Thursday, June 28, 2012

Smoked Meatloaf and garlic bologna

Anticipating 100 + deg. forecast for Thursday I did a meatloaf and some garlic ring bologna Wednesday. When I have room sometimes I throw on some ring bologna from my butcher Kah’s. I usually cut slits on both sides to get some more smoke flavor.

I can remember as a young kid my Mother would takes us in to Tubby Williams ice cream parlor for a fried bologna sandwich, ½ inch thick, at 10 cents each! My butcher Kah Meats used to make a great old fashioned bung bologna but quit since it wasn’t selling well. His ring bologna is now my favorite.

I love smoked bologna and I love garlic so this time I just cut a little deeper diagonally on one side and added some sliced garlic.

I made up the meatloaf and got it on smoke mode, then got the ring bologna made up & on, left on smoke mode for one hour then went to 275 deg until the meatloaf was 160 deg. IT. A little over 2 hours total cook time.

I let the meatloaf cool & tried the bologna; it was so good I ate about half the ring and all of the garlic slices.

The meatloaf was good but a little dry so won’t bother you with any details on it. Basically it was ground beef, sausage, salsa, sharp cheddar, seasoning, 2 eggs and some cracker crumbs. I dusted with smoked paprika. My wife heated hers up for supper and I had a cold meatloaf sandwich. She thought it was dry but it worked for me in a sandwich.

By lunch time tomorrow the bologna will be all gone!

Meatloaf ready to smoke

Bologna & garlic ready

After 1 hour of smoke

Baologna done

Meatloaf done

Smokin Don

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

My Philly Cheese Steak

Nothing fancy here just my version of a Philly beef steak sandwich. Sandwiches & light fare has been working well for these hot summer days. Sunday evening was a get your own night here. My son is off to school, the wife & daughter in law fixed salads and the grandson had tacos from Taco Bell; I gotta work on that kid!

This made it easy to prepare one sandwich for myself. I caramelized some Vidalia onions in my carbon steel skillet. I browned up some of the round sirloin tip in the same skillet. I divided it on both halves of a soft white hoagie bun. On one half went a good portion of the onions and two layers of sliced baby Swiss cheese on the other. Then under the broiler to get the cheese all bubbly & brown. Sure tasted good.

I first posted this on pelletheads forum. One said I needed to use cheese whiz, one from Philadelphia I think was offended by my calling it ‘Philly Cheese Steak’. From what I read if it is beef, usually eye of round or top round thinly sliced & sometimes chopped served on a bun with cheese added it qualifies to be called a Philly cheese steak.

For alls info, the first Philly beef steak sold at what is now Pats was with no cheese in the early 1930's later provolone was added and American cheese is also used. Cheese Whiz didn't come along until the early 1950's. Pat's & Geno's are the two favorites in Philadelphia, located across the street from each other. Both places offer provolone, American, or cheese whiz as well as other toppings. Both say cheese whiz is by far the most favored.

An easy sandwich that can be made with about any left over beef. My favorite cheese for any sandwich is Swiss cheese, then provolone, and sharp cheddar I like on burgers too.

Browning the beef

Sandwich assembled


Ready to eat

Smokin Don

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Two Beef Roasts

I wanted to do up a beef roast & slice up for sandwiches. I had not done a round sirloin tip roast for awhile; WalMart usually had some large ones and at a better price than my butchers. When I went for one Friday all they had were small ones, 2 to 3 lbs. I decided I would do two, one round sirloin tip roast and one eye of round. This would give me a good chance to compare & see which I liked the best.

I made up a rub of equal parts, gray sea salt, fresh ground pepper, dried minced garlic, dried minced onion and dried parsley. I coated both roasts well wrapped in saran wrap & in the fridge over night.

I made up an injection of 1 cup beef broth, 2 cloves of garlic smashed, 1 Tbs. Worcestershire and 1 tsp. Adolph’s meat tenderizer no MSG. I brought all to a boil then let cool & in the fridge.

I injected both roasts and saved the rest for basting. I tied the round sirloin roast. I did them on smoke 170 deg for 45 min. I then edged my temp up to 275 deg. for the rest of the cook. In just over 2 hr. total they were up to 138 deg. Pulled them tented with foil & a towel & let rest for ½ hour. Uncovered & when cool enough went in the fridge for about 3 hours. I basted twice during the cook.

I had planned on searing at the end but liked the way the crust looked so left alone. The round sirloin tip was a little rarer than I like but probably better for reheating. I think the sirloin was a little more tender than the eye of round and just a tad tastier; but all I have done have the line of gristle through it. I don’t mind when sliced thin in a sandwich but some people do. For this reason I will probably use the eye of round in the future. Both sliced up nice & were moist.

