Nduja

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Pronounced “en-doo-ya,” or just “yum.”

When I first read about “spreadable” salami in my charcuterie books, it didn’t sound that appealing. And then I tried it. I first tasted Sobrassada in December 2013, from Three Little Pigs in Washington DC. The texture is like pate’ or butter, with a taste like salami. Spreadable salami. It’s incredibly rich and delicious. So of course I had to try making it.

Turns out there are lots of kinds of spreadable salami. Nduja, sobrassada, Polish metka, and German mettwurst-braunschweiger are all variations on this theme. This recipe is based on the Nduja recipe in Michael Ruhlman’s Salumi book, and the metka recipe in my favorite charcuterie book, “The art of making fermented sausages” by Stanley and Adam Marianski.

Making salami isn’t hard, but it does require some specialized equipment and ingredients. You’ll need a scale, a ph meter, a meat grinder, a sausage stuffer, curing salt, casings, and salami culture. Most of this can be gotten from www.butcher-packer.com.

First step is to grind the meat. For this recipe I’m using pork belly.

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Slice it, feed it through the meat grinder, refreeze it, and then send
it through the meat grinder again, this time with the finest grinding plate.

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Then mix in the salt and all the spices: black pepper and a mind-boggling amount of paprika. After that we stir in the salami culture.

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I packed this batch into one huge casing. It’s spreadable so I don’t think the shape
of the casing matters too much.

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The final product  is a two foot long, 100mm diameter, nearly 7 lb salami.

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This bad boy rests for a few weeks or as long as you can wait, and then it’s ready to eat.  Here’s a photo of it in my charcuterie fridge, along with a few other projects.

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After a month, I cut into it. It’s just what I hoped for: mildly spicy and spreadable, like salami flavored butter.

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Nduja

3200g pork belly
80g salt (2.5% by weight)
9g DQ #2 curing salt (0.25% by weight)
100g paprika
20g black pepper
1Tbs bactoferm salami culture

Grind partially frozen pork belly through the large plate.
Refreeze for 30min. Regrind through the fine plate.
Combine all ingredients and mix well. Add bactoferm to 1/3 C water
and 1 tsp dextrose, stir and let rest for a few minutes.
Combine bactoferm and water with the sausage mass, and mix thoroughly.
Pack into a 100mm x 24in inedible salami casing. Rest at room temperature (65F-70F)
for 24-48 hours, until the Ph drops below 5.3. Transfer to a drying chamber
at 55F and 85% relative humidity.

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