While I was back in Italy this past September I ate all kinds of great cured meats. The variety of different salami available is really mind boggling. I was at a standard grocery store near home, and picked up a couple different ones, including a Salame di Mugnano. One I hadn't had before. It had a fantastic smell, with a hint of smokiness. Upon eating it it was rich, and lightly smoked with just a little hint of heat.
As soon as I got home I started researching this particular salame. It was actually relatively easy finding out about it; a lean, large grain salame that's lightly smoked from Mugnano del Cardinale in Campania. Much harder was actually finding any information on the formula that might be used to make it. So I made up my own. This, I'm sure, is the first of many tries to get this right.
|The butt, or shoulder sliced into strips that'll fit nicely into the throat of the grinder.|
|The belly is traditionally used for Salame di Mugnano. I got one that was as fatty as possible, and trimmed the lean off it, and added that to the lean meat.|
|Here is the 80/20 mix of shoulder to belly. As you can see, it's a pretty lean mixture.|
|The mix ground through a 1/2" grinder die. Everything was kept super cold, close to frozen really. This kept the definition nice. Fat and meat nicely distinct.|
|Closeup of the 1/2" ground meat. This was put back into the freezer to get really cold before it was mixed with the spices.|
|The spice mix. Smelled great. I used Scott's peperoncino calabrese.|
|The mixture was mixed well, and the starter culture with 75g of distilled water was added, and mixed in. It was then stuffed into hog middles.|
|Hog middle. All tied up and ready for smoke. The salami were fermented at 70 deg. F for 68 hours.|
|Here are 2 of the 3 salami after cold smoking for 11 hours, a full load using a ProQ, with mixed hardwood keeping the smoking chamber at about 55 deg. F. After the smoking they were put in a Tupperware for 24 hours to mellow the aroma a little, and not contaminate the whole curing chamber. I hope it doesn't. Scott told me it wouldn't....|
They smell amazing.
These will stay in the curing chamber, at 55F and 75% RH, until they've lost 30-40% of their weight. I remember the Mugnano salame I ate in Italy was quite aged, quite dry.