Easy Oven Salami Recipe
Salami. One of life’s little pleasures and the way I make it, it’s just another fresh sausage. No curing, no messing with hanging it for weeks. No science experiments. The only fussy thing is both venison and fat should be ground first with the coarse plate, then the fine plate of your grinder.
In summer, I cook my salami outdoors, in a smoker with temperature controls, so I can start it low, and finish high enough to be safe to eat. In winter, it cooks in the oven. It’s just as good, and having the oven going all day helps keep the house warm. Use any venison: deer, elk, antelope, or caribou if you’ve got it.
How To Stuff or Shape the Salami for Cooking:
Salami should be cased in a “middle,” a casing larger than standard hog casings – about 2-4 inches in diameter. If you don’t have a stuffing machine, you can spoon the sausage into larger middles; they’re that wide. But a stuffer makes the job easier. If you hand stuff, press the air pockets out as you go, so there won’t be any holes in the finished salami. Tie off the end with string.
To mold the salami without casing (this is only for oven cooking): Lay a length of plastic wrap on the counter, and place half the sausage mix in the center. Fold the plastic wrap over and shape the ball into a 2-inch diameter log. Twist the ends of the wrap to round off the salami, and carefully place the log on a baking pan (with a lip so they don’t roll off) rolling the log off the plastic wrap as you do. (Please don’t cook the plastic wrap.)
Repeat for the second half of the sausage mix leaving at least an inch of space between the two logs so air can circulate.
To cook in a smoker:
Cool smoke (110°) for about 2 hours; then at 160° for 2 more hours. Two ounces of hickory chips is a nice addition in the first hour, but no more. Finish at 225°, 1 to 2 hours until the internal temperature of the salami is 170°.
To cook in the oven:
Preheat the oven to 200°. Cook for about 5 hours.
Either way you cook it, transfer to a cooling rack when done. Cut off an end. It should be reddish, but not pink or mushy. When it’s cool enough to handle, transfer the salami to the fridge and chill 2-3 hours. To serve, slice thin. Or thick. This salami is great for sandwiches, on crackers or just sliced and devoured while standing in front of the open fridge.
1 lb. ground venison
8 oz. ground pork jowls
1½ tbsp. minced garlic
1 tbsp. plus 1 teaspoon Morton’s Tender Quick
1 tsp. coarse ground black pepper
½ tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. whole black
¼ cup beef broth
Combine the venison and pork in a large bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients (except the broth.) Mix thoroughly. Transfer the mix to a re-sealable plastic bag and chill overnight to let the Tender Quick work on the meat.
To taste test: microwave a half-inch ball of sausage in a cup for about 15 seconds on high – or fry a small pattie – until all the pink is gone. Seal the baggie back up again, squash the sausage mix with the palm of your hand until it’s almost uniformly about 1-inch thick. Now drop it in the freezer for about 2 hours. When the edges start to get hard, it’s time to add the broth and mix the sausage well.
For the best texture, mix the sausage until it’s really sticky. (Mostly it will stick to itself, forming a ball. The mix will also get harder to work as it gets sticky. I mix mine in a heavy duty stand mixer, on low, for 6 minutes.)