#meatmonday: Deer Pepperoni Sticks
Posted by: Jesse Williams
This year we tried something new when we were making our annual deer sausage- pepperoni's! This called for a different casing than we were used to but overall we think our first attempt was a success. Check out this simple recipe below!
If you've seen our Big Game Sausage recipe, this will follow the same format, except for different spices and casings. You can reference that recipe for lots of tips and tricks in preparing the 60/40 ratio of ground deer to pork that we used.
Ingredients (20lb batch)
20lbs of ground meat (we used 12 lbs deer, 8 lbs pork)
1 pkg Original Wild West Pepperoni Sausage Seasoning (we paid $7.99 at Peavy Mart)
Pepperoni Casings (we purchased them from our local grocery store's butcher division)
Hot water for mixing
This recipe is too easy. After grinding your deer/pork, mix them together with your hands, adding in the package of spices and any hot water you may need to increase the mixability of the pepperoni.
Once you are satisfied that the mixture is well combined, transfer the ground meat to your sausage press. Because pepperoni's are typically much smaller than sausage, we reduced our sausage press tip to about 0.75" diameter, however do whatever your family prefers. This will be larger than the traditional 'Hot Rods' you get at the convenience store, but makes for a great snack!
Push the casings onto the tip of the sausage press. You will notice that they are a lot stiffer than your sheep gut casings you might be used to with sausage. They're also red. Very red. And that dye will get everywhere! I would highly recommend laying down a plastic sheet on your table as the red dye could turn light colored tables pink!.
We tried pinching the pepperoni's into individual sizes as it came out of the press, but quickly found out that wasn't very efficient. I would recommend just making one big coil of pepperoni until you run out of casings, then pinch them off after.
The last step is to cold smoke the pepperoni's so that they are ready for snacking. We use a small propane powered smoker, and although we can't fit a lot in at a time, its quite effortless- just put them in and forget them.
We smoked our pepperoni's for about 4 hours. Check often to ensure you are not burning them, but that they are still cooked all the way through, as we don't cook them again before eating them.
We then just packaged them in Ziploc freezer bags and threw them in the freezer for easy access whenever we want a snack!
You may also like these other #meatmonday recipes...
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