Besides baking, I am a HUGE fan of Italian recipes, most specifically sausages. There's something about making them from scratch that gives you the instant pride that makes you feel like you can cook just about anything.
One of my favorites would be Soppressata, which is a type of dry-cured Italian sausage that has all the flavors you need in just one serving (though I would take a lot more than just one!). But the question is: How to make soppressata? The name alone looks complicated enough, but you'll be surprised to know that you can make it right in the comforts of your own home!
So if you're wondering about how to make Soppressata, read on as I show you the best recipe suitable for any cook.
What Is Sopressata?
Have you ever heard of Sopressata? If you haven't yet, then it's time to learn all about it now so you can start making it yourself!
This is an Italian dry salami, either prepared as a dry-cured sausage or a salami in various places in Italy. It's found in the southern Italian heritage, with butchers slaughtering the pig themselves and making homemade soppressata with other cured meats as well.
What makes Sopressata delicious is how it comes with various flavors, spices, and aromas that make it unique. The way it was made, though a bit tedious, is also what adds to the culture and beauty of this type of salami/sausage.
In this recipe, I'll be showing you how to make the sausage version of the soppressata, which tastes as delicious as it looks! You can add it to your pizza, consume it alone, or even top it with your pasta!
How to Make Sopressata
Sopressata is delicious, but what if you don't have any of these specifically dry-cured sausages around your area? Then it's time to experiment and make your own! I'll be showing you this relatively easy recipe on how to make soppressata achieve the flavors and smokiness of this awesome sausage.
The preparation time is long, as it will take at least an hour to prepare all the ingredients and equipment. There is also a chill and drying time of up to four weeks. But it will be worth it!
Here are the ingredients you'll need:
- One pound of diced pork back fat
- Four pounds of diced boneless pork shoulder
- One teaspoon of Bactoferm F-RM-52 starter culture
- Quarter cup of distilled water
- 60 grams of Kosher salt
- One teaspoon of Insta Cure #2
- Half a cup of nonfat dry milk powde
- Three tablespoons of dextrose
- One teaspoon of ground black or white pepper
- One teaspoon of minced garlic
- One teaspoon of hot red pepper flakes (optional for those who want it spicy)
- Quarter cup of dry white wine (optional)
- 12 to 14 inches or hog middle casings, which were soaked in tepid water for half an hour and rinsed clean
Follow these steps:
1. While the pork fat is cold, grind it through a medium die (six millimeters) in a bowl. Set it in a bowl of ice and let it chill. Do so while you bring the pork shoulder through a large die (12 millimeters). Then combine both the shoulder and fat in a bowl, using a standing mixer. Refrigerate while you are preparing the rest of the ingredients.
2. Dissolve the culture in distilled water and add it to the meat, as well as the other ingredients mentioned (except for the casings). You can either mix it by hand or use a meat mixer. Combine all the ingredients until all the seasonings and ingredients have been thoroughly incorporated into the meat, which will take about two minutes.
3. Now stuff the sausage into the casings. Once you have stuffed all the meat mix, tie the ends of your hog middle and prick the casings to remove air pockets using a needle.
4. Let the sausages hang at room temperature, about 29 degrees Fahrenheit. This will take about 12 hours for the bacteria to incubate, with the good bacteria growing and producing more lactic acid at a warm room temperature. Make sure that you weigh your sausages and label the weight.
5. Now hang the sausages in a curing chamber, which should be at a temperature of about 15 degrees Celsius with up to 70% humidity. It should be completely dry or lose 30% of its original weight (the reason why we listed down the sausage's weight before putting it in the chamber). It will take up to four weeks for the sausages to fully dry, though this will depend on the weight and drying conditions in the chamber.
6. Now you can either store the Soppressata or get it ready for cooking. To do so, prick the sausages with a fork (all over the body) and then transfer it to a cast iron skillet over medium heat.
7. Fill the skillet with water, enough to reach about a quarter of the sides of the sausages. Let the sausages cook for about three minutes while you turn it every half-minute. Once it's crisp and golden brown, turn down the heat and place it on a dish to let it cool. Serve it with your favorite food to pair with the sausages and enjoy!
Pro-Tips In Creating Sopressata
Now that you know how to make Soppressata, the next question is: How can you make this recipe even better? Read on as I show you some tips on perfecting this recipe and ensuring the best sausages for your family:
- Make sure that the humidity is perfect, checking its humidity every so often. If it is too low, then the sausages will dry too quickly and make it prone to spoiling. If it is too high, it will end up developing bad molds that contaminate the sausages. That's why it's best to keep it at 60 to 70% humidity.
- If you see any black molds forming on one of the sausages, then discard it immediately. For blue or green molds, you can still salvage the sausages and wipe it off with a cloth that has a solution of one part vinegar, and one part distilled water.
- Always keep an eye on your sausages while they are curing. For those who are looking for a curing chamber, you don't need to make your own in a room, but using a water cooler with plastic wrap covered and a small opening on each side for air circulation. Control the temperature with warm water or heat pads and monitor it with a meter.
- If you are having a difficult time looking for any of the ingredients (such as the casings or culture), then you can go to a butcher store, as they have a vast selection of these products.
When it comes to cooking, there is so much more than the usual frying and boiling. You can go beyond your limits and try something you haven't done before, which is to create your sausages like the wonderful Sopressata! It's relatively easy to make as long as you have all the ingredients and follow the directions. And once it's finished and ready to eat, you won't regret trying it out!
I hope that this article on how to make soppressata helped you become more knowledgeable on this delicious recipe anyone can do. So what are you waiting for? Try it out yourself and be proud of your new feats in the kitchen today!
If you have any questions or would like to share your tips and experiences with making Sopressata, then comment down below. I would love to hear what you have to think.