Preservative Free, Paleo, and Affordable with a Whole30 update
If you’re looking for a simple, preservative-free recipe for homemade sausage that tastes a lot like pepperoni this Homemade Pepperoni Recipe may be JUST the recipe for you.
It’s Clean Eating friendly, Paleo, Gluten-Free, and Allergy Friendly. And I’ve even added some notes about Whole30 as well.
Why Make Homemade Pepperoni?
I’ve meant to make homemade beef pepperoni for quite a while. Why am I making my 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 of hundred pounds of it in the freezer.
I also wanted to make some without nitrites, a preservative in many modern cured meats. I always love a good challenge, and this one was tasty as well.
Old Fashioned Sausages
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’re always prepared.
That sausage also made its 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 beef 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 incredibly close, and perhaps the only difference is hers were smoked and mine are baked with smoke flavor added
Uncured Pepperoni for Whole30 or Paleo Pepperoni
This is an Uncured pepperoni, no pink salts, no preservatives of any kind, so you know you should store it in the refrigerator or freezer and just pull out what you need.
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. The version listed below is already Paleo so have fun!
And of course, you know I made a Spicy Homemade Pepperoni version for my husband. It’s excellent but hot, but I guess that’s the point though.
The nice thing about making it yourself is you can easily modify the heat. But he likes it hot, so I make it for him.
If you like my Homemade Pepperoni Recipes you might like these other recipes as well:
- 2 teaspoons ground black pepper or 3peppercorns*
- 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon dried red pepper or 1of dried pepper flakes
- 2 teaspoons mustard seed
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 pounds very lean beef
- 2 1/2 teaspoons liquid smoke
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 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
- bake for 8 hours
- 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
- slice and use as desired
- **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!