Fennel salami (Salame Finocchiona)
boneless, trimmed shoulder, trimmed ham, lean belly meat, coppa/pork neck
good Tuscan red wine
for infusing wine only, removed after infusion
wild fennel seeds or a combination of fennel seeds and fennel pollen are recommended.
Rehydrate the starter culture in 60 ml distilled water. (see notes)
Weigh the lean meat and the pork belly in grams. Calculate the rest of the ingredients, except the distilled water which will remain the same (see notes), weigh them out and set aside.
In a small bowl, combine the salt, Cure #2 and dextrose.
Cut the lean and the fatty pork into 1-inch pieces. Sprinkle the salt mixture over the meat and mix well. Freeze for 20 minutes.
Grind through a 3/16″ (4.5mm) grinder plate.
Combine the ground pork with seasonings, dextrose, and starter culture. Mix well, until sticky.
Stuff into 70-110 mm natural casings (beef bungs) and tie into 10"-12" links.
Using a sterilized needle or sausage pricker, prick holes across the entire salami.
Weigh the salami, write down its weight on a tag and attach the tag to the salami.
If desired, inoculate with mold.
Use the leftover meat from the stuffer/stuffing tube to make a small sample for measuring the initial pH and the pH at later stages. Make sure to record the readings.
Dry at 59F - 77F (15C - 25C) and 65% - 86% RH for a period of 7 days as per the drying protocol above. Measure the pH, it should be below 5.3 at this point.
Mature in the curing chamber at 55F - 57F (13C - 14C) and 80% - 84% for about 3 months.
Alternative curing method
Ferment salami at 68F-70F for three days to get the pH below 5.3.
Cure at the standard 55F-57F and 75% RH until 35% weight loss is obtained.
When scaling the recipe up, increase the starter culture accordingly but keep the amount of the water at 60 ml. Double water if you go over 3 kg of meat.