I tried the recipe for Pizza Pepperoni from the book "Mastering the Craft of Making Sausage"
It calls for fatty pork and lean beef.
I added some pork fat as the butt I used wasn't very fatty as you can see.
I ground it with the smallest diameter plate for my Kitchen Aid. You can see the added fat on top.
The ground meat goes into the fridge for 30 minutes.
I put my stuffer container in the freezer at this point.
I mixed the dry ingredients and then added the liquid.
This is refrigerated for 5 minutes.
I mixed the seasoning mixture with the meat for 2 minutes in the Kitchen Aid.
I then stuffed the mixture into small diameter hog casings with my brand new LEM. Wow, was this easier than trying to use the Kitchen Aid. Thanks so much to the members of the forum who recommended this stuffer. It is great.
I weighed one of the links and marked it. They then went into the fridge overnight and I hung them to dry for a couple of hours.
I cold smoked them for 2 hours over pecan. Here they are after 2 hours smoking.
I then increased the temperature to 170 to 180 and went without smoke for about 10 hours to bring the internal temperature to 160 F. The idea is that the slow cooking reduces the moisture and makes the pepperoni more dense to simulate a long fermentation method.
After reaching temperature, the pepperoni had lost about 20% of its weight.
Here it is out of the smoker.
After cooling over night, here it is cut up.
The verdict: This is better than the cheap pepperoni in the prepared meat section. It has a nice spicy flavour and a firm texture. I did find it a touch sweet and would reduce the corn syrup called for in the recipe. However, there is no contest between this and a high quality fully fermented pepperoni. The texture isn't as solid or smooth. The fermento does add flavour but not the wonderful sharpness of a fermented product. I will make this again to throw on a pizza or a sub sandwich. I would not serve it by itself on a charcuterie plate.