Thursday, June 30, 2011

Easy to Make - Homemade Pepperoni with No Nitrates!

Tammy's Spicy Pepperoni

Just be forewarned - It tastes good, but it does not taste exactly like Pepperoni, as the spices needs to be tweaked. It does taste like a very good Summer Sausage. Much better than the cheap chemical laden varieties you find in the stores. 

Let's save some money and your health. Make your own pepperoni. Be provident with your own money. You spent your time earning the money, be provident about spending your money. Don't pay for something you can make so easily. 

It doesn't take much sodium nitrite, for example, to greatly increase a person's risk of pancreatic cancer of colon cancer. 
And guess where you find that chemical? Hot dogs, bacon, sausage, pepperoni, ham, lunchmeat and even beef jerky. That's one of the reasons we gave up processed meats. They also cause problems with people's hearts. Don't need a heart attack, just because I want pepperoni, bacon, or a salami sandwich.

You can also tweak the recipe to your own families tastes. Want more fennel? more mustard? add or subtract to your tastes. I would suggest you make it like the recipe the first time, except take out the curing salt and substitute regular table salt. Then the next time, tweak it to your tastes.

You will see in her recipe she used Morton's Tender Quick Curing Salt. This is just Nitrates, which only give the red color to the sausage. Leave it out and keep your body free of the Nitrate poison which is so terrible for your health.

by Tammy 

A spicy dense cured pepperoni recipe. This recipe is very easy to make and has that authentic pepperoni taste.
2 pounds of pepperoni

2 pounds lean ground beef (85% lean or leaner)
2 teaspoons liquid smoke flavoring
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 teaspoons mustard seed
1 1/2 or 2 teaspoons crushed fennel seed*
1 or 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper**
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 heaping teaspoons Morton's Tender Quick curing salt - DO NOT USE. substitute SALT instead. Redmonds Salt is an excellent substitute.
1. Combine seasonings and meat and mix thoroughly, using hands. Cover and refrigerate for 48-72 hours.
2. Form meat into two long logs or rolls. Place a rack (or pan/sheet with drainage) on a cookie sheet and put the logs onto rack. Bake at 200 degrees for 8 hours, rotating logs every 2 hours.
3. Logs will be a bright pink when they are finished, and should be fairly dry and firm. Wipe off excess grease and allow meat to cool. Chill and then slice thinly. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks or freeze for longer storage.
Additional Notes: 
*I crushed mine with a rolling pin; it wasn't extremely crushed, but that's okay: it doesn't need to be very fine.
**Use more if you like hotter pepperoni; use less if you want a milder flavor
Preparation Time: 
10 minutes + 10 minutes, plus slicing
Cooking Time: 
8 hours
Tammy's Review: 
This is a delicious flavorful pepperoni recipe! We think it tastes very very similar to the Hormel (brand) turkey pepperoni we used to purchase.
The texture is also like the Hormel turkey pepperoni: lean and dense. Thinly sliced, this pepperoni will add lots of flavor to your pizza or sub without adding grease.

Homemade pepperoni, step-by-step

A step-by-step photo tutorial on making homemade pepperoni! It's easier than you think!
To begin, place your meat (I use lean ground beef) and seasonings in a large bowl. This was an 8-pound batch (I quadrupled my recipe!) because the meat was on sale this week.
The meat is kneaded so that the spices are thoroughly dispersed. Like making meatloaf! :) Then cover the bowl and refrigerate for 1-3 days, kneading once each day. Pepperoni tastes best if the spices have been permeating the meat for several days before/after cooking. :)
Next, divide the meat and form it into logs. I had to make 2-pound logs, which were thicker than usual, in order to get all 8 pounds of meat on my tray. The tray catches excess grease.
Bake the logs at 200 degrees Farenheit for about 8 hours, turning logs during bakin if desired. I baked mine overnight, so I only turned them once.
When pepperoni is finished baking, allow to cool, and slice. Slicing is the most time-consuming part of making pepperoni!
I put the sliced pepperoni in freezer bags and freeze. Then, I remove some from the bag for pizza, whenever we decide to have that. The pepperoni thaws quickly. It's very handy!

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