft and age in the lard becoming spicier as they age. I've actually never eaten one in Italy, I can't explain why not, so I'll really have no idea how mine compares to the real stuff.
|Pork butt sliced and ready to go. A nice stay in the freezer hardened it up nicely to get a good clean grind.|
|Pork belly sliced. Also was placed in the freezer for a little while to harden up. We want a nice clean cut.|
|Here is the pork butt and belly mixed and ready to be ground.|
|Meat was ground through a 5/16" / 8mm plate.|
|Closeup of the ground meat. Keeping everything cold insures a good clean cut without fat smearing. Before mixing this another quick trip in the freezer will make sure the fat stays distinct while mixing|
|The curing mixture.|
|The meat was mixed well, by hand, and then stuffed and cased in beef rounds. Tied into short links.|
These were then fermented for 72 hours @ 68-70 deg. F. I thought I had a picture of that, but I don't. It wasn't very interesting. They came out the same as they went in, since I didn't spray them with mold.
Into the curing chamber they then went.
|They spent just a short week in the curing chamber at 55F / 75% RH. This was to dry the surface off before their long lard bath. Here they after a week drying off.|
I gave them a quick water/vinegar wipe down to remove small traces of mold that had formed.
|Tub full of lard. Please don't use that Armor brand hydrogenated crap. That stuff will kill you. This is fresh rendered lard. You can find it at many Mexican groceries.|
This was warmed in the microwave to liquify and then let cool until it was about 80 degrees.
|I was short a Duja (clay vessel), so I used a glass container with a snap lid. This is why they were linked the size they were. So they could fit into the container. Strings were snipped short.|
|Buried under lard. What a way to go.|
I put the container with its lid on in the curing chamber.
Now we wait. I had a spare salamino which didn't fit in the container, so i just hung it back up in the chamber, and I'll eat it as a normal dry salame..no problem! I'll come back to these in at least 3 months, and I'd like to let some go 8-12 months, we'll see if I can resist.