Thursday, September 25, 2008

Mortadella di Bologna

A while back i made Mortadella di Bologna. I've made it several times before and have always had inconsistent results. This time i was looking for the best possible result and i came so close to getting it. I used Len Poli's instructions and tweaked the recipe a bit but i found it a pretty solid recipe. I've had several mortadella's split on me and although edible, they have a rubbery/watery texture to them. The biggest reason for this happening would be because somewhere along the recipe i didn't keep the meat and fat cool enough. So I started by chilling the meat and fat. I ground the meat and fat separately through a large die and then chilled them again and then ground them both together through a small die and then back to chill. After gathering my ingredients, I blanched the cubed pieces of fat to make them palatable i then mixed all the dry ingredients with the ground meat and put small batches into the food processor to get it as smooth as possible. Periodically to keep the mixture from over heating in the food processor, i would pour a little ice water in. Before i used to use just Ice but have found the ice water to be a much better choice. After everything was all nice and smooth, i folded in the fat and pistachios and put the mix into the fridge for 12 hours. I then began rolling them into logs in saran wrap, poking holes making sure to get all the air pockets out (you can never make enough holes or use enough saran wrap). I then chilled the roles again for another 12 hours before vac packing them in there saran wrap. I sous vide them starting in cold water bringing the temp gradually up to 180 F (82 C) until the mortadella reaches an internal temp of 140 F. Submerge the mortadella in ice water and let rest for atleast a few days to have the flavor fully develop. I plan to smoke these tomorrow. The smokiness not only flavors the mortadella but also imparts an acid released from the smoke that adds a tang and also helps preserve it for longer. The only thing i would have changed in this recipe is to increase the salt by another 5-10 grams as well as the pink salt by 3 grams or so. 

Pork Mortadella w/ Pistachios 
3700g pork shoulder
450g pork back fat, ground
450g pork back fat, cubed
66g kosher salt
12g instacure#1
10.6g coriander seed, ground
6g black pepper 
4g garlic
4g white pepper
3g anise seed
3g nutmeg
1g caraway
0.8g cinnamon
0.6g clove
2 cups pistachios, whole
Ice water


Unknown said...

How did this turn out once you smoked it? Did you cold smoke it or hot smoke it (I'm guessing cold), and for how long, an hour? Like you would a cheese?

So does your recipe include your change in the amount of salt?

Also, one thing I've always wondered is how you can tell the internal tempurature when you are doing sous vide since it's in the vacuum seal. Don't you have to puncture the seal to stick the thermometer in? What if it isn't hot enough yet? New bag, new seal?

Sorry for all of the questions, but I just can't find the sort of quality in mortadella here in the states (unless I pay big bucks at whole foods) that I used to get for almost nothing at the corner store in Argentina. I want to make my own!

Unknown said...

I just smoked it this week. Cold smoking is best, however this time i used a tight sealed smoker so it got a little warm in there but it still came out fine. It brown a little bit but i actually liked the outcome.

my recipe does not include the salt level change.

when i sous vide it. the meat was tightly wrapped in seran wrap.
then vac packed.
there are special thermometers with needle like probes which is what i used.
they sell these foam type sticky strips ive heard to help seal the bag as you puncture it. but i just wrap a piece of masking tape around the center of the bag and pierce it with the needle and have never had a real problem with water getting in.

Unknown said...


Unknown said...

So I tried it. I ended up packing it into a 100mm casing which gave it a really nice shape. I cold smoked it with apple chips for about 2 hours, which gave it a nice light smokiness. You can see the finished product: here

Unknown said...

Here is a better link. The other link is just the top of my photo stream so it might change over time.

Unknown said...

it looks awesome! how did you cook it?

Darrin McCowan said...

we use the black rubber insulation strips like one uses to create a seal in a door frame. It is adhesive on one side but we still use super-glue to adhere it, then use the needle like probe thermometer to pierce the foam. never a leakage problem.