The best part of having a Traeger is really being able to expand your culinary horizons into lands less traveled, saving yourself money and increasing the flavor by making things at home. For example, we used to get our cured meats (salami, pastrami, ham, etc.) at the deli counter. We paid their ridiculously high prices and ate our sausages somewhat begrudgingly. Now with our Traeger, we can cure and smoke all of our favorite deli delights to save a few bucks (and they taste better fresh off the smoker too)!
This salami gets it's sweet flavor from a slather of honey on the outside prior to smoking (bonus: it helps the smoke particles cling to the meat) and it's spicy kick from the red pepper flakes and whole peppercorns. Serve it sliced thin with deli mustards, cheeses, and crackers for an amazing appetizer. Everyone will be ridiculously impressed that you made the salami yourself.
A few tips if this is your first attempt at this kind of sausage:
- Have your butcher run the ground sirloin through their finest grind a second time. This will get the texture of the meat to the perfect place. A little more crumb than a hot dog, and a little less than country style sausage.
-Using the Tenderquick salt really isn't an optional step when home curing something like salami. If you leave out the tenderizing salt, the meat won't bind as nicely or turn that lovely reddish-pink color. You'll end up with a somewhat crumbly pink-grey disaster. (We tested both options when cooking this recipe, just trust us and use the curing salt)
-Since the salami requires a long smoke to come up to temperature, we recommend loading up your grill grate with other things that smoke for long periods of time to get the most use out of your pellets. Think jerky, smoking salts, etc.
Sweet & Spicy Smoked Salami
Prep Time: 2 days
Cook Time: 6-8 hours
Serves: 18-20 as an appetizer
Recommended Pellets: Maple or Mesquite
2 lbs ground sirloin (85/15)
1 tablespoon Morton Tenderquick curing salt
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons whole mustard seed
1-2 teaspoons red pepper flakes (adjust according to taste)
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1-2 tablespoons honey
In a large glass bowl combine the beef, curing salt, worcestershire, pepper, mustard, red pepper flakes and peppercorns. Use your hands to gently distribute the ingredients through the meat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 day.
After the meat has cured for 1 day, lay two pieces of long plastic wrap on top of each other on your work surface. Overturn the meat directly into the middle of the plastic wrap. Use your hands to form the meat into a long log shape.
Pull the plastic wrap around one side and smooth out the edges of the log. Use even pressure across the length to work out any bubbles. Pull the plastic wrap tightly around the other side and overlap the edges of the wrap to create a tight seal. Roll the sausage forward and back with both hands. Once you have the sausage fairly uniform in width, tightly twist the ends of the plastic wrap. Return to the refrigerator for 1 day.
When ready to cook, start the Traeger on Smoke with the lid open for 4-5 minutes to establish the fire. Unwrap the sausage and drizzle with the honey. Place directly on the grill grate, close the lid and smoke for 6-8 hours or until the internal temperature of the sausage reads 170 degrees F with a meat thermometer.
Allow the sausage to cool completely before slicing and serving. Enjoy!
Click below for a printable version of this recipe:
Sweet & Spicy Smoked Salami.docx (15.19 kb)