Salami Tsunami with Jimmy Westley
We're so lucky to have such amazing access to an abundance of wild sourced food here in Australia.
About 8 years ago, Jimmy Westley was lucky enough to have an old Italian friend share his family’s recipes and secrets to producing the finest in homemade salamis. Since then he's been sharing this amongst friends and family, integrating an Italian tradition into our Australian winter calendars.
Over the years he's recklessly and irreverently messed around with the traditional salami recipes of generations of stoic Italian salami makers. Causing some consternation to those who taught him, he's managed to create some amazing new flavours. Some with an unmistakable Aussie-twist….
After the last few years of lockdowns, and covert salami making, we decided to throw off the shackles and make a real weekend of it. A group of some fifteen eager and willing friends gathered at our family property, Homestation Lodge, in the foothills out back of Merrijig. What ensued was some sort of salami masterclass and a weekend of wild sourced food and locally made wines.
Although we’re talking about small goods here, it’s no small feat to make 175kg of salami in one weekend. The sheer number of salamis that had to be flavoured, filled, tied and tended to, was enough to cause sore feet and calloused hands; around 1300 sticks of salami in total.
Whilst the quantity was high, the quality was even higher. The flavours and quality we managed to produce this year have put our past years to shame. But hey, that’s the idea of practice and traditions – they get better and better with age.
It didn’t come without risk, of course. Never before had we used wild boar for our salamis. Deciding to make such a huge quantity as a trial run was probably a little mad. But knowing the quality of meat we've enjoyed from Discovered Foods, we put our money where our mouth was. Pardon the pun!
Due to the beautifully clean and lean nature of the meat, we added some additional fat to the mix. This gave us the creamy and buttery texture that’s evident in the best salamis from around the world.
As mentioned before, we’ve been playing with the traditional Italian recipes in the hope of creating our future traditional Australian recipes. Each mix being specifically tailored to suit the main flavour component.
Here’s the six flavours we conjured up for this year’s salami tsunami…
- Fennel and Black Pepper (wild boar)
- Fresh Truffle and Black Pepper (wild boar)
- Chilli Cacciatore (wild boar)
- Dill Pepper and Horseradish (wild boar)
- Quince (Red Wine Marinated) and Wild Pink Pepper Berry (wild boar)
- Vegemite and Cheese (wild venison)
The first three flavours are more the traditional type, all with a little twist of their own. The last three flavours, all quirky ideas dreamt up around the campfire or over the dinner table, are now on the annual ‘must-do’ list.
We’re so lucky to have such amazing access to an abundance of wild sourced food here in Australia. From the pink pepper berries and fresh truffles, through to the ethically sourced wild venison and boar, we’re able to dream up new lives for traditional dishes.
Thanks to the guys at Discovered Foods and the amazing work they’re doing to bring wild food to our table.
We can’t wait for the next salami season and we’re already dreaming up new flavours for next year’s adventure.
Words by Jimmy Westley