Soppressata is a mildly spicy dry cured italian pork sausage. It is seemingly one of the more common starting points for dry cured / fermented sausages.
Batch 1 was started started 12/17/20
Sanitize everything! I sprayed the utensils, grinder, counter top, hands, etc with StarSan (same as I use for Brewing)
- ~ 10 lbs Pork butts deboned, and well trimmed of all soft fat, connective tissue, silverskin, tendons and much of the hard fat
- Salt 2.5%
- Cure #2 0.25%
- Dextrose 0.3%
- Cracked Black Pepper 0.3%
- Red Pepper Flakes – Korean Gochugaru 0.3% (finely ground and no seeds)
- Sweet Paprika 0.3%
- B-LC-007 Starter culture 0.023%
- Water (for the starter culture) 1/4 cup
- Bactoferm 600 mold culture in water bath
- Coarsely grind the COLD pork ~ 1/4″ plate
- Sprinkle the starter on the water and let rest for~ 15 min
- Mix meat and non spice ingredients together well for at least 5 minutes. The mixture should be quite sticky due to myosin development when ready. Add the spices and mix for another couple of minutes.
- Stuff into 60 mm casings (3x 24 inch casings). I use inedible collagen casings and tie mine at about 12″ length so they fit my high tech drying chamber.
- Up to this point everything MUST be kept cold. Utensils and meat in the fridge or better the freezer to stay <40F.
- Save about 1/2c of meat mixture and test the pH. The initial pH should be between 5.8 and 5.9.
- Once stuffed the sausages are dipped in a solution of Bactoferm 600 (penicillium mold) which adds flavor and is a protectant from harmful molds. This results in the traditional white mold covering the casings. I use a bread loaf pan to hold the solution and then dip / roll the pieces in it.
- The sausages then ferment until the pH drops below 5.3 (or preferably 5.0). Use a small sample of the meat in a cup / bowl for the pH testing. I use my kitchen oven for the fermenting. The sausages are laid directly on cookie sheets (Teal prefers that I do not place them directly on the racks). The light is turned on in the oven as needed (e.g. 15 min every hour) to hold the temp at 75-85F. This should take about 20-24 hours to hit the target pH of 4.8 to 5.0. In order to have a shelf stable final product the final pH must be < 5.3 (coupled with low enough water activity). Lower pH also gives a “tangier” product.
With my Kitchenaid double oven if the light is left on full time the temp rises to 95F (a bit too warm).
- Now the sausages are hung in the drying chamber for a week. Temp should be ~55F and humidity setpoint of 75%.
- The Soppressata then needs to be pressed for proper shape and texture. I used pieces of vinyl coated wire shelving secured with tie wraps for this (yes this is the low budget end of the range / technique). The sausages are pressed for a week or 2 in the drying chamber. Tighten the tie wraps every day or 2 to maintain pressure.
- Remove the press rack after 1-2 weeks and rehang the sausages to continue drying until they reach the target weight loss of 45-50%.
After 7 weeks (2/10/21), the weight loss was 50%. The sausages were pulled and washed down with warm water to loosen the casings. The casings (with the mold ) were stripped off. They were then sliced for a QC check and taste test prior to washing in red wine and vacuum packing.
They taste very good, but I would like it a bit hotter / spicier and maybe some fennel (maybe do Finocchiona next?). I had one stick that had an air pocket and had to be discarded. I need to work on my stuffing technique and will heat to sterilize the spices next time.
My grandson Sawyer absolutely loves it. Here is a video of him helping to grind the meat: