Nduja Recipe

Embark on a meaty adventure with this recipe for Nduja, a spicey and spreadable salami that can be spread on bread or used as a sauce.

| April 2019

Photo Courtesy of New Society Publishers


  • 5 lb. of pork jowl, trimmed to 1-x-3-inch strips


  • 3 lb. pork fat (60%)
  • 2 lb. pork lean trim (40%)


  • 2.2 oz. salt
  • 0.2 oz. Cure #2
  • 0.32 oz. organic dextrose 16 oz. Calabrian chilies in
  • oil, or any mix of hot & sweet peppers from your garden
  • T-SPX
  • 1 hog bung, also called a hog middle cap

Nduja is a meaty adventure, from its spice to its texture to its complex processing. As such, it is for the more adventurous salumists. It is spreadable salami traditionally made with pork jowl, and aside from smearing it on breads, it is useful for adding to sauces, broths, brown butters and roux. To be quite honest, this application was what got my imagination running wild, and compelled me to make it in the first place. Pronounce it IN-DOO-YA.


  1. Rinse the hog bung thoroughly and allow it to soak.
  2. Freeze your grinder parts and your bowl. Mix the peppers with the jowl trim and open-freeze.
  3. Mix about 2 tsp of the starter culture into 1/4 cup of room temperature water. Set aside.
  4. Grind the meat and pepper mixture twice through the coarse plate and twice through the fine plate. It will be very stiff. You may need to stop and chill the mix in between grinder plates, if you find it is rising above 40 °F. Combine the salt, curing salt, and dextrose and sieve to remove any clumps. Put the meat mixture in your stand mixer with the paddle attachment and dump the salt mixture in. Add the T-SPX. Mix on low for 3-4 minutes while you wash your grinder parts.
  5. At this point, you can stop and chill the meat mix overnight, but it isn't necessary. When you are ready to stuff, place the largest stuffing horn onto your stuffer and begin to stuff the hog bung as well as you can. The way the bung is built, you'll notice many chambers, so stuffing requires a watchful attitude. Once you've stuffed all the meat in, tie the opening of the bung with the slip knot, then tie according to the instructions in the sidebar on page 80. You can use this same technique for tying roasts, salamis, coppa, or any other meat product.
  6. Hang the stuffed nduja to ferment for 36-48 hours at 80-90°F and about 90-95% relative humidity. After this time, remove the nduja from the cabinet and cold smoke it (smoke at temperatures less than 80°F; see Chapter 6 for more info on smoking) for 3-4 hours. After smoking, allow to rest slightly, then return to the charcuterie cabinet to cure.
  7. It is helpful to have a pH meter to determine when nduja is safe to consume, as weight loss is not as reliable a marker for this product. The pH should be 4.2-5.0. I have had nduja ready after 3 months of aging, after it has cold smoked. Hana is the most reliable producer of pH meters; see the Resources section for links.

Photo Courtesy of New Society Publishers

Stuffing Large Sausages

  • For nduja, mortadella, and other recipes that require stuffing ground meat into a large casing or bung, here is the technique. 
  • Load the entire length of the casing onto the horn, so that the tied or closed end is flush with the end of the stuffing horn.
  • Begin turning the crank, and let the casing fill slowly.

Photo Courtesy of New Society Publishers

  • Keep a firm hold on the casing as it fills, to ensure you are packing the meat mixture in as tightly as you can. Stop if you must, and distribute the ground meat as needed with your hands, to ensure it is filling the casing completely.
  • When you've stuffed as much as will fit with room to tie off, or if you've run out of meat mixture , remove the casing from the stuffing horn while introducing as little air as possible into the sausage. Tie off with twine or a bubble knot.

Cover Courtesy of New Society Publishers



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