I browned up some for sandwiches Saturday evening along with some more wilted lettuce. I had my sandwich with some Dijon mustard & Claussen’s dill pickles. The lettuce was from my garden.

Ready for the smoker

Done and ready for the fridge

Sliced eye of round

Sliced round sirloin tip

This will make some good sandwiches

My sandwich & salad

Smokin Don

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Cheeseburgers and wilted lettuce

Every summer I look forward to 3 fresh produce from the garden, wilted lettuce, tomatoes, and corn on the cob or roasten ears as we call them. I had some good tomatoes from Tennessee earlier but now I have to wait on the ones in my garden. In a couple of weeks should be getting some roasten ears.

My lettuce did not do well but a good neighbor brought me a big batch of their leaf lettuce so I would have my wilted lettuce. I fried up some lardons, that’s fancy chef’s talk for diced up bacon, with Kah’s bacon. Chefs like to use fancy terms to confuse us cooks, like chiffinade; which really is long very thin slices of leafy veggies like basil or spinach.

I fried up the bacon & saved 2 to 3 Tbs. of the grease. When my burgers were about ready I heated up the bacon grease, added a couple slices of onions to sauté, then added ¼ cup of vinegar, and 2 Tbs. sugar, poured over the lettuce, mixed well and added the lardons, bacon bits.

I finally tried the cast iron grate from my Weber Q100 for the burgers in my Treager at 300 deg. I was getting some sear & should do better at higher temps. I was using premade patties from my butcher Kah’s, thinner than my usual. I found to get my grandson to eat them I had to make them closer to McDonald’s size!

I preheated my Traeger to 300 deg. and did the burgers for 30 min. turning at 20 min. Then went in & made my wilted lettuce. I added some of my smoked sharp cheddar to the burgers, after about 3 min. topped with the buns for a couple of min. then served.

Everyone doctored up their burgers with toppings of their choice. Dill pickles, tomatoes, & onions were some of the choices. I had a couple leafs of the wilted lettuce, some potato chips & SW style mustard on mine. I cut up a tomato to add to my salad, hot house & not that great.

Everyone liked the salad but my grandson; he had a mixed lettuce salad. When my veggie d-i-l got home from work she ate the left over wilted lettuce, bacon & all!

The lettuce

Kah's bacon

Lardons browning

Wilted lettuce salad w/tomatoes

Cast iron grate from Weber Q100

Burgers ready for cheese

My Plate, my sandwich

Smokin Don

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Smoked Beef Ribs

The other day Sandman, he runs the Beer & Wine Depot carry out near me, told me he had bought a case of beef ribs at a good price if I wanted some. Saturday when I was in to replenish my beer stock he said he had some of the ribs on smoking & to take a look at them. The six racks he had on his Traeger Texan looked good at 2 hours on smoke. I told him I would take a rack & would pick it up Sunday. He put it in his fridge to start thawing for me.

When I picked them up Sunday Sandman said he had over cooked his & was not very good. He had done them for 4 hours and went to 250 & 275 deg. at the end. If I ever did any beef ribs I can’t remember. I figured I better do some reading.

Most were saying low & slow at 225 deg. for 4 to 6 hours and some were 6 to 8 hours.
The best info in here was from Hub & I used his ideas. I left the membrane on and did a simple seasoning. I rubbed on a light coat of olive oil, some garlic salt, fresh ground pepper and some smoked paprika.

I used BBQ Selects 100% hickory pellets & put them on at 1:30 smoke mode 170 deg. for one hour. Then I used the P #’s to ease it up to 210 deg. Since I know my Traeger runs hotter than my RTD reading this should give me close to 225 deg. grill level. My Traeger held pretty close at 210 to 220 deg.

I checked them at 5:30 & decided to pull them at 6:00. I was getting 170 to 180 deg. IT at different points. I tented them with foil while I nuked my Mac & cheese, about 15 minutes. My wife had made us all a mixed green salad.

The ribs tasted good, a little tougher to eat than pork ribs, but they had a slight smoky taste, and the light seasoning let the beefy taste come through. My grandson enjoyed gnawing on his dino rib!

Seasoned & ready to smoke

After 1/2 hour on smoke

Ready to serve

My Plate

Smokin Don

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Home made Smoked Goetta

A fellow pellethead Pete from the Cincinnati, Ohio area told me about making homemade Goetta using his father’s recipe that was close to one on Dorsel’s pin head oats package, along with some seasoning.

The more I thought about it, I just had to take the time to try a batch! The only pin head oats (steel cut) I could find was Irish oats, they are faster cooking than most but figured they ought to work.

