I was looking through the freezer at work and came across some lamb shoulders that were in there from the past menu change. So, I went home and looked through "The Art of Making Fermented Sausages," and came across the Merguez recipe (we added some zaatar spice as well). Talked it over with Chef Windus, and decided that it would be an easy enough recipe for us to execute. (The reason that I like Marianski's book is that all of the sausages are fermented and then smoked/dried or dried.) However, when I got over to the commissary the grinder is a hand cranked grinder/stuffer combo, and let me just say that I worked out twice that day. Anyways here are some pictures of the Merguez at day 1 and a shot I snapped at day 5. My chamber is super humid, but I just have to kind of monitor it everyday, and often times crack the door to let some moisture out. Overall I was pleased with the flavor (a nice subtle heat).
Now that the Merguez was working, I still had about 3 lbs of Lamb left over, so I thought why not try to make a Salami. I didn't use a recipe for this one, just some basic guidelines for a normal salami (cure weights, bactoferm, etc.) and then added what spices I thought would be good (fennel, black pepper, crushed red pepper, red wine...nothing too crazy). This one was definitely a challenge for me though. Everything was going smoothly since I used an electric grinder this time, however since it was such a small recipe, I wanted to just hurry up and get it done before service (which hurry up didn't happen...and by hurry up I mean pipe it into casings instead of walking over to the other hotel and use the stuffer). Nevertheless it turned out well. The salamis are incubating right now, and I will hang them in a couple of days.