EXTRA SPICY SMOKED PEPPERONI
If you can't find a pepperoni spicy enough, it's time to make your own! While this recipe contains many types of heat, additional ingredients can be added and amounts can be changed to suit any heat-tolerance level. The rule of thumb with peppers is if using fresh, be sure to saute them first; if using whole dried, be sure to grind them in a coffee grinder or with a mortar and pestle; if using pickled, canned or jarred, be sure to blot excess moisture with a paper towel or clean dishcloth before adding to the meat mixture. Beef, pork, turkey, wild game or game-birds can be used as the meat in these custom, flavorful pepperoni sticks.
2.5 pounds ground meat of choice*
10 teaspoons Smokehouse Texas Hot Sausage Mix
1/3 cup canned diced hot jalapeno peppers
2 tablespoons gochujang (red chili paste)
2 tablespoons hot sauce
1 tablespoon red chili flakes
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Black pepper for coating if desired
Blot jalapeno peppers with a paper towel to remove excess moisture. In a large bowl, mix ground meat with Smokehouse Texas Hot Sausage Mix, jalapeno peppers, gochujang, hot sauce, chili flakes and cayenne pepper until thoroughly combined.
Make sure the seasoning gets fully incorporated into the ground meat. Rubber gloved hands seem to work the best. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate over night.
Set up the Smokehouse Jerky Gun with the sausage attachment. Fill the Smokehouse Jerky Gun with pepperoni mixture. Squeeze the pepperoni mixture directly on to smoker racks, cutting to desired length.
If coating the pepperoni with black pepper it can be sprinkled on at this time.
Smoke 6-10 hours or until pepperoni reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees. Replace smoke chips up to 3 times for a heavy smoke flavor, 2 times for medium smoke and once for a mild smoke flavor. Pepperoni can be smoked for as little as 1 hour and finished in a 150 degree oven or food dehydrator.
Keep pepperoni refrigerated or vacuum seal and freeze for longer term storage.
*Please note, if using all wild game for pepperoni, the pepperoni sticks will have a more dry, jerky texture and be very dark as pictured here. Ground pork or higher fat beef can be added to wild game to attain a more typical pepperoni stick.