Some of the best salami I have ever eaten I was made with donkey meat. Donkey salami is almost uniquely made in Italy and Corsica. Unfortunately it is very rare (only about 1000 donkeys are slaughtered per year in all of Italy which is the biggest producer of donkey meat) so in my quest to make something similar at home I resorted to horse meat. Fortunately there is a horse butcher in Munich at the Viktualienmarkt where I bought the meat for this sausage.
Especially in English speaking countries horsemeat is considered taboo, in some US states its production is even illegal. In contrary horsemeat is quite popular in other countries like Italy or France.
The situation in Germany is more or less in between these extremes. Horsemeat has quite a bad reputation because in the hunger years after the Second World War people turned to horsemeat because beef and pork were very hard to come by, and not surprisingly most of it was of bad quality. Horsemeat consumption in Germy has been steadily declining but there still are horse butchers in most larger towns.
But its bad reputation as well as the recent adulteration scandal should not detract from the fact that horsemeat is actually a very high quality meat as long as no old working horses are used.
The recipe for this sausage is fairly similar to the saucisson sec I made recently. Cacciatore is a type of Italian salami that is seasoned only with salt, pepper and garlic and that is conditioned in snack size. Cacciatorini are the smallest using fairly narrow hog casings.
Ingredients per kg:
- 700 g horse round or shoulder
- 300 g raw pork fatback
- 26 g table salt
- 0.5 g saltpeter (potassium nitrate, KNO3)
- 5 g sugar
- 3 g black pepper, ground
- 1 g powdered garlic
- 0.5 g ascorbic acid
- 0.5 g Bactoferment 61 starter culture
- Hog casings 36/38 mm
Soak the casings in tepid water for at least an hour. Cut meat and fatback in to cubes and put into the freezer until lightly frozen on the outside. If possible also freeze the front part of your meat grinder.
Grind meat and fat together with a medium size plate (3 to 4.5 mm). Add the other ingredients and thoroughly mix by hand. Prepare your sausage stuffer and fill the casings, twisting off links of 10 to 15 cm length.
Let ferment hanging two days at room tempeature with relative humidity as high as possible (65% to 70% is recommended). Then hang cool (10 tp 15 degrees) at 65%+ relative humidity for at least 4 weeks.
Because horsemeat is usually darker than beef the sausages will look almost black from the outside. When they are ready to cut after curing and drying they reveal a dark red interior. The taste is rich and very “salami-y”. The seasoning in this recipe is fairly mild to emphasize the taste od the meat. It is no problem to increase the amount of pepper or garlic up to 100% but the amount of salt should not surpass 30 grams per kilo.