I found a Crockpot recipe that was close, I added garlic powder, gray sea salt, fresh ground pepper, celery seed and Cajun seasoning. This recipe called for ground beef, & sausage browned up with onion. I liked this since you could pour off some of the extra fat.

I made a batch yesterday & filled two large loaf pans & one mini to try this morning for breakfast. They set up in the fridge over night.

It fried up nice and tasted great with some eggs & buttered toast w/raw local honey. It tastes more like sausage than the bought Goetta. Unlike Goetta and Kah’s grits this does not contain any organ meat so should be more pleasing to more people. The pin head oats gives it a nice taste & texture. I will be making more of this. I would also like to make some with pork shoulder instead of the ground meats.

Goetta, scrapple, and pan puddings was a way years ago to use up scrap meats and by adding corn meal or steel cut oats it could be stretched to last longer. For what I paid for the Irish Oats, $7.50 for 24 oz., mine was not really economical. I am sure you can find steel cut oats more reasonable for a more economical cost.

I cut one loaf in 3 pieces smoked with BBQ Pellet Select 100% hickory pellets. I did it for 1 ½ hours on smoke mode 170 deg. then went to 190 deg. for ½ hour, then I finished at 225 deg. until the IT was 150 deg. I added some Cajun seasoning to one piece since I thought it came out on the mild side.

Printable Goetta Recipe

Goetta done & filling the loaf pans

One loaf pan

My mini loaf, you can see I could have done a better job pressing into the pan

Frying in my Lodge carbon steel skillet

My Plate, I ate some before remembering to take a photo!

My smoked goetta

Smokin Don

Smoked Meatballs 3 Ways

I made these last Sunday, meatballs 3 ways. I wanted to do some turkey, ground chuck & sausage mix and some sausage poppers. The turkey was for my veggie d-i-l. She will eat poultry but very seldom red meat. The seasoning for all I found a recipe by fellow pellethead, looked like what I would choose.

I formed sausage, for the poppers, into small patties, then inserted a slice of jalapeno and a ½ inch square of my smoked sharp cheddar, folded the meat around and rolled in my hand to seal. I then rolled them in some Panko bread crumbs. I made up all the meatballs ahead & in the fridge until time to smoke.

I wanted to sauce some with sweet BBQ sauce & Russian dressing mix, 3 to 1 ratio. An idea I got from fellow pellethead & friend who runs my favorite carry out, Beer & Wine Depot.

For my sides I had some Stouffers frozen Mac & cheese and slaw. The slaw was a recipe from fellow pellethead BMerril. I also had some bread. I made the slaw at noon so it had time to meld. I love that slaw; everyone else thought it was too sweet. To be fair Billy Merril is from Eastern N.C. and his slaw would be served on some Eastern N.C. pulled pork sandwiches. The sweet slaw would compliment the vinegary sauced pulled pork. Next time I will tame down the sugar if it’s for a side dish.

I am still using BBQ Select’s 100% hickory pellets. I put the meatballs in at 4:30 for ½ hour on smoke mode, 175 deg. I then went to 225 deg. and another hour. After ½ hour at 225 deg. I added some of the sauce to some meatballs and went to 250 deg. for the last ½ hour. They were all above 150 deg. IT. Total cook time 1 ½ hours.

I had my Mac & cheese nuked and the bread sticks ready when I pulled the meatballs at 6:00. All tasted good & the hit was the sausage poppers, even my d-i-l ate one & liked it.
The sauced ones were good too.

Meatballs ready for the smoker

BMerrils slaw

The sauce

Meatballs are done

My Plate

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Hickory Smoked Sicilian Pork Loin

Another cook using BBQ Select hickory pellets given to me by Adam to try.

I am always scouring the net for recipes I can adapt to a smoker. This one caught my eye, Sicilian grilled pork loin with agrodolce grilled peaches. It had a brine for the pork and I thought agrodolce was a variety of peach. It is a Sicilian word meaning sweet & sour. The recipe was by Bobby Flay from foodnetwork. I was a little worried the rest of the family would not like it but I had to try it.

On the smoker I had been doing my pork loins on the fast side at 325 & 350 deg and was not getting a lot of smoke flavor. From my previous pork loin that was stuffed but not brined I found you can do a longer smoke and have smoke flavor if you pull it at 135 to 140 deg.; and tent at least 15 min. before slicing. That’s a little hard for an old school cook that was used to doing pork to 170 deg.

I brined the loin in the honey-rosemary brine over night. I tied it since after brining it insures holding it together. I did it on smoke mode, for 1 ½ hours, my Traeger again holding pretty well at 165 to 170 deg. I then went to 250 deg. and figured it would take another 1 ½ hours. After 1 hour at 250 I was going to turn and insert a temp probe, when I inserted the probe it was already at 134 deg. I fired up my Weber for a sear, turned the smoker down & left the lid open. After the Weber had heated up I seared the loin on two sides.

