Sopressata is an Italian salume which is pressed whilst fermenting which gives it a square shape (hence the name – pressare is “to press” in Italian) Recipe adapted from Salume book.

I used these ingredients

  • 1700g pork shoulder
  • 400g pork backfat
  • 37.2g sea salt
  • 6g cure #2
  • 65g skimmed milk powder
  • 29g dextrose
  • 3g white pepper
  • 5g minced garlic
  • 3g hot pepper flakes
  • 60 ml white wine
  • T-SPX starter culture
  • distilled / spring water
  • Ox runners (about 6ft)


Soak the ox runners in some luke warm water for a couple of hours, change the water every so often, then rinse them thoroughly through with more cold water.

Open a beer.

Put all the blades for the mincer into the freezer, along with the meat. Wait until the meat was partially frozen then grind it through the coarse plate on the mincer.

I was going to cut all the fat by hand, but I chopped it coarsely then ran it through the mincer too. I think chopping by hand would have been better.

Mix everything apart from the starter culture thoroughly together, and put it all back into the fridge.

Prepare the starter culture. I boiled about a cup full of spring water then let it cool and mixed the T-SPX into it, then set it aside to wake up while I drank another beer.

Mix the T-SPX solution into the sausage mix and then stuff the mixture into the casings.

Sopressata stuffed into beef runners
Stuffed into beef runners

It now needs pressing. I got 2 baking trays and some cling film, and weighed them down with books.

pressing sopressata
pressing sopressata

I left these on top of the fridge to ferment for 48 hours. I wrapped it all up in a plastic bag to maintain humidity. The temperature was a solid 21-22C throughout, and using the graphs in “the art of making fermented sausages”, I estimated that this would be enough.

After pressing
After pressing

What I hadn’t accounted for was my shoddy tie job splitting at the ends of the sausages, that’s why one of these is in mesh as I had to retie it. Oh well. I weighed and labelled them and then inoculated the outside with some mould I had harvested from my finocchiona, then hung them up in the chamber at 75% RH and 12C.

Hanging in the chamber
Hanging in the chamber

Every week or so I took them out and recorded the weight loss on the label, then re-hung them.

weighing session
weighing session – some decent mould coming on

They lost weight pretty quickly. After just over a month they’re at 40% weight loss, and smelling great. I couldn’t wait any longer

Sopressata sliced
Sopressata sliced
Sopressata sliced overhead
Sopressata sliced overhead
Sopressata sliced closeup
Sopressata sliced closeup

Overall I’m really pleased with these, especially having thrown my first attempt away The pics above are at 40% weight loss. I think they’ll be even better at 50% as they’re a little soft, so I’ll let some go to that and report back. Flavour-wise, they’re super twangy from the t-spx, with good fat definition (although I’ll try some where I’ve cut the fat manually to compare). I don’t get much pepper coming through so I’ll increase it a bit next time, and maybe (just maybe) drop the fat percentage a little.

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