Italian Mortadella

Mortadella, Italy’s most popular sausage, comes in many styles and dates back to Roman times. This recipe is Mic’s take on the classic mortadella Bologna, named after the region in Italy it comes from, and it has a Tasmanian element in the addition of Tasmanian pepperberries.






Skill level

Mic Giuliani


  • 1–2 full-length natural ox bung
  • 240 ml sweet red wine
  • 6 g ground coriander
  • 1 g ground cinnamon
  • 5 g mace
  • 10 g standard kwikurit (curing compound)
  • 8 g powdered gelatine
  • 475 ml chilled water
  • 200 g pork fat (hard back fat)
  • 4.5 kg pork shoulder meat (no fat)
  • 75 g salt
  • 128 g skim milk powder
  • 25 g Tasmanian dried pepperberries

Cook’s notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Chilling time 6 hours
Resting time 12 hours

You will need to begin this recipe 2–3 days ahead.

Soak the ox bung 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 kwikurit and gelatine to the chilled water, mixing thoroughly to ensure all is dissolved. Set aside.

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

Mince the pork meat through a 10 mm mincer plate into a large bowl or tub. Sprinkle the salt and milk powder over the meat and massage gently through. Add the wine and spices after it has cooled, then the chilled water with dissolved gelatine and kwikurit . Blend thoroughly to ensure that all ingredients have been evenly distributed, then mince the whole mixture again through a 6 mm 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 the mixing the meat and fat, ensure that the meat temperature is kept very low to avoid 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 a fridge for 12 hours or more before eating as beautiful thin slices.

• Sausage casings and curing compounds can be bought at specialist home butchering and sausage-making suppliers, with many offering an online service. Tasmanian pepperberries can be replaced with a mixture of whole black peppercorns and a little ground white pepper.


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