Friday, May 30, 2014

Smoked Meatballs w/Sauce over Kraut

May 29 2014

I wanted a recipe to use some of my homemade kraut with. I found the perfect one by Kukla at It was beer braised meatballs over quick sauerkraut. There was a photo of it used to make a sandwich and it looked delicious! Food 52 is my favorite site for recipes and ideas I can adapt to my pellet smoker cooking. There are some great cooks there.

Kukla used a mix of beef chuck and veal for her meatballs and I used beef chuck and pork steak. It was a beautiful day to cook out and I enjoyed taking my time with the cooking and having some good beer! It’s always fun to try a new recipe for the first time.

About noon I got all my ingredients ready for the meatballs, ran it through my grinder using the coarse blade. I just made half of her recipe and it made 12 meatballs. I placed them in the fridge until I was ready to cook.

I cleaned out my smoker, put a new layer of foil on the drip pan and filled the pellet bin. I mixed up the mustard sauce and I had an hour and a half to enjoy the day before firing up the smoker to cook.

Kukla used a good Belgium lager beer and I used a Yuengling Hoppin Helles, a Germen Helles style beer in my cooking steps.

At 4:00 I put the meatballs on smoke, 170 to 180 deg. F for an hour and then went to 250 deg. grill level temp. They would cook another hour so I had plenty of time to get my ingredients ready and do the kraut. I used a half head of cabbage and about a pint of my kraut and only used a tablespoon of the vinegar. The carrot I sliced with a veggie peeler and then cut about 1 inch long. I toasted some mustard seeds and then added the olive oil, carrots, onions and mushrooms and sautéed until soft. I added the cabbage and covered for about 10 minutes on low heat. I uncovered and added in my brown sugar and vinegar and cooked a while then added in the kraut.

In between cooking the kraut at 1 hour 15 minutes I placed the meatballs in a cast iron skillet and back on the smoker at 325 deg. After 20 minutes I added the beer and lowered the temp to 180 deg. I went in and added the beer to the kraut and let it and the meatballs all get happy until 6:00 and served it all up.

I served the wife and I both 3 meatballs topped with the sauce over the kraut. We had some Italian bread and butter with it. We both loved this dish! I used Dusseldorf mustard in the sauce and it is on the mild side; for me it could have been spicier or some added horseradish would kick it up some. My wife liked the sauce the way it was. This is definitely a keeper recipe for us and if I don’t have any of my kraut on hand I know it will be good per Kukla’s recipe. Thanks Kukla for a great recipe and permission to repost it!
Mustard seeds and coriander

Meatball ingredients

Making the meatballs

For the sauce

For the kraut

Meatballs after 1 hour on smoke

Onions, carrots, mushrooms and mustard seeds sauteing

Cabbage added

Meatballs getting happy!

My supper

May 30th
The wife, daughter in law and grandson went out for supper tonight, this was so good I stayed home and had a sandwich from it.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Tatonka Sirloin Sandwiches w/Mac n Cheese

May 26 2014

Not a typical memorial day for us, just me, Mom & the dog! I think it was also the first time I cooked mid- afternoon for a meal. Our grandson had his 5th soccer game since Friday at 5:45 tonight. It was their last game and the 3rd one I saw this week end. They won 3 to 2 so it was a happy season’s end for them.

I told Mom we would have a late lunch since it looks pretty likely we will have rain tomorrow and I had dome sirloin for sandwiches I wanted to do on the gas grill. I wanted some small thin rib eyes for my sandwiches, for me they make the best steak sandwich. My butcher said he would cut me some the next time he cut some rib eyes. I told him to give me 6 of them.  I found a small sirloin that looked like it would make two sandwiches.

I had some pretzel buns to use and caramelized onions for on top. I cut the sirloin in half and trimmed some of the fat. I lightly pounded both sides with a meat mallet and seasoned both with Tatonka Dust, a little lighter on my wife’s, about 2 hours before grilling.

Some use up the cheese mac-n-cheese would be our side. The cheese was some Swiss slices, some Amish butter cheese and some Manchego. After cooking the macaroni and mixing in the cheese I poured it in a CI skillet and poured some half and half over it. It went in my Traeger heated to 300 deg. grill level for 20 minutes then went to 350 deg.

When the mac had been in for a half hour I had my Weber gasser heated to 390 deg. with grill grates and was using the correct side this time. I did them for 4 minutes then flipped and added the caramelized onions; after 3 minutes I put the buns on the grates for a minute and then on top of the steaks for a minute or two.

I had the steaks just right for me and were they ever tender. We both added some mustard too.


Seasoned with Tatonka Dust

Caramelized onions

Cheese mix

Ready for the smoker

Mac n Cheese done

Steaks flipped and adding onions

Serving it up

My late lunch

It was good and tender

Monday, May 26, 2014

Smoked Muffin Pan Lasagna

May 26 2014

It has been a little different Memorial Day week-end for us this year; more like a soccer week-end. Our 9 year old grandson id plays on a traveling team. He had a game Fri. evening, two Saturday, and one Sunday morning and has his last game this evening. Most of the games this season have been 40 miles away.

