Getting the flavor right - American Pepperoni

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Fishhead
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Getting the flavor right - American Pepperoni

Post by Fishhead » Tue Jun 22, 2021 18:03

I have been trying to make some American style pepperoni that duplicates the flavor of commercial pepperoni such as made by companies such as Gallo or Hormel. My recipe is based upon that of Marianski and Marinski. This is the fast fermented , semi-dried variety. I use LHP culture and let it ferment at 95' F and 90% humidity for 48 hours. And then cooked in my smoker until the internal temperature reaches 140' F. This is my spice list:

2.50% Salt
0.25% Cure #1
1.00% Dextrose
1.00% Sugar
0.64% Paprika
0.45% Pepper, Cayenne
0.09% Garlic Powder
0.07% Allspice
0.16% Red Pepper flakes and seeds
0.36% Mustard Seeds - whole crushed
0.89% Anise Seeds - whole crushed
0.45% Fennel seeds - whole crushed
0.45% Black Pepper - whole crushed

The percentages are of the total weight of pork, beef, and fat used. I weigh each out on a scale in grams to ensure consistency.

The end product has good texture and flavor. It has a pronounced sour taste. But lack the "jump out at you" taste of pepperoni. The flavor is more subtle and develops as the sausage is chewed.

I have wondered if I am using the wrong Paprika. This was purchased from The Sausage Maker in Buffalo, NY and provides no mention of hot or sweet or smoked.

Then again I may be missing something altogether or have the wrong proportions.

Any suggestion to improve the taste are welcome.
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Bob K
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Re: Getting the flavor right - American Pepperoni

Post by Bob K » Wed Jun 23, 2021 12:44

Fishhead-
You probably have too many different spices in the mix.Remember its called PEPPERoni ! :D Also the Paprika adds little to the flavor as it is usually overpowered by the peppers, it is essential for the color though.As far the heat cayenne varies so make adjustments to your personal taste.
This a recipe for dry cured but just substitute your sugar amounts and type of culture and cure for fast fermented, it has a wonderful pepperoni smell and taste.
Cajun Eric made a video on making it it can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7-hoSfSE08&t=66s
Bob K wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 15:14
Pizza Pepperoni.


Pork 60%
Beef 25%
Back fat 15%

Per 1000 gram (1 kilo)

Salt 25 grams
Cure #2 2.5 gr
Dextrose 4 gr
Sugar 3 gr
Black Pepper 3 gr
White Pepper 1 gr
Paprika 8 gr
Fennel 3.0 gr
Anise 2.0 gr
60k Cayenne 2 gr
Fishhead
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Re: Getting the flavor right - American Pepperoni

Post by Fishhead » Thu Jun 24, 2021 02:41

Bob K, thanks for the reply. You said that I likely have too many spices in my mix. Could the additional spices actually be toning down the pepperoni flavor? I am a fan of spicy foods and have added cayenne and other hot peppers to all sorts of dishes, but I have never tasted a pepper that came close to the unique flavor of pepperoni. I have assumed that the pepperoni flavor was a result of several spices including hot peppers achieving some magic blend.

You comment about paprika is consistent with my thoughts about paprika. Little flavor but looks good sprinkled on top of a bowl of potato salad. I mentioned it because my son after tasting my pepperoni had commented that the smoked paprika that he has had, had a very unique flavor. I guess I was hoping for a simple substitution that would produce the flavor I am seeking.

I will take your advice and simplify my recipe next batch. I am on a quest for the perfect pepperoni. I will keep searching.
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Bob K
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Re: Getting the flavor right - American Pepperoni

Post by Bob K » Thu Jun 24, 2021 16:45

Fishhead wrote:
Thu Jun 24, 2021 02:41
Could the additional spices actually be toning down the pepperoni flavor?
It is confusing it. Pepperoni like Genoa is a simple recipe with few spices, change it too much and you have a different product.
And yes smoked paprika is a different flavor altogether I use smoked Spanish paprika in a chili recipe and it is wonderful. But it would overpower pepperoni which traditionally is not smoked.
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