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Pepperoni


Ingredients:

10 lbs. beef,pork, or any mixture
2 level teaspoons Prague Powder #1
6 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons powdered dextrose
1 tablespoon ground hot pepper
1 teaspoon allspice
5 teaspoons ground anise seed
2 cups soy protein concentrate
1 pint water
3 ounces Fermento
1 1/2 ounces corn syrup solids


Directions:

Grind the meat, add remaining ingredients, stuff into casings. Dry at 125º F for a couple of hours, then cook at 165º until internal temperature is 145º. Edible immediately, but you can let it sit in the fridge to dry out. I put it in the vegetable drawer on a rack so air can reach both sides. It will lose about 30% of its weight over the course of a few weeks Okay, you say - I though this was supposed to be simple - what’s this “soy protein”,“powdered dextrose”, and “corn syrup solids” doing in there? Okay, I say, soy protein is a filler, in there to absorb fat and hold moisture.You can use non-fat dried milk instead. But, whatever you use, use about half of what this recipe calls for.Too much gives a mealy texture that is not pleasing, though this effect lessens with time.The dextrose is there to feed the fermenting. If you decide to add vinegar instead, just forget about it - or add any simple sugar such as honey.The corn syrup solids also aid fermenting, but are mostly there for their binding effect. Using honey combines this essential with the fermentation food.You don’t think that 16th-century sausage makers were using this stuff, do you? They are just conveniences, not essential to flavor or safety.What’s essential for the flavor is the salt, anise, and pepper. Notice there is no black pepper in here.Also no garlic or fennel, but you can add any of those things if you like. Form the meat into “logs” and wrap in saran wrap instad of stuffing. Let them rest in the fridge a few days for the cure to work.The salt and cure will harden the meat and some fermentation will take place.Now, we want to slowly dry it in the oven. Set the temperature as low as possible (150º F or greater), 165º is fine - not any higher. Rotate the rolls every couple of hours to keep the drying even. 10 hours should do the trick. Let them cool to room temperature then take ‘em to the fridge.