We made his Fri. game and one of the Sat. games. After his Sunday game they dropped Dad off at the airport. Our son will be in Las Vegas six weeks on business.

For Sunday’s supper I have seen this recipe all over the web lately so I thought it would be fun to try. I just made up my own recipe after getting the idea. You use wan ton wrappers in place of lasagna noodles. Maybe I should call it wonsagna!

I just used a jar of Classico tomato basil sauce. I browned up some ground chuck and onions, some garlic and added a little oregano and WOW seasoning. I made some veggie sauce with some chopped zucchini in place of the meat for our daughter in law. Her and the grandson came for supper.

My cheese filling was about a cup of ricotta, a cup of shredded mozzarella and ¼ cup of parmesan, Romano and Asiago blend. I had some fresh basil roughly chopped to add to each layer and the top.

I used two large 6 hole muffin pans and made up three layers of a won ton wrapper, a good teaspoon of the sauce and a good teaspoon of the cheese mix topped with some fresh basil. The three layers were topped with a won ton wrapper, some shredded mozzarella, parmesan blend, chopped basil and a few grinds of 4 peppercorn blend. I made 6 with the meat sauce and 4 with the veggie sauce.

I did them on my Traeger pre heated to about 360 deg. F for a half hour. For sides I brushed some chive, garlic chive butter on some garlic sticks and nuked some asparagus I had marinated in a little olive oil, red wine vinegar, and Penzey’s sandwich seasoning for 4 minutes.

They tasted great. You could use a small muffin pan and it would make a nice appetizer too. They are pretty easy to make up and you could use your own sauce and cheese mix you do with your favorite lasagna recipe.

Meat sauce

Veggie sauce

Cheese mix

Making the layers

On the smoker

Ready to serve

My supper

Friday, May 23, 2014

BOLM Sandwiches and Potato Skins

May 22 2014

I haven’t done much cooking out for the past two weeks. I have been busy with yard work and getting my garden in and flowers planted. My wife has been providing supper; carry ins mostly from my friend Sandman’s carry out. Last night I had a Ham & cheese sub and a potato skin.  Sandman makes his potato skins with some good cheese and his home cured and smoked bacon. They are delicious.

It was a wonderful day to be out and working; a sunny 75 deg. with a nice breeze. After running some errands this am I cut some drip hose to use for my tomatoes in my raised garden and I got the last of my flowers planted. It was about 3:00 when I finished.

I was planning on carry ins again for supper but I had some of my butcher’s bacon and some buns left. A BOLM, bacon, onion, lettuce and mustard sandwich sounded good. I would rather have a BLT but can’t take the hot house tomatoes. So this is the best for me, a BOLM

I got the bacon on my Traeger a little after 3:00 and took just about an hour, half at 250 deg. and then 350 deg. to get the way we like it. I had 8 slices so we each got 4 long slices for our sandwich.

About 5:30 we each made our own sandwich. For mine the bacon equaled two half slices wide stacked 4 high just about right. I put the mustard on the bun first, the bacon, a slice of Vidalia onion, some Tatonka dust, and a couple pieces of Romaine lettuce. My wife had a BLM, bacon, lettuce and mayo on hers. We both warmed up one of Sandman’s potato skins to have too.

That was an almost effortless meal that tasted great. The Tatonka dust added a little zing to my sandwich.

Bacons ready

A little mustard and a little bacon

A slice of Vidalia onion and some Tatonka Dust

Topped with lettuce and bun


Potato skin topped with sour cream and 4 pepper corn blend

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Tatonka Sirloin Bacon Cheeseburgers

May 17 2014

After seeing some great burgers go down on LTBBQ I am glad I had these planned for tonight. I have been too busy the past two weeks for an ole man! Last Sat. we had a little get- together with three members of Lets Talk BBQ. One member has a Carry out close by where I get my beer and some great food, especially pizza and broasted chicken. I got to meet a lady member and a member who lives in South Africa for the first time. I think it is special when friendships extend across oceans and continents. We had chatted on the forum for a year and it was great to see them; we had some good food and a great time talking.

This week I got some tomatoes and flowers planted; and were helping the wife get ready for a garage sale today. I got some pre-made sirloin patties from my butcher has made up and frozen. They are at least 1/3 pound and run $1.75 each. I wanted some bacon on the sandwiches so I did up some and a slice of old fashioned bologna for a lunch snack and I did it on my Traeger. I pre-cooked some potatoes to slice and finish on the grill.

I haven’t cooked on a gas grill for a while so I had everything ready to go. I did up 3 of the sirloin burgers since the grandson would be here. I seasoned one side with Tatonka Dust and for mine I seasoned both sides and heavier, I love that stuff. I had the bacon cooked and some Manchego cheese for the wife’s and mine and some Amish butter cheese for the grandsons. I drizzled olive oil and seasoned the potatoes with WOW on both sides. For a salad I split a head of Romaine lettuce drizzles on a little olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. They would go on the grill a couple of minutes.

