Troubleshooting- anyone had a similar experience?

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Troubleshooting- anyone had a similar experience?

Postby originaltin » Fri Nov 23, 2018 3:22 pm

HI guys, just wondering if anyone has been through a similar experience.

So, I just made my first batch of spicy Italian pork sausage to be dry cured in my curing chamber. I followed a recipe from an Italian's online videos and also pulled some inspiration from a British chef at River Cottage. Every video I found of Italians making sausages at home used the same recipe basically, whether they were Italians living in Italy or Italians living in South Africa, Canada, Australia, etc. None of them use Nitrates (it's also illegal in Italy to use them in nationally-sold commercial products, funnily enough). Neither did my nonna or my uncle. It is usually 3% salt, 1-2 glasses of wine, pepper, hot chilli flakes, and some add fennel etc. What I did was add the correct amount of salt to my 3.7 kilos of meat, 2 small glasses of wine, lots of cracked black pepper, lots of chilli flakes; all meat was hand minced in small sections while keeping the rest chilled in the refrigerator, where I also had another bowl to hold the mince while I worked on the next handful at a time. I washed the sausages with a white mold solution dissolved in a bit of sugar water and also some lactic acid brine from my homemade fermented green tomatoes. Casings were salted hog casings. I wore gloves, everything was cleaned prior to starting, many holes were poked into the sausages after they were made, and I poked yet more into them last night.

Now then, this is NOT a discussion about the dangers of not using nitrates- I fully agree that it is dangerous, which is why I am posting this question. My sausages are made, they have hung at warm, humid room temp for 24 hours, and I am wondering what the best way to fix the situation would be. My brother thinks I am going to kill everyone with botulism, so now it's in my head. Here are my ideas, please let me know if you think they will work.

1) Can I fill a large tub with salt and the correct amount of nitrate, and bury my sausages in there and just turn them into "salt pork" basically? and just take them out, soak in water and use as needed? Will that prevent botulism?

2) If I test the PH level of the meat inside while it's still moist, using a PH reader, can that ensure the safety of the sausages if the PH is too acidic for botulism?

3) I could hang them anyway, dry them as I planned, keep in the freezer and just cook them at 375 F for an hour and add them to tomato sauce for flavour? That would kill any toxin spores, yeah?

4) Should I just remove the meat from the sausages, add a little nitrate to the mix, and re-stuff in new casings? Or is it too late for that?

Any guidance would be appreciated, thank you :)
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Re: Troubleshooting- anyone had a similar experience?

Postby wheels » Fri Nov 23, 2018 8:33 pm

I'm on my way out so will leave others to answer fully. But you're wrong about the use of Nitrite in Italy.

Here's a spec for an Italian salami - it uses both cultures and nitrite: ... 015:EN:PDF

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Re: Troubleshooting- anyone had a similar experience?

Postby NCPaul » Fri Nov 23, 2018 10:40 pm

Welcome to the forum. I afraid my advise won't be your favorite option, but I would toss it and start over. It is difficult to predict the outcome if you were to continue or if you tried any of the options you propose. I would rather operate in the safest possible manner. I always recommend this book: ... 2HVXEKXHVW

I never recommend videos from old Italian guys or from River Cottage. Cure #2, which has both nitrite and nitrate along with a fermentation culture designed to work with salami are what I use. The pH drop can be controlled by the amount of food you give the bacteria. I know it hurts to throw out the meat and your effort.
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