Monday, January 10, 2011

Salam d'la Duja

I enjoy researching and making salami that are sort of obscure, maybe not to the region they're from in Italy, but certainly here in the US. This one qualifies as one for sure.

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 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.


Big Onion said...

Is it possible to use something other than beef lard? I have a ridiculous amount of rendered lamb fat, and although I learned how to make soap just to use some of it, but there's just too much of it.

Does the lard covered salame sit at room temperature, or does that whole container go in the fridge?

Jasonmolinari said...

This is pig lard. Not beef.
Other types would be perfectly, goose....
i imagine they would all bring some different flavors to the party.

Big Onion said...

Excellent. I've been scouring craigslist for an appropriate fridge (I'm actually wondering if a wine fridge would work well) for a curing chamber. I've gotten pretty good with pancetta using your method of drying in the fridge, but it's time for me to step it up.

I love cooking with the lamb fat. It adds an extra "meaty" flavor to every thing. (One of my favorites is to sous vide a good steak to medium rare, then sear it in a pan with some lamb fat.) It'll be awesome to have another use for it!

matt said...

fantastic stuff! I was just talking to a Spanish friend of mine, and apparently this is how her family stored chorizo after they bought them - but I imagine they were fully dried before they stored them like this.

So where do you put the sausages in lard? in fridge, in the curing chamber, or just at ambient room temp?

Jasonmolinari said...

See above.

Portland Charcuterie Project said...


Once again, you've knocked it out of the park.

You are truly my prince of pork, sultan of swine..

Too bad you don't live in Portand.


Jasonmolinari said...

Thanks Todd! Portland is on my list of cities to visit..who know one day maybe!

matt said...

thanks Jason, I should pay more attention! I cannot wait to hear how these come out.

MH said...

Been following your blog for a while now. Top notch. I have only been at the craft of smoking/curing meats now for a little over 2 years, no where near the level your at, but some day.
I looked for a contact page for you but could not find one. I belong to a few online forums dedicated to smoking/curing meats, and the one I frequent the most recently started a section for Charcuterie. We have allot of members, but only a small handful of people who really delve into the art of sausage/meat curing like you do. If you cared to take a look, and possibly join us, I think your experience and insight to this craft would be a very valuable asset to the forum.

The name of it is
Tell em Meat Hunter sent ya LOL.
This is not a solicitation to draw people who follow your blog to our site, just a honest invite to share what you know. I'm sure you screen your posts prior to posting them to your blog so if feel the need to delete this, that's cool, I understand.

You can check that site out without becoming a member as well so you can get an idea of what its all about. Hope to see ya there.

Jasonmolinari said...

MH: thanks for the invite, i'll take a look over there. Not sure i have the time to follow another food forum, but it could be interesting.

spbeumer said...

what resources to you use when you research sausages and sausage making??

Jasonmolinari said...

SPBeumer: i have a number of books and/or remembering eating them, seeing them in Italy, or discussions with my dad in Italy.

There are some links (like the Agraria link) in my useful links list that has lists of products by region, find something interesting, then continue researching it for quantities and methods.

IRINA said...

Hello, my name is Irina, I'm Russian but I live in Italy for many years, I'm always looking for new friends and new recipes from around the world. A pleasure to meet you and your blog. I sign up as your following, and if you want to reciprocate and follow of my blog, I'd be happy! A hug, and the recipes look. . .