The drying chamber was full with Lonzino, Soppressata, and Pepperoni. Creating the Lonzino was covered in a prior post. This is “simple” dry cured whole muscle meat (pork loin). The Soppressata and Pepperoni are both fermented dry cured sausages. This takes a bit more finesse to ensure food safety.
Before starting on your own, I highly recommend reading: “The Art of Making Fermented Sausages” by Marianski. Pay particular attention to chapter 9 – Safety Hurdles. This book is not so much for the recipes per se, but rather for the background on food science and the techniques for keeping safe. The Facebook group: Cured Meats: Charcuterie is also very highly recommended. However, this is a closed group and you need to apply to join.
I had done some sampling / taste testing a few weeks ago and decided to let the meat dry a bit more.
I pulled the remaining meats today,as they were close to their targeted weight loss and I needed to get them out of the basement before staining the dining table. I did not want to risk the meats picking up off flavors from the oil based gel stain which would soon be stinking up the house (and yes, this is mid -winter in Wisconsin, so I can’t just open all the windows and let in the -10 to +10F winds).
The meats were all improved. I really like them around 45-50% weight loss and the added drying time improved the flavors. My new favorite for the Lonzino is the Pepper / Juniper berry spiced version.
Scroll back for the prior posts with the recipes.
Below is the temperature and humidity plots for the drying chamber while the sausages were drying: