Salami, Pancetta, Capocollo and More - It's Tasting Time!

Salami Tastings and Happy Faces

By: Sara Grazia

Salami Tasting with Sara Grazia

If there’s one thing I love in the world, it’s making my own salami and cured meats, my second greatest passion is when it’s time for tasting all these homemade delicacies I’ve spent days preparing and months nurturing and curing.

Over the past week or so I’ve been busy doing final checks on all the produce I’ve made a few months back. You may recall my series of ‘From Rump to Rafters’ blog posts from when I processed the entire pig I was given for my birthday.

Since then, the salami has been taken down and…….eaten! I decided to make another batch so that I could share it, but alas, that batch was also snapped up and eaten pretty quickly. There was nothing left to do other than make up a third batch! I was planning on making some more salami for mamma anyway, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity to restock my personal supplies. Mamma has always used the same recipe for as long as I can remember, so that was going to be pretty straight forward. For my own stocks however I wanted to try a few different things, things I haven’t made in a while, so I picked a few recipes from my Secrets in Salami book at random and got started.

From Rump To Rafters - Day 4

A Traditional Family Adventure With Mamma and Co.

By: Sara Grazia

It’s been an epic journey over the past few days and today we finish off the last of the meat curing. We’ve made kilograms of salami and now they're resting ready for hanging later in the afternoon. Before we get to that stage however there is still quite a lot of work to be done finishing off the pancetta, capocollo, prosciutto and other meats that will be cured over the next several months.

Our variety of cuts have been under salt for the past couple of days and now need to be cleaned, seasoned, wrapped and hung. One of the downfalls of cleaning the meat is that it needs to be done using cold water and on a cold winters day, your hands feel very quickly like ice blocks. With 12 cuts to clean, it was looking to be a long and cold process. I have a cup of warm water at arms length and after every couple of cuts I clean, I stopped and wrap my hands around the cup to thaw them out. 

From Rump to Rafters - Day 1

A Traditional Family Adventure With Mamma and Co.

By: Sara Grazia

Every year, early in the morning – I load up the car with all my salami making and meat curing supplies and equipment.

It’s 6am, dark and bitterly cold on a Friday morning, I’m all rugged up in my woolen beanie, coat and the thickest gloves I own and I’m off to go and collect a pig! Today is the first day of a 4 day salami making and meat curing adventure that me, mamma and co. undertake every year. This has been something we’ve always done ever since I can remember.

Back when I was younger, my parents reared their own pigs on the family farm. They were fattened up all year ready for a winter slaughter, something my father got the entire family involved in (and half the neighborhood).I don’t rear my own pigs now, it can get a little difficult in a little inner city Victorian terrace so I rely on local farmers to do the rearing for me.

Secrets in Sydney - Sausage Queen Shares Traditional Secrets With Sydneysiders

By: Sara Grazia

As winter dawns and many of us run for the comfort and warmth of our heated homes, there is a movement of people embracing the winter chills and using this ideal climate to produce their own handmade produce.

Lead by Australia’s Sausage Queen and cured meats connoisseur, Sara Grazia, scores of individuals are learning the traditional Italian methods, techniques and processes involved in making their own preservative free salami successfully at home.

Sara Grazia salami making

The Secret Life of the Salami Maker

Doing it for the girls, with the boys!

By: Sara Grazia

Sara Grazia tying salami

It's been a busy few weeks for me since winter has arrived. I've been visiting friends and avid salami and meat curing enthusiasts all over, as the curing season kicks off I'm going to be sharing my adventures with you.

Today's adventure is with an Italian friend of mine, Signore Attilio. I was invited over to help the family with some salami making, which lead into some pancetta production, capocollo and some other delicacies I've only every seen made in particular regions of Italy.

New Course Dates Announced

Now that winter has well and truly arrived it’s time to book into one of our classes and make some tasty treats.

We have scheduled a range of classes in June, July and August. Join us and learn to make fresh sausage, Salami, Prosciutto, Pancetta and Capocollo.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Secrets in Salami - A Master Class In A Book, Now Available In Paperback

By Sara Grazia:

Secrets in Salami is a master class in a book. Based on one of my most well attended classes, Secrets in Salami is a reference guide to those who wish to successfully produce their own salami at home. All natural, gluten free, preservative free, and with no nitrates or nitrites.

Based on traditional Italian methods and techniques that have been practiced and mastered over centuries, discover a hands-on journey full of tradition, flavour, succulence and memories. Whether you're a seasoned salami maker, or a first time producer, there will be secrets to learn, techniques to develop and methods to master. You will also discover the particulars required for your drying environment, which is essential for salami making success.

After months of preparation, and with the assistance of my Mamma, I am happy to offer the 2nd instalment to my ‘Made Simple’ series. With 132 pages of salami preparation, secrets, methods and techniques, I’ve also thrown in some recipes for you to try – a few family favourites as well as some popular artisan mixes.

This is a fully Illustrated book with live action pictures taken of Mamma and me making the annual batch of salami for the family from scratch, just as we do it every year – a tradition, I hope that lasts for many more years to come.

Secrets in Salami is a book about sharing the skills and knowledge involved in a rarely seen process. Indulge your curiosity and create a salami making tradition of your own with your neighbour, community group, friends or family, and help me maintain an historical food art for many more generations to embrace and experience.

YOU CAN FIND SECRETS IN SALAMI IN OUR WEBSTORE BY CLICKING HERE

 

By: Sara Grazia

Summer/Autumn Sausage, Salami and Cured Meat Course Timetable 2014

It's looking to be a very sausagey New Year

Our Summer/Autumn 2014 courses are now ready for booking. Book a place for yourself and get your hands stuck into some traditional sausage and salami making, or give something really tasty to someone special this Christmas with one of our Golden Ticket Course Vouchers.

We're back in the new year with all the regular favourites. There will be fresh sausage making, salami and more cured meats making. We will be running our practical master classes as well as our intensive workshop classes.

If you don't see the class you've been waiting for in a current timetable, panic not! We will be listing our winter timetable in January, which will include more of our curing classes not currently listed. (We need to wait until the weather is just right!)

Book a class today, and eat well tomorrow...

By: Sara Grazia

Sausages Made Simple

  

 

Summer/Autumn Course Timetable 2014

February

11th - Fresh Sausage Making Master Class - North Melbourne, 18:30-21:00

March

18th - Fresh Sausage Making Master Class - North Melbourne, 18:30-21:00

19th - Secrets in Salami Master Class - North Melbourne, 18:30-21:00

22nd - Fresh Sausage & Cured Meats Intensive Workshop - North Melbourne, 11:00 - 14:00

April

21st - Italian Cured Meats Master Class - North Melbourne, 18:30-21:00

22nd - Fresh Sausage Making Master Class - North Melbourne, 18:30-21:00

23rd - Secrets in Salami Master Class - North Melbourne, 18:30-21:00

*Our winter course timetable will be listed in January, and will include Prosciutto making

Creating A Traditional Italian Capocollo - Mamma and Me

By: Sara Grazia

I recently shared my traditional salami making experience with you all. My mamma and I made quite the bounty, and I hope that you enjoyed the photos that we shared with you.

This week I’m excited to share with you the continued and fascinating journey of our artisan cured meats making.

We've been busy preparing this year’s capocollo. Under my mamma’s watchful eye we began. She still thinks I’m far too young to know all her secrets and preparation methods, but she taught me well, and when she doesn't see me looking, I glimpse a proud smile cross her lips.

Making capocollo with mamma

After the meat has been resting under the salt for some time, my mamma allows me to prepare her recipe. This recipe has been handed to her from her mother, and ever since I can remember, each year she makes it always the same. A tasty combination of mild spices and crushed peppers. A simple recipe, but one that is packed with flavour.

Before you ask for the details of the recipe, unfortunately I can’t say. Not only am I sworn to secrecy, but also there is no written ingredient list. Like many artisan producers from generations past, recipes were prepared by eye (and finger dipping –a process whereby a few flavours are added, then you would dip your finger, and taste… If it’s not quite right, you could always add some more of this or that).

Once the meat has been seasoned and hung, a wonderful perfume fills my mamma’s purpose built outdoor kitchen. The scent is sweet and peppery. Now I just have to be patient until Christmas time when these delicacies will be sliced and served with some of my mamma’s freshly baked bread.

 

If you have a desire to produce your own Italian cured meats, there is still time to take advantage of this year’s winter meat curing season. Discover the secrets to successfully produce your own cured meats and sausages with one of our specialised courses. The winter timetable will come to an end soon, so make a booking while the time is right for your meat curing. In the spring we’ll be back with a new range of artisan courses to excite you. Dates will be available for booking soon. View our range of winter meats curing courses here.