Don’t let the moldy casing fool ya. The magic is inside. This has been drying for a while now. I just uncased a few more, rolled them in more Calabrian pepper powder, and vac sealed for some additional time in the fridge. It should be very spicy. We’ll know more later. I still have a larger caliber (about 2 pound) stuffed in a beef bung still in the drying chamber.
This is Nduja. It is a fermented, cured, spreadable salami. The highlights of Nduja is that it is typically spicy hot, made from a variety of Calabrian peppers, has a much larger percentage of fat than lean pork, and of course, it’s spreadable. One might even dispute it is salami. It’s still hung up to dry a considerable amount before cutting open and knifing it out.
The high-fat content is what makes it spreadable. The high-quality pork I started with had beautiful, stark white fat and the animal was harvested only a day earlier. I brought it home, sorted out 70% fat back, and 30% belly (which is about 50/50 lean/fat). So that brings us maybe closer to 80% fat! I used a 1:1 ratio of sweet and hot Calabrian pepper powders, and elected for Aleppo pepper instead of cayenne.
I got all of the fat close to frozen and made sure the grinder, attachments, and trays were super cold too. This is to prevent smear, especially since it was going through the grinder twice. I ground the fat first, then the belly separate through my medium die. I hand-mixed the farce, then folded in the spice mix. The white fat soaked up the brick red color of the pepper powders. I then added in the starter culture along with a 1/2 cup of dry red wine. I took all of that and put it through the grinder using the small die. It was closer to a paste now but still around 42F or so.
I put it into my stuffer (that was also pre-chilled in the freezer) and stuffed into 4 hog ends and 1 beef bung. I still have to truss them up, but there’s time since they will sit at 80F and 80% humidity for 72 hours to ferment, then go into the drying chamber for a good while longer. This will be an interesting one. I found myself salivating thinking about how it should taste when it’s done.
After watching and reading the many variations of how people make it, here is what I ended up with.
80/50 fat/lean pork
2% kosher sea salt
.9% hot Calabrian pepper powder
.9% sweet Calabrian pepper powder
.5% Aleppo Pepper
.01% B-LC-007 starter culture.
120ml dry red wine
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