nitrate free pepperoni
See how gray it looks? That's because I used Real Salt (sea salt) instead of curring salts which have all the nitrates and fake pink color (they do this so people won't mistake it for table salt). That pink dye also gives sausages of all types that nice color we are all so used too.
All the flavor was still in there and I figured if I'm making this homemade I want it to be as healthy as possible for my family. So why would I add the nitrates? Because I didn't use the pink salt I can't just leave this out in my pantry like you could with some of the store bought stuff. If you do to try this recipe and decide to go "all natural" please make sure that you store all your extra pepperoni in the freezer until needed. Safety people safety!
I've checked out many sites on the food safety and we have been making nitrate free beef jerky for years so I felt confident with this recipe. BUT please don't take my word for it. Check things out for yourself :)
I did use 2 pounds of very lean grass fed ground beef and spices from my own garden! I was very excited about this :) I'm always looking for fun, do it yourself challenges. I did grind up all my spices to a fine powder in the blender which I highly recommend. Then I let the meat marinate for 2 1/2 days. The cooking time was 8 hours and was really easy to forget about so I highly recommend a timer. Super easy!
Will I continue to make my own pepperoni? Yes, I think I will.
Would I serve it to guest? Depends on the guest. For some it may not be normal enough. Most of us eat with our eyes and noses. The nose is covered and if you can trick your eyes into thinking its sliced meatballs then you're good to go!
Anyone want to stop by and try some? By the way this recipe makes 4 rolls.
Oh and I'm linking up with Homestead Revival's Barn Hop!