Mortadella: A Fine, Fine Sausage


  • 1–2 full-length natural sausage casing
  • 240ml Waipara Hills Pinot Noir
  • 6g ground coriander
  • 1g ground cinnamon
  • 5g mace
  • 10g standard quikcure (curing compound)
  • 8g powdered gelatine
  • 475ml chilled water
  • 200g pork fat (hard back fat)
  • 4.5kg pork shoulder meat (no fat)
  • 75g salt
  • 128g skim milk powder
  • 25g dried pepperberries



Soak the sausage casing in cold water for 1 hour, then rinse well inside and out. Thread onto the sausage nozzle, put it onto a plate and keep in the refrigerator.

In a saucepan, bring the wine to a gentle simmer and then add the coriander, cinnamon and mace. Continue to simmer for a further 20 minutes, until well reduced. Set aside until completely cooled.

Add the quikcure and gelatine to the chilled water, mixing thoroughly to ensure all is dissolved. Set aside.

Dice the pork back fat into roughly 10mm pieces and place in the refrigerator.

Mince the pork meat through a 10mm mincer plate into a large bowl or tub. Sprinkle the salt and milk powder over the meat and massage gently through. Add the spiced wine after it has cooled, then the chilled water with dissolved gelatine and quikcure. Blend thoroughly to ensure that all ingredients have been evenly distributed, then mince the whole mixture again through a 6mm mincer plate.

Evenly distribute the diced fat and pepperberries over the sausage meat and mix carefully, making sure the fat doesn’t get too broken up and squashed. When mixing the meat and fat, ensure the meat temperature is kept very low to avoid the fat softening. Once mixed, place in a container and cover. Make sure there are no air pockets. Place in the refrigerator and chill for 6–7 hours.

Set up and sanitise the sausage cannon. Fill the bowl of the cannon with the forcemeat. Be careful not to leave any air pockets in the mixture, as this will create air pockets in the sausages and you don’t want that. Attach the nozzle to the end of the sausage cannon.

Remove the mixture from the fridge. Start to pump the mixture out the end of the nozzle before you tie off the end (this will also stop air pockets from forming.) Slowly start to crank the cannon and fill the sausage.

Guide the casing out of the cannon as it fills, using your whole hand, onto a clear sterilised work surface. Once it has reached the desired length, stop and tie off the end. Repeat the process until you finish the mixture.

Place the sausage into the smoker after the temperature has reached about 49°C. Smoke heavily, raising the temperature gradually to about 77°C, and hold until the mortadella reaches about 65°C (this can take up to 3–3½ hours). Test with a digital thermometer.

Place mortadella in the fridge for 12 hours or more before eating in beautiful thin slices.


Wine match, 2015 Waipara Hills Waipara Valley Pinot Noir

A darker flavoured Pinot with firm tannins and a silky texture.
The slight greasiness of the sausage and earthy flavours from the mace, cinnamon and coriander will be complemented by the crisp style of the Waipara Hills Pinot Noir.