collagen casing on top, natural casing below
The batch of sopressata came out pretty good. Definitely better than the mass market stuff and I think it is in line with some that can be found in Italian markets. There is some room for improvement, but, all-in-all a successful cure. I was a little worried that I had fallen victim to case hardening (the outside gets hard, the moisture inside can't get out and you are left with a mushy inside. Luckily, it didn't completely happen although there are some slices where the inside softer than the outside. Softer, but cured. Some time in the fridge after the chamber has improved it as well. It has a nice salty, pork flavor with some hints of garlic coming through. I think I might increase the seasonings a little more next time. There is really no heat to it at all - not a bad thing, i ijust thought the hot pepper would be more noticeable.
The real surprise, other than how much my older daughter likes it, is that I think I like the collagen casing better. I would have never thought it? I have a tendency to try and keep it "old school" in the kitchen. But the collagen casing was very easy to stuff (harder to tie up though), peels off the finished product easily, and I think the sopressata came out a little nicer in a side by side comparison. Who'd a thunk it?
I sliced some up and put it in a bowl to offer some to my neighbors while the kids were playing outside. The bowl didn't get past the kids. High praise indeed. I'm only a little proud of myself.