Pepperoni is an all-time favorite. This cured and fermented sausage is absolutely loaded with flavor and aroma.
2kg Pork butt (fat included)
1kg Beef chuck (fat included)
80g Prague powder #2
20ml Cayenne pepper
5ml Dried garlic granules
300ml Dry red wine
1.25ml Ascorbic acid (pure vitamin C)
Step 1: Preparing the Cure
Measure out the Prague powder, sugar, cayenne pepper, paprika, aniseed, garlic granules, red wine and ascorbic acid.
Step 2: Preparing the Meat for Grinding
Cut the pork butt into cubes. For those not in North America, the pork butt is the very top end of the shoulder.
Cut the chuck steak into cubes as well. Don't remove any of the fat from either.
Place all of the meat in a large roasting tin and place this in your freezer for 60 minutes to firm up in preparation for grinding.
Step 3: Combine the Curing Spices
Combine all of the spices and use a fork to break down any lumps.
Step 4: Grinding and Mixing the Meat
After 60 minutes, the meat will be close to frozen, and nice and firm.
Run the 2 meats through the grinder separately using an 8mm or one third inch grinding plate.
Pour the curing spice blend and the wine over the ground meat and massage this into the meat thoroughly while also mixing the pork and beef together.
Tamp the meat down, cover the pan with cling-wrap and transfer this to your refrigerator for 24 hours.
Step 5: Stuff and Tie the Pepperoni
The following day, load the meat into your sausage stuffer.
Attach a 40mm nozzle to the stuffer and crank the handle until the meat reaches the exit of the funnel.
Slide a mini salami casing onto the funnel. (50mm x 250mm)
Apply firm pressure to the casing with one hand while cranking with the other.
The pressure applied is far more than when loosely stuffing sausages.
With cured fermented sausage, you want the filling to be far more compacted, leaving no space for air pockets which could lead to spoiling.
As the filling nears then end of the casing, remove the casing from the funnel and twist off the end.
Place slip knot around the end of the casing and pull it tight while twisting the casing to further compact the filling.Turn the casing over and secure this with a double knot, turn it again, and tie another double knot.
Trim off the ends and continue with remaining pepperonis.
Step 6: Fermenting and Drying the Pepperoni
To ferment and dry the pepperoni, hang them from their loops at a temperature between 10c and 13c with a humidity between 75 and 80 percent for 6 to 12 weeks, depending on how dry and how fermented you want your pepperoni.
NB - the humidity in the drying area has to be high in order to avoid casing - this is when the outside of the pepperoni dries solid while the inside is still soft and mushy. Once the pepperoni has cased it is ruined, and should be thrown away.