I took a trip to Cabela’s today to look for hiking pants for my daughter before we head to Belize. No luck. We did have a chance to eat elk burgers, though, and then I found this, and thought, heck, yeah, I have to try that.
It recommends 2 pounds of ground beef, venison, turkey, moose, elk, or pork. I interprtehh”kd the “or” as “and,” and in the absence of any wild game mixed a pound each of ground beef and pork together. Together they make excellent meatballs for spaghetti, and salami, spaghetti, it’s all Italian so it has to work, right?

The directions also suggest “adding olive, peppers or other ingredients.” Will do! Scrounging in the fridge I found olives, and capers seemed like a must-do (capers are always a must-do in our house), and sun-dried tomatoes seemed like a good idea, too, but before I found those I scrounged out some sun-dried tomato pesto, and a light bulb went on in my head (but not in my fridge, which has been light bulbless for years, making scrounging more adventurous) that said “even better!”

Everything mixed together with the spices from the packet, and then I hit a small stumbling block–I don’t have a proper baking rack. Well, if this works out well, I’ll get one next time, and meanwhile I’ll just cook it on the big rack in the oven (hoping the meat doesn’t break up and fall through).

Results! That is some seriously strong salami. I like it, but I couldn’t eat more than a sandwich of it at a time. The kids like it, but my wife doesn’t. It’s obviously not going to get eaten quickly, though, so I put half in the freezer for later use. And maybe we’ll have salami sandwiches for dinner sometime this week.

Overall, even if it doesn’t all get eaten, it was worth the ten dollars or so to have actually made my own salami once. And with the spice ingredients listed on the package, I could try mixing my own spices sometime if I want to delve deeper into salami-making.

Category: Kitchen

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13 Responses to Food-time Adventure Fun

  1. trumwill says:

    It seems to me that a lot of spicy meats, like salami and pepperoni, are kind of wasted on high-fat meats. Turkey pepperoni (for example) is quite good. Taking some salami spices and putting it on mostly white or lower-fat meat has some appeal.

    This is tangential, but… There was a Cabela’s on my commute when I was living in Estacado. They had an all-you-can-eat breakfast on weekends for like $5. It was hotel breakfast quality food, but it was $5.

    Pretty good marketing idea. It would get hunters there in the morning where they could load up on eggs and maybe buy some ammo and other hunting stuff. At least, I assume that was the rationale.

    • jhanley says:

      The packet suggested using elk, with is very lean. I know a place where I can get some, too, so I might have to try that.

  2. I like salami, but I’ve never thought of making it myself. Frankly, I’m not quite sure I’m ready for it.

    And I have a weird relationship with pork. I’ll eat things with pork in it, and I like certain things, like bacon and sometimes sausage links, but I’m wary of cooking with it. (Of course, I wouldn’t necessarily have to use pork, per the instructions you describe.)

    • trumwill says:

      Why are you wary of cooking it?

      I have a weird relationship with pork, too. By most accounts, they’re mentally like dogs and I love dogs and I feel guilty about enjoying the taste of eating them. On the other hand, there is no food better than that which comes from pig.

      • Well, I should clarify: I have no problem cooking bacon or sausage links (and I would cook pork chops or pork roast or ham and beans if I ever got around to it). What I’m wary of is using it in, say, meatloaf or meatballs. It seems to give an unpleasant texture to me. I have a hard time explaining it. It’s probably one of those things where if I’m not told pork is in it, I’ll probably not even notice.

  3. Mike Hunt Ray Rice says:

    In Episode 505 of Growing Pains, entitled “Teach Me”, Carol is having a tough time getting over the death of her boyfriend Chandler Bing. So she decides to bring a fake boyfriend to the next family party. The boyfriend’s name is Big Al, and he is much older than she is. The joke, however, is that he smokes his own salami (not a euphemism).

    Some dialogue:

    Jason: So, this must be Carol and…her date. 
    Carol: Hi everybody, this is Big Al. 
    Big Al: Yo everybody. I took the liberty of bringing some Sun Tea, and a very special 
    home-made surprise… 
    Carol: Home-made salami. 
    Big Al: May I use the kitchen? 

    Big Al: Then why are they all staring at me? 
    Carol: Well, they’ve never met a man who makes his own pork products. 

    Maggie: Maybe this is Carol’s way of reacting to all the pressure you’ve put on her. 
    Jason: Oh honey, come on, I just wanted to meet the guy. I didn’t know she was gonna show up with Oscar Meyer. Mike, what do you know about this guy she’s seeing? 
    Mike: He smokes his own meat. 

    Mike: OK, Carol, what’s the real story? 
    Carol: Real story?! I happened to have found someone, mature and wonderful… 
    Mike: Who lives with his mother and makes his own sausages?! Carol, come on, this is Mike you’re talking to.

    Anyway, this episode first aired on October 18, 1989, and I haven’t thought of it since then, until reading your post.

  4. jhanley says:

    I apologize to Mike, and hope he shares even more embarrassing details of his childhood, if that’s even possible.

    • trumwill says:

      I have seen every episode of Matlock. Most twice or more.

      My first two CDs were Air Supply’s Greatest Hits and Michael Bolton’s “Time, Love, and Tenderness” and after all of these years I still know all of the lyrics to the title track.

      (I’m not such a Bolton fan anymore, though his collaboration with Lonely Island was pretty awesome.)

    • Mike Hunt Ray Rice says:

      I am assuming your apology was tongue-in-cheek, but if it was sincere, it isn’t necessary.

      I’m not embarrassed by my enjoyment of Growing Pains. It was a top-10 show for 2 years. The only reason it started to go downhill was Kirk Cameron became a born-again Christian and started to handcuff the writers.

      When “Blurred Lines” came out two summers ago, I said to myself, “Hey, that’s Jason Seaver’s REAL son”.

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