Pepperoni Sauce

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Published on: August 5, 2012
 

I can’t really take the credit for this sauce, I pinched it from Mike Isabella after watching the Top Chef All-Stars finale (and digging out the recipe).  I have made a few minor changes but for the most part the recipe is the same – it’s just so good I can’t think of many ways to improve it.  It’s pepperoni, as a sauce and it’s dead simple to make, what could be better than that???

The sauce is slightly salt and spicy but the pepperoni you use will make a big difference in the end product.  So my advice is to try the pepperoni raw, on it’s own and if you like it and feel like you could eat the whole thing then use it in the sauce (if you can stop eating it long enough to make it into a sauce).

The sauce is quite flexible and can be used with chicken or pork or you could add it to a tomato sauce, which would make a nice rich meaty sauce for pasta.  I’ve used it with pulled pork and a pork roulade and both worked out really well.  Better still the sauce will keep for several days in the fridge and freezes easily so it can be made well in advance and used on several dishes.

One minor word of caution on the “gluten and lactose free” category… you need to check that the pepperoni you are buying contains no gluten or dairy – processed meats like this often contain one or both.  Thankfully pepperoni seems to be one of the few processed meats that can be found without either gluten or lactose.  Anyway, on with the recipe…

 

Ingredients:

450g Pepperoni (thinly sliced)

400g Canned Tomatoes

5 Cloves of garlic

1 Medium onion

1 Fresh bay leaf

1 tsp Fennel seeds

1 tsp Chilli flakes

350ml Chicken stock

5 Tbsp Extra virgin olive oil

Smoked Maldon sea salt flakes

 

Method:

1.  Using a large heavy pot, set it to a high heat and then toast the fennel seeds.  Give the seeds a shake every now and then to ensure they don’t burn.  When they start to go dark and fragrant they are done – take them out of the pot.

2.  Next add the oil and heat until shimmering.

3.  Dice the onion and finely slice all the garlic, then add to the pot and fry until soft and slightly brown.

4.  Add in the pepperoni and continue cooking and stirring for a further 5-10mins.

5.  Return the toasted fennel seeds to the pot along with the chilli flakes.

6.  Now add the tomatoes, chicken stock and bay leaf.  Stir and cook at a medium heat until the sauce starts to bubble, then reduce the heat slightly and cover.

7.  Cook the sauce for 30mins, the pepperoni should be soft, releasing it’s oils and have a slightly darker colour.

8.  Take the pot off the heat and put it into a blender (in batches if required), blitz until smooth.  You can now allow it to cool and reheat later or simply refrigerate until needed.

 

Tips:

When you cover the sauce and leave it to cook, keep an eye on it by stirring every 10mins or so just to ensure it doesn’t burn.

Depending on the Pepperoni you use, you might find it has too much oil – just add less olive oil at the beginning.

 



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