I am just a newbie when it comes to salami and sausage making but there is one recipe that I know very well and I would like to share it as my contribution to this wonderful forum.
Les Rillettes du Mans
I was born in Le Mans and I remember going to a country farm with my parents to get our supplies of Rillettes.
The farmer, a friend of the family and a neighbout to where my mother was born was making his own Rillettes once a year in Autumn (probably around October)
He was cooking a whole pork in a large cauldron outdoor on a wood fire. The whole process took all day and gave the rillettes a slight smoke flavour.
They were keeping big earthen Jars in the cellar during all winter. ie. 6 months and more without any preservative apart from salt and lard.
The cooking kills any bacteria and covering the finished rillettes with a layer of lard keeps them in an anaerobic environment.
You don't eat the fat from the top. You just remove it to get a serving and replace it to seal the jar.
The problem I found in most recipes on the web is the addition of liquid like stock, water or even wine. In my opinion and observation of the original recipe, this liquid reduces the shelf life.
My own modern recipe:
I use a whole Pork Shoulder and dice it in small cubes including the fat.
Place the bones at the bottom of a large slow cooker.
Put the cubed meat on top and add a handfull of salt and pepper to taste. (sorry I never got exact measures)
No other spices although it's ok to add some bay leaves and cloves.
Add a packet of lard, place the lid and let simmer on low heat for 6 to 8 hours.
When cooked remove the bones. The meat should fall apart and I roughly mash it with a potatoe masher.
Scoop the meat while hot and place in some jars. Add some of the fat on top. When cooling the meat will settle and the fat will cover the top of the jar.
When cold I also sprinkle more salt on top.
Some of the chunks can be kept separate and are then called Rillons (similar to confit)