Bear Pepperoni
Apr 23, 2024
Food

Making Bear Pepperoni in the Bradley Smoker Professional P10

The Silvercore Club has partnered with Bradley Smokers to provide our club members with a couple of amazing promotions for the month of July.  Bradley Smokers has donated a Bradley Smoker Professional P10 for Silvercore to give away to one very lucky Silvercore Club member.  All you have to do is win this smoker is be an active Silvercore Club member, that’s it!!!  Keep your eyes peeled on our various Silvercore social media accounts to see if you’ve won.  We will announce the winner Friday, July 31, 2020.  

We have had the privilege of running our own Bradley Smoker Professional P10 through it’s paces, and are so excited to be able to give one of these away to one of you!  This is Bradley’s New Hot Smoker! With 4 Racks, 1000W heating elements, smoke for up to 10 hours with no refill, completely insulated and professional grade 76L stainless steel body design, this smoker is a game changer.

Bradley Smoker Giveaway Poster

Additionally, Bradley Smokers is Extending a 20% Discount for All Regularly Priced Items on www.bradleysmokers.com for Active Silvercore Club Members.

The code can be found by logging into your Silvercore account here and looking under coupons.This offer is for the month of July only, so if you can’t wait to see if you are the lucky winner of the Bradley Smoker Professional P10, you can purchase one for yourself on the website.

Bear Pepperoni with Text

We wanted to create a recipe to showcase this amazing smoker as well as an under appreciated (undeservedly so) game meat: black bear.  Bear meat has a bit of a bad rep for being fishy or off tasting, as well as the dreaded fear of trichinosis.  Properly handled and harvested bear taken from areas away from a spawning fish stream or around dense human populations however, is one of the most fantastic game meats available.  If you’ve never had it, think of it as a mix between grass fed beef and heritage breed pork.  And just like pork, don’t serve bear rare.  If you ensure that you always cook bear meat to at least 160ºF, you have nothing to worry about.  Stews, braises, fully cooked sausages like this pepperoni will showcase this abundant game meat in a safe and delicious way.

Spring black bear season is now over for 2020, and hopefully you were able to get out and do some social distancing and see some of the beautiful outdoors in your neck of the woods.  If you were lucky enough to fill a tag (or two) this recipe is an easy and delicious way to utilize your bear meat.  This recipe can easily be modified to utilize moose, elk, venison or even beef if you prefer.

Spring bear can be quite lean, so the mix needs pork and pork fat to add much needed moisture.  There are a huge variety of commercially produced pre-mixed cures and seasonings to use for sausages, but most are full of fillers and who-knows-how-old spices.  We’ve developed a recipe that allows you full control of what goes into your sausage and no added ingredients that you don’t want to eat.  You spend all this time and money to provide a healthy, sustainable meat for you and your family, why would you ruin it by adding less than amazing seasonings?

Bear, like pork can carry trichinosis, so it’s very important to ensure that your pepperoni has reached an internal temperature of 160ºF.  If you’ve reached a point where you feel the pepperoni has been smoked to your liking but it hasn’t reached at least 160ºF, you can pull them out and finish in the oven to be safe.

You will need a couple of pieces of equipment to make this recipe, most of which can be sourced online or your local hunting shop.  Ideally, you have a grinder, but if all you have is pre-ground meat from the butcher, that will work too.  You will also need a sausage stuffer and a smoker. 

Ingredients:

8 Lbs. Pork shoulder
8 Lbs. Bear meat trimmed of as much fat and sinew as possible
6 Tbs. Salt
4 Tbs. Spanish paprika
2 Tbs. Cayenne pepper
3 Tbs. Crushed Calabrian chile flakes
1.5 Tbs. Black pepper coarsely ground
1 Tbs. White pepper coarsely ground
1 Tbs. Prague powder #1 (pink salt)
1 Tbs. Mace ground
1.5 Tbs. Sugar
3 Tbs. Ground Mustard
3 Tbs. Ground Coriander
6 Tbs. Milk powder
1 1/2 cups Fermento or powdered buttermilk
1 litre ice cold water

Bear Pepperoni in Dish

Method:

Trim your bear meat and remove as much sinew and fat as possible.  Cut into 1 inch square cubes.  Cut the pork into 1 inch cubes, but make sure to leave all the fat attached.  If you are working with a leaner pork shoulder (or one that has already been trimmed of most of its external fat) you can add pork back fat to increase the fat content.  As mentioned previously, spring bear is very lean and you will need to add pork fat to the mix to ensure that the pepperoni isn’t unpleasantly dry and crumbly.

Put the meat in the refrigerator or in the freezer for 30 minutes to ensure that it is very cold.  Assemble all your spices and meat grinder.  Grind the meats through the coarse plate first and then run through a second time on the fine plate. Add the spices and water, mix very well with your hands to ensure that the mixture is well combined. 

Using a sausage stuffer, stuff the mixture into 19mm to 22mm collagen casings.  I usually twist into lengths the maximum width I can fit into my Bradley Smoker trays (11 in).  

Load your Bradley smoker with bisquettes.  I’ve used oak and maple bisquettes for this recipe, and loved both.  Feel free to experiment with the different woods to see what you like best. 

Once your pepperoni are stuffed into the casings, place them on the trays in the smoker (or hang them in the smoker if you prefer) and dry for about 1 hr. at 130º F (no smoke during this drying period).  

After the first hour of drying, increase the temperature to 150ºF for about 3 hrs and you now add smoke. After three hours, increase the smoker temperature to 180ºF and smoke until the pepperoni reach an internal temperature of at least 160ºF.  Keep an eye on the pepperoni, you just need to get above 160ºF, but you don’t want to go much higher or the texture will be too dry.  

Once the pepperoni have reached the 160ºF temperature, remove them from the smoker and allow them to cool (if you can resist eating all 16 pounds of pepperoni right then and there).  If you prefer a drier and firmer pepperoni, you can hang them in a refrigerator to dry out to the texture you like.

These freeze very well if you want to store some to enjoy throughout the year.  Vacuum sealing works the best to extend the life of your pepperoni and prevent freezer burn.

Tiffany Bader

https://www.instagram.com/silvercoreoutdoors

https://www.instagram.com/bader.tiffany/

Summary of Rules

To enter Silvercore Advanced Training System’s (hereafter “Silvercore”) “BradleySmokerGiveaway” (hereafter the “giveaway”) all you need to do is be an active Silvercore Club Member

  • Entries for the giveaway will be accepted between the event dates of July 2 2020 until July 30 2020 by 12:00AM (midnight). By July 31 2020 we will have gathered all active Silvercore Club Member details and one (1) recipient of the “draw gift” will be randomly picked from all collected. As entries will be closed on July 30 2020, any received thereafter are voided.
  • The “draw gift” recipient will be announced in a Silvercore Podcast and will require a response from the recipient within 2 weeks of the announcement. If Silvercore does not receive a response within these 2 weeks or if the recipient doesn’t meet the requirements to be able to receive the gift, a new recipient will be determined in a future promotion.
  • The giveaway can be entered once per person.
  • Silvercore staff members are excluded from entering the giveaway.
  • Silvercore retains the right to cancel the giveaway or change the giveaway rules and draw gift at any time without prior notice.
  • Some draw gifts will require the recipient to be in the possession of a valid PAL license and/or be aged 18 years or older. 
  • Draw gift(s) may not be exactly as shown in the images portrayed on advertisements for these giveaways.
  • Draw gift(s) have no cash value, and are non-transferable and not redeemable for cash or other items or courses.
  • Recipient of draw gift(s) will be required to take care of shipping or pickup of item.

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