Posted: 24/05/2019

NI firms join forces for first buffalo salami

More innovation emerged last month from Northern Ireland’s burgeoning charcuterie sector with the launch of the UK’s first buffalo salami.

It is a joint venture between established charcutier Alastair Crown of Corndale Farm and butcher Barry O’Brian of Ballyriff Farm, in Magherafelt, whose family runs a herd of over 60 water buffalo on pastures close to Lough Neagh.

Formerly a beef farm, Ballyriff is now one of only two buffalo meat producers on the island of Ireland.

According to O’Brian, buffalo meat contains half the fat, up to 60% less cholesterol and twice the calcium and protein of conventional beef. He has already launched a range of burgers, sausages silverside roasts and steaks as part of a wider farm diversification.

Corndale is handling manufacturing and packaging of the new salami at the production unit in Limavady where it makes fermented sausages and whole-muscle meats from its own free-range pigs. 

It also produces venison salami using wild sika deer from Baronscourt Estate, and Crown has worked with Broughgammon Farm at Ballycastle to create a veal salami.

While beef salamis are starting to appear in the UK artisan sector, Crown told FFD buffalo was “next level”. “It’s a beautiful meat – leaner than pork, but it has a wonderful sweetness and almost gamey flavour,” he said. “We blend it with some of our own free-range pork fat to help bind the salami but also to achieve the correct texture.”

A buffalo picante chorizo, based on Corndale’s own award-winning pork chorizo recipe, has been developed “for those that like it hot”, and buffalo bresaola is also in the pipeline. “We’ve done trials and the end product has been fantastic,” Crown told FFD. “Bigger batches are currently maturing and will be available soon.”

The salami is being introduced at markets across Northern Ireland and sampled with local chefs.

This story appeared in the May issue of Fine Food Digest. You can read more on the digital edition here.

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