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Nov 2, 2008 01:25 AM

What to do with really hard salami?

I love Gallo Salami, having lived in SF area for a while. Now I live in México, where salami of any kind is very expensive, and most of it bad. So, while visiting up north last summer, I was excited to find some Gallo at a reduced price, and I bought 2 sticks, 13 oz each. I can bareky cut the stuff! I just opened one stick tonight and well, if I had a commercial slicer I probably could cut it, but to do it by hand is going to be such a chore, I wonder what I could do with this wonderfully flavored product that doesn't involve hours of labor? Thanks, Dee

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    1. re: jpc8015

      It's happened to me (forgotten in back of fridge) slice real thin or you might soak in some wine or even simmer in the wine and re-chill .Cooking often soften's cured meats .I woudn't microwave though.

      1. re: scunge

        Cube it and use it in a pot of slow cooked baked beans.

        1. re: dolores

          Cubing is a great idea, as it is all I can manage with a two year Mennonite summer sausage in my fridge. I can see the cubes going into cassoulet, lentil soup, choucroute, and paella.

          1. re: dolores

            Baked beans sound good, or you could make a soup using onions, carrots and celery with several cloves of garlic sauteed in olive oil, then add tomatoes, beans (white, kidney or garbanzo) , beef or chicken stock and any other veggies available in Mexico now. Optionally you could add some beef bones for a richer flavor. Cut the salami in a couple of large pieces and add it to the pot. Simmer for an hour or so, and if the salam softens cut it into small pieces and leave it in the soup (or beans). If not, just take it out and it will have given the soup a great flavor.

            Let us know what you end up doing. Good luck!

          2. re: scunge

            "you might soak in some wine or even simmer in the wine and re-chill"

            Thanks. I bought some Petit Chodin from Marie-Aude's Spring Boutique in Paris and it was almost inedible; I cooked it in red box wine, diluted 4:1 for 40 minutes et voila!

        2. Step 1 - Sharpen your knife.

          Or try a mandolin slicer (watch your fingers).

          Or, heat the salami in the microwave for a minute or two to get the fats loosened up. Then see Step 1.

          1 Reply
          1. re: KiltedCook

            The aged summer sausage I have will easily resist my best knives, and a mandolin. I don't have a microwave. So I'll cube it with an ancient Sabatier machete.

          2. Is there a supermercado near you that has a slicing machine? Say "Por favor" to the butcher! '-)

            1. Good ideas! I think I will cube this one and use it in a pot of beans. The other one, try the soaking or simmering in wine idea. Thanks, Dee

              4 Replies
              1. re: MazDee

                These suggestions work. I had the same problem with a dry Molinari's salami a couple of months ago. I ended up steaming it in the rice cooker, and then managed to mandoline off most of it for pannini. The rest went into a pot of cannelini beans.

                1. re: trentyzan

                  I put Peruana beans in the crock pot this morning, but later when I saw your post about steaming the salami, I added chorizo to the pot instead! I would rather have my salami on sandwiches or something rather than in a stew or in my beans. I don't have a rice cooker, but I do have a steam insert for a pot. I will try that first. If I still can't cut it, I will chunk it up. The idea of having a butcher slice it is good, but this is so hard (and salami is so difficult to control in a slicer) that I think softening it up first is the best idea. Thanks.

                  1. re: MazDee

                    MazDee, in your OP you say you really enjoy hard salami. So do I! I wasn't joking with my suggestion to ask if your local deli/supermarket will slice it thing for you. "Shave" it. Steaming or cooking in any way will change the flavor and the texture. I love really hard salami shaved paper thin, then wrapped around a hard thin bread stick and served with figs or melon. It's great in a mufaletta. Lots of wonderful things you can do with it. As difficult as it is for you to come by hard salami in Mexico,, I hate to think of you turning it into "chorizo." Butchers work with salami all the time, and what is difficult on a home electric slicer isn't difficult at all on a commercial machine that has a far more stable construction.

                2. In our neighborhood it's possible to rent meat slicers that are capable of handling even hard salami. Once it's sliced, you're free to use it on pizza, in casseroles, etc.
                  Rachael Ray had a recipe floating around for a salami pasta dish with some other ingredients that looked pretty good. I'm not a fan of hers but it's important to give credit where credit is due and this one, as I recall, seemed worthy of the effort.