I have family coming to visit for Easter weekend, and I thought a nice fun picnic lunch for Saturday would be a Muffuletta and glass of wine down at the Riverfront Park. Then I thought, even better, why not try making the Mortadella myself!
So, here goes. My first Mortadella!
I closely followed an excellent thread written by Couger78 for making Mortadella:
The recipe Couger78 and I both used is from the Len Poli website and the recipe is simply called "Mortadella". I followed the Len Poli recipe except I cut the salt down to 1.2% from 1.5%, left out the Phosphate and Sodium Erythorbate, and used Karo corn syrup instead of corn syrup solids because my Sausage Maker order didn't arrive in time. I only made a half recipe, which makes a perfect amount for some sampling, snacking, and a Muffuletta.
Start off by grinding whole spices: 5 allspice berries, 1 tsp whole coriander, 3/4 tsp whole white peppercorns.
For a half recipe I used 1 lb 4 oz of pork shoulder, 10 oz of beef round, and 2 oz of pork fat.
First grind through fine plate.
Second grind through fine plate. Whoops, a little smear there on the left side.
Ran the finely ground meat in the food processor with the ground spices, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp paprika, 1/8 tsp Cure #1, 1/4 tsp mace, 1 Tbsp corn syrup, 1 Tbsp NFDM, 12 grams of salt (for 1.2%), and ice chips. I did it in 2 batches.
A word about the Cure #1 in this recipe. It is only for color and flavor. This amount of Cure #1 is not really "curing" the meat for food safety purposes. This sausage is not meant to be smoked, just poached in water or cooked in a low oven.
Stirred in 1/2 tsp whole black peppercorns, 1/4 cup unsalted pistachio nuts, a few whole green peppercorns, and 2 oz of back fat diced into 1/4" cubes.
I stuffed this into a 4" diameter fibrous casing that I had soaked in warm water for about an hour. I just stuffed it into the casing by hand, didn't even bother to use a sausage stuffer. It worked okay.
And poached it in a 165 - 170 deg F water bath until it reached an IT of 160 deg F. This took around 3 hours.
Then I put it in an ice water bath to cool it down. I ended up with a fair amount of water inside the fibrous casing, so here is the chub after I pulled off the fibrous casing. There was a little fat around the outside of the chub that I scraped off. My water bath never got above 170 deg F, so I guess this was a little low-melting-point fat.
I let it rest overnight in the refrigerator. This morning I popped out of bed at 4 a.m., all excited to slice my Mortadella. Here are a few pictures of what it looked like.
I really like the whole peppercorns in this. I wasn't sure about those….I mean, eating whole peppercorns? But they really work well and add a nice warmth without being too spicy. The general flavor of this recipe is very tasty, maybe a little mild on spices, but overall very good. I couldn't really taste the pistachios, but they sure are pretty! Maybe I should have used roasted pistachios?
The texture of the Mortadella was good but slightly dry. I guess that is why the original recipe calls for Phosphate and Sodium Erythorbate. I probably will bump up the fat % next time, and maybe add in a little more diced back fat as well.
Salt level is absolutely perfect for me. I don't like salty sausage or processed meats, and the 1.2% salt worked great. If I make this recipe again, I'd use this same salt amount but possibly increase all the other spices and the peppercorns a little. Garlic level seemed about right, however.
I'll add to this post a little later this week when I make the Muffuletta using this Mortadella and a few other things.
Thanks so much for reading! Hope everybody has a great Sunday!