I had my Weber grill, and Grill Grates, flip side up, pre-heated about 390 deg. I put the burgers on and then the potatoes. After 6 minutes I flipped all. After 4 minutes I added the cheese and bacon to the burgers and moved the potatoes to the top rack. Another 2 minutes I topped the burgers with the whole wheat buns for a minute. I pulled the sandwiches and potatoes, put the Romaine lettuce on, and took inside for the wife to get her and the grandsons plated. I rushed back outside and pulled the lettuce.

Now that was way too fast for an old man! I barely had time to snap a picture and a sip or two of my beer. Before I got my new Weber two weeks ago I would have done all this on my Traeger and would have had time to sip one beer at least; but danged if it didn’t taste good! I like the brown all over I get from the flip side of the grill grates. It is like one from a flat iron grill. The wife and grandson said all was good too!

Seasoned burgers

The bacon and a lunch snack

One side done

Cheese and bacon added

My supper

Close up

Tasted great!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Leftovers and Kraut

May 13 2014

I had some brats, hot dogs and old fashioned bologna left from Saturday’s great party with three members of LTBBQ forum. We all had dinner at my place. My friend from Beer & Wine Depot stopped in for a while and brought one of his great pizzas. We got to meet a lady member from the area for the first time and the other member was from South Africa. He was in the states on business and it was a delight to meet him.  We had a wonderful time.

I made some mashed potatoes this morning and after mowing grass I got our supper in the crockpot. A layer of onions, some diced garlic, 3 brats 2 Hebrew hot dogs, a slice of old fashioned bologna; I topped that with some of my homemade kraut, salt and pepper. It was on high a couple of hours and then on low an hour when I boiled some egg noodles and added them for an hour.

I topped some focaccia bread with a little olive oil and Za’atar seasoning and heated in a 350 deg. oven about 8 minutes and served it with the kraut mix over mashed potatoes. Tasted good even in warm weather.

Monday, May 5, 2014

A batch of Kraut is Done

May 03 2014

It was a busy day today for me. I took the grandson fishing for crappies this morning. Usually I am ready to leave before he is but this time we were getting no bites. After about a half hour he said are you ready to go. I found his real reason was he had just bought a new app for a game and was anxious to go home and play with it!

I got him back home and then went to my butchers for 1 ½ lbs. of ground chuck. We are going over to my Moms tomorrow and I don’t have much food saved for her so wanted to do a meatloaf and take her some.

My sauerkraut had been fermenting 30 days today so it was ready to go into jars. I ended up with 5 quarts plus a small bowl for trying on some brats tonight. The jarred kraut went into the fridge and will have time to get happy for using on some brats next Sat. when a fellow member of Lets Talk BBQ is in the states from South Africa. He is stopping in for a visit and to have supper with me. We’ll be having some snacks, my Cajun smoked crackers and different cheese. For supper we’re having bratwursts with my kraut, kimchi, and potato salad.

After I got my kraut put up I threw a meatloaf together from on hand stuff. I used 1 ½ lbs. ground chuck, a packet of Lipton’s onion soup mix, 1/2 cup salsa, 1 egg, ¼ cup of milk and a couple hands full of Panko bread crumbs. I did it on my Traeger at about 340 deg. grill level and took just over an hour for 164 deg. IT.

For our supper tonight I had some pre-cooked chicken brats with mozzarella and garlic I got from Sam’s club. I did them on my Weber gas grill at 375 deg. 4 minutes on a side. I had some left over rice to have with them. My wife had ketchup and kraut on her brat; don’t know where she got that from brats need mustard!  I had mustard and kraut on mine. The kraut was a good batch and should be better for next Saturday after a week in the fridge!

My Kraut


My Supper

Friday, May 2, 2014

Pork Open Face Taco

May 01 2014

I had some leftover pork loin back boneless ribs to freeze or use. Half of them were on the dry side so I made some red sauce with dried peppers and would have some open face tacos.

I used 9 guajillo peppers and one New Mexico. I cleaned them, covered with hot water and soaked for a half hour. I drained and rinsed them and added fresh water and a couple cloves of garlic. I brought them to a boil and then simmered for about 45 minutes. When they cooled I pureed in a food blender. Tasting I knew it was too hot for my wife.

I mixed half of the pureed pepper sauce and a half 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes. I brought it to a boil and added 1 teaspoon of oregano, a teaspoon of cumin, a tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper and a couple pinches of sugar. I diced up my leftover pork and added it. I let this on a low simmer about 2 hours.

I had some asparagus marinating in olive oil, balsamic vinegar and Penzey’s Fox Point seasoning for a side. My wife had some wheat folding flat bread I toasted with a little olive oil on a cast iron griddle. I topped them with the pork and some shredded triple cheddar cheese. I put them under the broiler to melt the cheese then topped with some thin sliced Napa cabbage, sour cream and some diced green onion.

Tasted good and the asparagus not typical with Tex-Mex was a good side. The pork was good in the red sauce, a good use for leftover pork. It had some heat but was not too hot for my wife.

The peppers

The pork

Peppers and garlic cooking

The sauce

Ready to serve

My Supper