I tented the loin with foil & a towel and let set ½ hour. I sliced off 5 slices of the loin I would reheat for supper. I slice off a couple bites of the end piece to taste, good! I had already made my agrodolce glaze ahead.

I halved & pitted 4 peaches, it said to use firm peaches, but these were unripe firm & knew they would not be too good.

I had to hustle to do frozen sweet potato fries in the oven, do the apples on the grill, shoe peg white corn in the microwave, cook the apples some more in the microwave, and heat up the pork loin.

I served it all up and served some of the agrodolce sauce over the pork loin. Everyone thought the pork loin was great; my veggie daughter-in-law even ate the end piece I had cut some off of and said it was good.

If you want a different taste treat try this Sicilian pork loin and do the peaches but get firm ripe ones! Be sure to do the agrodolce sauce for the pork; it marries all the flavors!

Link to Pork Loin recipe

Loin brined, seasoned and tied

135 deg IT, ready to sear

Searing on my Weber


You can see the light colored smoke ring here

My Plate

Friday, June 8, 2012

Hickory Smoked Cajun Tasso

Yesterday I smoked part of a loin with BBQ Select’s hickory pellets. I sliced off a chunk so the rest would fit in my brining pot & put it in special brine for over night.

I decided to make Tasso with the chunk that was left. I sliced it into three pieces, coated with Dijon mustard and as much Bone Suckin rub seasoning as they would hold. I covered with saran wrap & in the fridge over night. Tasso is highly smoked, highly seasoned pork to use in soups & gumbos. To me it wasn’t that hot, I would put it between mild & medium. I could stand more heat.

I smoked it for 2 ½ hours then went to 180 deg. to finish. Smoke mode held good at 165 to 175 deg. & had good smoke. It took 3 ½ hours total to get it to 150 deg. IT. I turned the Tasso when I went to 180 deg. & spritzed it a few times with a mix of a cup water, 1 Tbs. of red wine vinegar, 1 Tbs. Worcestershire & 1 Tbs. olive oil during the cook.

For soups & gumbos I think it is better to use pork shoulder for Tasso to get some fat in it but if you want it to snack on loin is good. It’s about like eating moist pork jerky.

When we ate my stuffed loin I didn’t think I had a smoke ring at all even though it had a mild hickory taste. When I sliced into a piece of the Tasso to taste there it was almost through the 1 ½ inch slice. You can see it in the sliced photo, pink & not the darker color I am used to. You could taste the hickory smoke in the Tasso, a little mild but just right for the wife & I. We are not heavy smoked meat lovers. If I had looked at the loin closer it was probably there.

The pellets burned good & I thought was giving off more smoke than I usually get even thought it turned out to be on the mild side. Like most Traeger owners that want more smoke taste you would need to use added smoke from a Smoke Daddy or an Amazen smoker. For me they were good as is.

The Tasso was so good I ate the whole piece! I still have two pieces left to save for soup or Gumbo.

The seasoned loin redy for the fridge

Done smoking


Smokin Don

Hickory Smoked Stuffed Pork Loin

Yesterday I emptied the hopper of my smoker and added BBQ Selects 100 % hickory pellets. The last of three diff. woods Adam had sent me to try.

Sandman had told me Sam’s had whole loins on sale for $1.79 per pound so I went up & bought one, a little over 8 lbs.

I had never butter flied a loin before so I wanted to try it. I sliced off just about 1/3 of the loin to use. I had to keep it on the mild side for my wife & grandson. After butter flying it I sprinkled some light gray sea salt on it and some garlic powder. Then I did a layer of black forest ham and a layer of baby Swiss cheese. I rolled it up & tied and a light dusting of Penzey’s rib rub.

I did it on smoke mode 175 deg for an hour 15 min. then went to 250 deg. I left it there until I had an IT of 115 deg then went to 275 deg. I did it fat side down then turned it when I went to 275 deg. I turned the smoker down to smoke mode when the IT was 135 deg. Total cook time was just over 3 hours. I fired up my Weber Q100 & did a sear on it.

Then it went in a 190 deg oven while I fried some canned potatoes, I had put some Bush’s grillin beans on earlier.

When I sliced the loin I was surprised how moist it was. It tasted great with the ham & cheese and a slight hickory smoke taste. The hickory pellets burned good & I thought for the 3 hour cook usage was low.

Butter flied loin

Adding the ham & cheese

Tied fat side up

Tied cut side up

After the smoke

Done ready to sear

Searing on my Weber Q100


My Plate

Smokin Don