Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Salame al Barolo

While making the salame tipo varzi I also made a salame al Barolo. I actually didn't use Barolo, I used a Cote du Rhone. Basically it is a simple salame mixture to which a relatively large quantity of wine is added. The alcohol and excess water evaporate leaving behind the flavors of the wine used. Since I've never tried this before, I figured I'd give it a shot. Unfortunately things didn't turn out quite as rosy as one might hope.

I'm not going to go into the detail that i've given in the past since I don't think there is much point in repeating stuff. Just know that the method is the same; grind, add seasoning, mix, case, spray with mold, ferment, and then dry.

Salame al "Barolo"
IngredientQuantity(g)% of Meat+Fat
Pork ham meat75075%
Fat back
Black Pepper (cracked)2.50.25%
Cure #22.50.25%
F-LC Starter0.40.04%
Red wine (Cote du Rhone)25025%

Everything was ground and mixed, cased into natural beef middles, and sprayed with a solution (1.5g mold to 27g water) of M-EK-4 mold culture. It was fermented at 71-72 deg. F for 48 hours.
As you might immagine the mixture was quite wet after mixing in the wine which made for easy casing.

The salame was dried at about 54 deg. F / 70% RH for about 28 days, until it had lost 45% of its weight.

To the left here is a picture of the finished product, and where I can convey an important lesson.
You can clearly see a fairly sizable "air pocket" that somehow made it's way into the mix. Either there was an bubble in the mix that got pushed into the casing, or the wet mixture left air pockets upon evaporating. I'm not sure.
The problem with this is that it can allow bacteria to grow that could be dangerous. This is something that really needs to be avoided by making sure the mixture is properly compacted and massaged into the casings to force any air pockets out of the mix.

The flavor of the salame while first tasting it was OK. Too winey for my tastes, and just not very exciting. Interestingly, after about a month in the fridge, and retasting, it tasted not so great. It had a very oxidized flavor, which i think might have been caused by the air pockets..but I'm not sure. Either way, it was disposed of.


Friday, May 9, 2008

A month an no post?

I know it's been a month with no posts. Unfortunately time has been very tight lately, even on the weekends. I'm also trying to think of something new that i haven't made before as my next post.

Hopefully it won't be too long, so hang tight!