Here’s a go at making a five-pound batch of Mortadella. My wife loves this stuff, and so after recently make 10-pound of bologna, she asked me to try my skills at making some traditional mortadella
For those unfamiliar with this Italian delicacy, mortadella is a firm, emulsified pork & beef product with visible bits of high-grade white pork fat. Often it also contains black peppercorns and pistachios. Good mortadella is slightly spicy (not hot) with a distinct ‘good bologna’ aroma, and a pleasantly smooth texture. Unlike it’s distant cousin, bologna, mortadella is usually very thinly sliced & served as is—no frying. It makes a great sandwich or simply eaten by itself.
First we need to start with some good meat. — 2 to 1, pork to beef ratio. I’m using a fairly-lean beef chuck and pork loin, with a bit of pork shoulder I had :
Very important to this recipe is the addition of pork back fat. Belly fat is considered not ideal due its softness and ease of rendering, so I was able to pick up a thick slab of the back fat from a local carnicería. I cut a half-pound into ¼” cubes.
Ratio of meat to fat for this mortadella is 80-85% lean/15-20% fat—so in fact the end result will actually be much leaner than the vast majority of store-bought lunchmeats. Traditionally, mortadella is 70/30 lean to fat; so I’ve trimmed the fat down just a bit.
Here are the list of ingredients I’ll be adding to the ground meat. Although this product is not smoked, the cure adds the traditional color & texture to the final results. The whole peppercorns and whole pistachios (locally-grown!) will be added, along with the fat cubes, prior to stuffing.
Grind Number One: 4.5mm medium grind to start. I’ll next add the majority of spices:
MIX: Using my Kirby Bucket mixer; meat in and spices added…
Less than a minute later, the meat is well-mixed and ready for a second grind:
2nd GRIND: Using a 3.0mm plate for a fine grind.
Final mix: Adding the last ‘whole’ ingredients to the meat paste- the whole peppercorns, the pistachios, and the fat. I’ll mix this in and let it rest overnight.
Going to do some stuffing next.
More to come….
Edited by Couger78 - 1/20/12 at 9:40am