Making Salami and Chorizo

Earlier this year I made myself a clay pizza oven and decided I should make myself a bunch of salami and chorizo to cook in it. I’ve always preserved meat but thought I should write some of the recipes down. So here are my favourite two recipes:


Salami spice mix (makes 6)

  • 6 dried chipotle chilli (seeded and finely chopped)
  • 4 teaspoons of black pepper (cracked)
  • 1 teaspoon of allspice (ground)
  • 3 garlic cloves (Crushed)
  • 2 tablespoons of sweet paprika
  • 1 tablespoon of Bravas spice mix
  • 1/2 glass of port
  • 25g salt (or 2% of the meat mix)
  • Prague powders (use supplier instructions)

Chorizo spice mix (makes 6)

  • 5 garlic cloves (Crushed)
  • 4 tablespoons of smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon of fennel seeds (crushed)
  • 1 tablespoon of sweet paprika
  • 1/2 glass of port
  • 25g salt (or 2% of the meat mix)
  • Prague powders (use supplier instructions)

Meat mix (divide into 2 parts per sausage mix)

  • 2.5kg ground pork shoulder (with about 20% fat)
  • 500g pork lardons or diced gammon with fat)
  • Castings (skins for sausages)

Step 1: Meat Mix

Best thing to do here is go to a local butcher that you trust. Don’t use supermarkets as you’re looking for good quality meat that hasn’t been messed around with. Ask your butcher for fatty meat and get them to grind the pork shoulder into a course mix. If using gammon instead of lardons make sure you cut your gammon into cubes (about 30mm cubes).

Mix all of it together and divide into 2 equal bowls.

Mix your different spice mixtures into each portion thoroughly. Cover and leave overnight to take in some of the flavours.

Step 2: Prepare Your Castings

You can buy castings (or skins) online or you could try asking your butcher if they can provide them.

If you use dried and salted castings then you’ll need to soak them in warm water (about 30 degrees) for 20 minutes prior to use. I used about 4 castings for this recipe and left them in the water until I needed to use them.

Step 3: Sausage Maker

There are plenty of sausage makers out there but I have a homemade one. I have a builders sealant gun that I adapted in order to push the sausage meat into the castings.

To begin with I used the builder nozzle but (as you can see from the photos) it was just too small for the job and the castings, so adapted the end using a plastic tube and it worked perfectly. As a tip, I warmed the end of the plastic tube and just moulded it slightly in order to get the castings on easier and to stop any sharp parts from cutting through the castings.

Step 4: Filling the Sausages

This is great fun. It takes a bit of practice but worth persisting. The tool I made was perfect for the size salami that I wanted to make.

Firstly; put the castings onto your sausage maker tube and pull out about 5cm of the casting. Don’t tie the end of the casting, this will cause a huge air bubble and make it really hard to fill, instead leave open but make sure you don’t push the sausage through (you need the extra casting to tie off at the end).

When you get to the required size (this is your own option) then push about 5cm of the casting off the tube, cut and then either tie to the other end or tie each end (to make a straight sausage).

Using butchers or baking string tie off the sausage again and make a loop so you can hang your sausages.

Step 5: Labelling and Hanging

Next you’ll want to tag each sausage with the date, weight and type ready for drying.

For hanging you first want to start the preserving process. Do this by hanging your sausages (make sure they don’t touch) firstly inside where its room temperature, sounds weird but this will start a fermentation process (if it’s warmer) and this is key to preserving. Do this for about 5 days to a week.

After this move your sausages to somewhere dark and with good air flow. I’ve hung mine in my shed as there are plenty of holes in it to create a nice draft. PH should be about 4.5 if you’re testing this. N.B.: This is a great project to do in the winter but obviously doing it in the summer has complications and you’ll need to think about refrigeration.

Next leave your meat to dry for about 7 to 10 weeks or preferably you want 30% off the original weight. You will have to pin prick the sausages just to let the air out of the castings so they can shrink onto the meat better. Mould will form but make sure you smell the sausages – if they start to smell putrid then do not eat.

I’ll update this at some point soon with the finished results.

Thanks for reading – Please check out my illustration and design work.

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