I sometimes wonder if someone 'up there' has got something against me? When it comes to making salami, if it can go wrong, rest assured it will! At the moment I don't have my drying-fridge fully set up as, within the next few weeks, all my fridges and equipment will be moving into the bedroom recently vacated by my eldest daughter. She's just bought her own house.

OK, that's my excuse, but the real reason is that the humidifier ran out of water because I'm a lazy basket and hadn't checked it! I lose interest easily and having tasted two of the three salami I made recently and not being too impressed with the results, I'd just left things to their own devices. I've gone from one extreme to the other; fellow sausage-makers will know what I'm talking about: when you first make them you tend the flamin' salami as though its your first baby! Now, I'm totally blasé about the whole thing; fine if your experience exceeds your knowledge - but I'm the opposite when it comes to salami: my knowledge of the subject far exceeds my experience.

"What the heck are you prattling on about?" "Shurrup, and get to the sausage!"

OK, I'll come clean! All this is a roundabout way of saying that I'm not 100% happy with the Nduja I recently made.

But, I'd better start at the beginning...

...you see, in 2008 a US based sausagemaking.org forum member contacted me and offered to bring me supplies of sausage-making products that are difficult to find in the UK, as he was coming over to visit. When it came to arranging collection it turned out that he had family living within 20 miles of me and so we met to exchange goods and cash, albeit briefly. When he got back to the US, he wrote about having a spicy, fiery, spreadable salami when at Borough Market in London and he subsequently made his own version. Whether others jumped on his band-wagon or he accidentally climbed onto theirs, it seemed that for the next couple of months the food press was full of this fiery Calabrian spreadable salami called Nduja.

Now to cut a long story short (!??), I promised another forum member that I would make the salami when I could lay my hands on some Calabrian chillies. He kindly sent me a pot of them ready made up into a paste for the salami. However, because of one thing and another it was only a couple of months ago, some 18 months or so later, that it finally happened.

Imagine then, dear reader, my disappointment that the sausage-meat is nowhere near as spreadable as I would have liked; It's got the Oomph; it's got the heat that takes the 'top off your head'; it's got the, "I want some more, even though it hurts", sensation; it just hasn't got that soft spreadable, "This won't need butter", feel about it. It obviously needed fattier pork, and it certainly didn't need the couple of weeks drying at low humidity that, because I'm lazy, it got!

Now, before the Elephant and Castle 'Bar Council' start 'laughing their socks off', it's still perfectly usable. I'll use butter on the bread, use it as a pasta dressing or, even use it in dips and savoury butters. It's just that, of all my projects, this is the one where I wanted to be able to say: "It's perfect!"


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There are seven comments


Looks good, Phil. I’m assuming you understand the spreadability thing, or lack thereof ;)

Scott, (Email ) (URL) - 23-04-’11 01:06

Thanks Scott – yes, it was a ‘schoolboy’ error on my part. The last half pig I had was very lean compared to my usual ones and for some reason back-fat is hard to buy around here. Fortunately a forum friend is coming to my rescue and sending me a supply.

Phil, (Email ) - 23-04-’11 14:33

hi Phil,
I was wanting to try this recipe but the ‘thislittlepiggy’ site is down at the moment so wondered if you could post it? And how long did you mature it for? thanx Wilf

wilfiethecat, - 22-11-’11 10:59


I can’t find the original recipe that This little Piggy sent, but my transcript of it is:

Pork Belly 82%
Chilli/oil/wine paste 16.4%
Dextrose 0.18%
Salt 1.35%
Cure #2 0.15%
Lactic Culture (per manufacturers instructions)

Here’s what I used (I used cure #1 plus saltpetre, but I’ve put the figure for cure #2 for simplicity’s sake):

Pork Belly 1000gm
Chilli/oil/wine mix 200gm
Dextrose 2.2gm
Salt 15.7gm
Cure #2 – 2.5gm

Whichever you use, use very fatty pork, or a mix of pork and back fat. Mine dried in 36 days but two weeks of that were at very low humidity. I’d aim for a minimum 60 day drying period.

Please let me know how it turns out.

Phil, (URL) - 22-11-’11 18:39

That’s great, many thanks Phil. One last question..

What’s the ratio in the chilli/oil/wine mix? that’s quite a lot of chilli potentially – may have to order some more peperoncino! and did you give it quite a fine grind?



wilfiethecat, - 23-11-’11 17:06

Ah, therein lies the problem. As I said above, the Peperoncino was supplied to me. I imagine that you just use enough oil/wine to make a paste with the Calabrian peppers. Whatever we do, it won’t be authentic, so play it by ear. Grind a hot pepper with a little oil and wine and give it a go.

Phil, (URL) - 24-11-’11 00:09

Quite right. I guess every one of these projects that we try is just a UK approximation of the real thing..maybe I’ll bung in some Worcester Sauce !
thanks for your help – will let you know how things go.

wilfiethecat, - 24-11-’11 08:33

I'm somewhat incapacitated at present so replies may take some time. Please post urgent enquiries at the www.sausagemaking.org forum.

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