My wife, kids and other's who've had my last run wanted more salami...so much so, that the wife grabbed almost 10lbs fresh ground beef and made sure I knew about it a couple nights ago when I came home from work. She quizzed me about it the day before, and I told her 85/15 or 80/20, but I didn't want previously frozen (from our freezer) because it doesn't hold together well if you loose any meat juices during the thaw that don't get mixed back into the meat. Anyway, she grabbed the meat and I grabbed the TQ and my spice grinder. The rest is history.
I intended to do some more looking into the semi-dried warm drying/smoking and hot smoke to finish, but I had some issues to deal with this morning and didn't want to have a 18-20 hour smoke run into the wee hours of the morning. I'm not a real big fan of 2 or 3 am wake-ups for smoke tending. So, I'll do a more conventional salami smoke instead, with a bit higher finish tyemps on 2 smaller chubs to see how the texture will be effected.
I have 2 each of 2lb chubs, a 1lb - 2oz regular and a 1lb - 5oz hot & spicy. The regular is nothing more than 1/2 tsp garlic powder and 1/2 tsp ground peppercorn with 1/2 Tbls morton's TQ and 2oz water mixed into 85/15 ground beef. The hot & spicy is fairly simple as well...just tossed this together shooting from the hip when I mixed this meat a couple nights ago, and it goes something like this...well, OK, exactly like this:
HOT & SPICY SALAMI
***all measures are per pound of 85/15 ground beef***
1/2 Tbls Morton's Tender Quick cure
1 Tbls ground garlic
1 Tbls ground black pappercorn
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp cinnamon (sweetens the cayenne's bitterness)
3/4 tsp sweet basil leaves (dried)
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp cumin
4 oz cold water
I left out the addition of crushed red pepper ...you could add 1/2 Tbls or so if you like...it just doesn't do alot for generation of spicy heat until chewed up really well anyway, and it gets stuck in your teeth.
After about 40 hours of curing (just worked out that way...planned for 36):
The regular garlic/pepper salami loaded into the Smoke Vault 24 and ready to go (above the hoy & spicy...milder always goes above the not-so-mild...nobody likes surprises from drippings...ha-ha!!!:
I had a bit of an OOPS while unwrapping the first hot & spicy to place on the grate...it flipped over almost a complete turn and got some grate indentations...no harm done though, it just gave that one some extra character...LOL!!!:
Ready for smoke:
Here's 3 hours @ 175* with cherry/pecan smoke...I bumped the chamber temp to ~240* to finished temps of 160-163* on the 2lbr's, and 170-172* on the 1lbr'sstabbed a few probes @ the 5-hr mark, and all but 1 hot & spicy were ready to drop into some ice water to shock:
***OK, HERE'S YOUR DROOL WARNING...cover those keyboards and grab some napkins***
Hot dang! That hot & spicy's a keeper! The regular is really good, too, of course. I sliced some off the two smallest chubs, as they were chilled quicker than the rest, just for sharing pics and sampling ASAP:
Definitely not easily mistaken between the two...pink is garlic/pepper only, while there's a manageri of spices hangin' out in the other chub's slices:
The regular is just that...deep cured beefy flavor and hints of G & P. The hot & spicy carries some punch of the italian/mediterranean seasonings, while the cayenne creeps up on you after a few minutes...but, it's not overwhelming to anyone who likes a little spicy-heat.
BTW, there's a huge difference between the textures of the semi-dry salami I finished several days ago and these ones today with shorter cooking times. This is quite a bit softer chew.
Thanks for peekin'!