Home Made Salami

by David on November 23, 2012


Freshly stuffed salami – they smell good!

Preserving your own pork is relatively easy – all you need is some natural sausage casing, a mincer and some salt. Add some herbs & spices and you’re in culinary heaven! We make salami & chorizo in the damp Irish climate with great success.

Cured sausage is an excellent way to preserve pork, and many cultures have their own variation of the “salami”. In our case, the cured sausage is a complete failure in terms of preserving meat. They taste so damn good they never last more than a few weeks after they have cured.

Sausage Casings

In the past, we used to prepare our own intestines, from a freshly killed pig. If the idea of getting up to your neck in pig intestines doesn’t appeal to you, you can buy casings which come pre-cleaned and packed in salt. I’d definitely recommend using bought natural casings, but in case you’re interested, here’s how you make your own.

Now for the sausage. This recipe uses 5 kg of lean meat, but if you keep the weights proportional it should turn out fine with any amount. Be especially careful to add 2% salt by weight of meat. So 2 kg meat requires 2 x 20 = 40g salt.


  • Lean meat (shoulder, trimmings, whatever): 5kg
  • Back fat, diced small (put in freezer for 1 hour makes it easier to dice): 830g
  • Red wine: 1165 ml
  • minced chili (including seeds): 45g
  • Paprika: 100g
  • Cayenne: 2 teaspoons
  • 2-3 handfuls fresh rosemary tips, chopped fine
  • 117g fine salt (2 % by weight of meat + fat)
  • 12g acidophilus (broken out of capsules bought from chemist)
  • LOADS of garlic..a t least 10 cloves, we use more.


Mince the lean meat up fine, keep the back fat in small dice. Mix everything up in a huge bowl, and chuck it in the fridge overnight.

Stuff casings the next day. A sausage stuffing machine is the best way, but the first time i did it with an old plastic bottle and a wooden spoon (that was hard work). Keep the sausages about a foot long and tie both ends securely with string.

“Redden” them by hanging near a stove overnight. You’ll see why it’s called “reddening” in the morning. Make sure you’ve tied them securely as the casing is slippery when wet.

Hang them in a clean outbuilding. Cool & dry weather is best. Dust is a no-no, but don’t panic if small flies land on them. Big flies and bluebottles shouldn’t be around when you make salami, which should be autumn or winter time after you’ve killed your pig.

The Curing Process

In a week or two, your salami should start to be colonised by a white bloom – as shown in the above picture. In a month, they will look completely furry. You can fry slices within a few weeks (delicious!), but if you can wait long enough, the sausage dries quite hard and is delicious sliced thinly with a glass of wine.

This sausage will keep for ages – though as I mentioned but ours never last beyond January as they just taste too good. You can slice and eat raw, chuck them in casseroles for flavour, use them in omelettes or even crumble them in your scrambled eggs.

By the way, you don’t have to eat the casings…my wife picks them off, the kids are mad on them!

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