Venison SalamiWe're quite new to the world of fermented meat but we like salami and chorizo and we're keen to get good at making it. We've just been given half a deer, so we've made some venison salami-style fermented sausage. This is how we did it. We're not pretending that we are experts. This is all an experiment.
3kg Minced Venison
1kg Cured Pork Back Fat
1pint Scrumpy Cider
4 cloves of Garlic
1 tbsp of Cayenne Pepper
10g of pepper (roughly ground)
Hog Middle Sausage Casings
Some salami to use as a starter
Cut up half of the back fat into small cubes and mince the other half.
Mix the venison, backfat, cider, garlic, pepper, salt and saltpetre really well then add some of the salami and leave in a warm place for 18 hours.
Remove the salami that was added as a starter and remix the ingredients.
Feed mixture into the sausage casings enuring that there is no air inside.
Hang in a cool dry place with plenty of airflow and monitor the humidity to ensure that it is around 70% and monitor the ph of the sausage to ensure that it is below 4.5.
Hang the rest of the salami that you are using as a starter next to it.
We've used hog middles which makes a sausage more like chorizo than salami in size.
The idea of using the salami starter is to give the sausage the right kind of mould that will produce the powdery white coating that you get on salami.
If the humidity is too high you can use fans or a dehumidifier. We hang a net of charcoal in the air drying area and change it each day for one that has been dried off by being kept by the woodburner or by the underfloor heating pipes.
If the ph of the sausage goes above 4.5 you can wipe it down with vinegar and water.
The salami will take 6 to 10 weeks to mature.
On our first go at making fermented sausages we hung them from both ands to get a horseshoe shape but found that it created problems with airflow on the inside of the horseshoe shape and it did not dry evenly so this time we have hung them from one end only.
There is a lot of discussion around the use of nitrates and nitrites. We currently use saltpetre, but may change our minds about this as we get more experience of fermenting meat. We'd be interested in other peoples thoughts on this as well as any other thoughts or experience of fermenting and air-drying meat.
We may smoke the sausages after a couple of weeks of hanging to help preserve them and to give them a smokey flavour. We are particularly keen on smoked food.