Pizza Pepperoni

I have my new Bradley P10 Smoker and it is time to try it out. We make a lot of homemade pizza and I like pepperoni made into a larger diameter sausage forpizzas. As I wanted to use the lower temperature of the Bradley to make sausages, Pizza Pepperoni would be a great place to start.

However, there is a problem. She Who Must Be Obeyed doesn’t like hot pepperoni and admonished me to make a mild version for our pizzas. She must be obeyed and I have made this version as a mild pepperoni that you can serve to kids or those of delicate demeanor.

I will be making this sausage with Prague Powder #1 (also known as Instacure #1, Pink Salt #1 and other names, look for a product that is 92.75% salt and 6.25% sodium nitrite). This gives sausage and bacon its great pink colour and is a preservative. In large amounts, it is unhealthy so make sure you use exactly the amount in the recipe.

Another important point about sausage making is that it is critical to keep the meat very cold. It grinds better and gives a superior texture to the finished product.

To start, you need 1 kg (2.2 pounds) meat. You need between 10% to 20% fat content. I like a blend of pork and beef but a blend of game meat and pork is also delicious. It can be made of all beef or pork as well.

For this recipe, I used 400 grams (1 pound) of pork loin with a good fat layer and 600 grams (1.2 pounds) of regular ground beef.

I cut the pork loin into cubes and ground it through the medium plate on my meat grinder. I put the pork in the fridge to chill.

I made a slurry by mixing:

  • 20 ml (4 teaspoons) kosher salt
  • 5 ml (1 teaspoon) buttermilk powder
  • 4 ml (3/4 teaspoon) coarse ground pepper
  • 4 ml (3/4 teaspoon) garlic powder
  • 3 ml (1/2 teaspoon) cayenne
  • 3 ml (1/2 teaspoon) fennel seed
  • 2.6 grams (2 ml) (2/5 teaspoon) Prague powder #1
  • 2 ml (1/2 teaspoon) sugar
  • 1 ml (1/4 teaspoon) allspice
  • 75 ml (1/3 cup) ice water

Spread the pork and ground beef over a tray. Poke holes in the meat with your fingers and pour the slurry over the meat.

Mix the meat by folding it over in half, pressing down and then turning the tray 1/4 turn. Continue folding, pressing and turning for 3 minutes.

Put the meat in the fridge and chill for one hour.

Put the meat in the bowl of your stand mixer and attach the paddle. Beat at medium for two to three minutes until the meat is pasty and sticky.

Refrigerate the meat for 1 hour.

While the meat is chilling,

Soak a 2 1/2 inch diameter, 18 inch long, fibrous casing in warm water. Fibrous casings are not edible but do allow smoke to pass through them.

Using a sausage stuffer, stuff the casing with the meat mixture and Tie off the end. Put it in the fridge overnight.

I preheated my Bradley smoker to 140 F (60 C) without smoke. I hung the sausage in the smoker and smoked for 20 minutes without smoke. I started the smoke and continued cooking at 140 F (60 C) for 40 minutes more.

I increased the temperature to 150 F (65 C) and smoked and cooked for 1 hour.

Increased the temperature to 160 F (70 C) and cooked for 1 hour without smoke

I increased the temperature to 170 F (76 C) and cooked for 1 hour.

Increased the temperature to 180 F (82 C) and cooked until the internal temperature of the sausage was 155 F (68 C).

I put the sausage in ice water to stop the cooking and then I hung it at room temperature for 2 hours. Then, let it rest in the fridge overnight before serving. Freeze any that will not be used in the next week.

The Verdict

First, I will address how the Bradley did. I got it to do sausages and it turned out great. The temperatures were stable, the probes that came with the unit were accurate and I had total control over the smoke. It is perfect for making sausage.

As for the pepperoni, it taste good but wasn’t spicy enough. However, She Who Must Be Obeyed said it was a perfect level of spice. She is never wrong.

The Old Fat Guy

Pizza Pepperoni

Pizza Pepperoni

Ingredients

  • 1 kg (2.2 pounds) meat with 20 % fat.
  • 20 ml (4 teaspoons) kosher salt
  • 5 ml (1 teaspoon) buttermilk powder
  • 4 ml (3/4 teaspoon) coarse ground pepper
  • 4 ml (3/4 teaspoon) garlic powder
  • 3 ml (1/2 teaspoon) cayenne
  • 3 ml (1/2 teaspoon) fennel seed
  • 2.6 grams (2 ml) (2/5 teaspoon) Prague powder #1
  • 2 ml (1/2 teaspoon) sugar
  • 1 ml (1/4 teaspoon) allspice
  • 75 ml (1/3 cup) ice water
  • 2 1/2 inch diameter, 18 inch long fibrous casing.

Instructions

  1. Grind the meat through a medium plate of a grinder. Refrigerate the meat.
  2. Make a slurry out of the remaining ingredients.
  3. Put the meat on a tray and poke holes with your fingers.
  4. Pour the slurry over the meat and mix well with your hands for 3 minutes.
  5. Refrigerate the meat.
  6. Put the meat in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attached and mix at medium speed for 2-3 minutes until the meat is pasty and sticky.
  7. Refrigerate the meat.
  8. While the meat is chilling, soak the fibrous casing in warm water.
  9. Stuff the meat in the fibrous casing and tie off the end. Refrigerate overnight.
  10. Cook the sausage at 140 F (60 C) for 20 minutes without smoke.
  11. Cook for 40 minutes more with smoke.
  12. Smoke for 1 hour more at 150 F (65 C).
  13. Smoke for 1 hour at 160 F. (70 C)
  14. Smoke for 1 hour at 170 F (77 C).
  15. Smoke at 180 F (82 C) until the internal temperature of the pepperoni is 155 F. (68 C)
  16. Put the sausage in ice water to stop the cooking.
  17. Hang at room temperature for 2 hours.
  18. Refrigerate overnight.
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