If you’re looking for a simple, preservative free recipe for homemade sausage that tastes a lot like pepperoni this may be JUST the recipe for you. Bonus? It’s Clean Eating friendly, Paleo, Gluten Free and Allergy Friendly.
I’ve been meaning to make homemade beef pepperoni for quite a while, actually since we got our beef cow back in November, but between the holidays, the diet (closing in on 40 pounds lost!) and well life in general it took me longer to make than I meant it to. Why am I making my own homemade pepperoni? While we generally enjoy store-bought pepperoni I wanted to know if I could make some using beef because we have a couple hundred pounds of beef in the freezer. I also wanted to make some without nitrites, a preservative in many modern cured meats. I’d like to make some using our home grown pork but I think I’ll need to grind some very lean pork to use, or next year make sure I grind lean pork and package it to make pepperoni.
My mother used to prepare little beef/moose summer sausages every fall and then smoke them in the smoker. All winter long we would have sliced sausage to eat along with smoked salmon, crackers and cheese, if we happened to get company we we’re always prepared. That sausage also made it’s way into sandwiches which were particularly tasty and had a pleasant texture, definitely a change from store bought lunch meat.
While mixing up the meat I noticed two things
- the meat and spices smelled quite a bit like the sausages my mother used to make
- it also really did smell like pepperoni you buy from the store
I let the meat cure for two days, then rolled them into two sausages and baked them for 8 hours in a 200˚ oven. While they don’t taste exactly like the sausages my mother used to make they are extremely close and perhaps the only difference is hers were smoked and mine we’re baked with smoke flavor added. Either way I will definitely be making more versions of this recipe including a burn-your-tongue-off version for my husband.If you are on Whole30 simply leave out the sugar or honey, it will change the taste BUT it will still be awesome. To replace the liquid smoke use real smoked salt OR smoked paprika OR smoke it in a small smoker. Any of those options will make a smoky sausage without the use of liquid smoke. If you’re worried about the liquid replacement then add an equal amount of water.
Homemade Pepperoni Recipe
grind the peppercorns (if using), fennel seeds and the dried red pepper together in a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder
mix all the dry spices together in a bowl and set aside, leave out any spices you dont care for
break up the ground beef in a mixing bowl
sprinkle the dry spices over the meat and mix well
once mixed add the smoke flavor and the honey and mix well
cover tightly and refrigerate for 48-72 hours
to cook: pre-heat oven to 200˚
cover a baking sheet with foil and place a baking rack over it
form the meat into two long sausages, mine were about 12 inches each
roll them firmly on a clean surface until they are well compacted
gently transfer to the prepared baking sheet
try to roll them over every two hours, they will be firm and this will help them maintain their shape and evenly cook
remove after 8 hours and wipe them off
let them cool and wipe again
wrap and store in the fridge until chilled
add more if you prefer a spicier mix or feel free to remove if you can't stand the flavor-I made mine as this recipe reads and they were perfect for little boys, flavorful but not flaming hot **if you want you CAN use Morton's Tender Quick curing salt which will make it pink, mine were made purposely without pink salt which is why they are brown, if you are trying to avoid preservatives yours should be made without pink salt as well If you're looking for a Spicy Hot Homemade Pepperoni I've just recently posted on the blog so hop on over and check it out! And it's Paleo, Whole30 and Gluten Free!
|party food anyone? oops I one!
It was worth the wait and now I know I need to order more ground beef next fall so I can make 50 pounds or so into sausages and make up some packages of very lean pork for a pork version too. I see a very sausage-y future on our snacking horizon.