Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Homemade pepperoni...

is actually pretty easy.

Our local Costco hasn't had pepperoni in for quite awhile (more's the pity.)

While cruising around the internet which due to many thunderstorms has been spotty (hence the lack of posts), I stumbled unto this recipe at Tammy's Recipes - an excellent, excellent site!!

Tammy's Spicy Pepperoni

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

Yield:  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

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
Tammy has step by step photos (in case you don't know what a bowl of ground beef looks like.) 

I used three pounds of lean ground beef (from Costco) and adjusted the seasoning accordingly. 

And look what I got:

Each roll is about 10" long and 1 1/2" in diameter.  It's a little drier than the store bought and I think that is due to the extremely low fat content of Costco ground beef.  Next time I'm going to add a bit of olive oil and decrease cooking time by an hour or two.  

The hardest part was making the rolls with the meat right out of the fridge.  Next time I'll allow the meat to come to room temperature before making the rolls so they will end up more firmly packed and denser. 

Is it good?? Yes!!

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