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Bacon Weave Wrapped Mushroom Beef Roll

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1 lb. regular sliced bacon
1 lb. extra lean ground beef
1/4 lb. thin sliced mushrooms
4 oz. cream cheese
2 green onions, minced
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
Cajun seasoning

Bacon Weave

Using 12 slices of bacon create the bacon weave on a piece of plastic wrap.

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On a piece of plastic wrap press ground beef into a square 1 inch smaller on all sides than the bacon weave. Season the beef with the Cajun seasoning. Saute the mushrooms. Mix the cream cheese, green onions, mushrooms and lemon juice. Spread the mixture evenly on top of the beef leaving a 1/2 inch border around the edge. Lift the plastic and roll beef into a roll. Use a fork to seal the beef on the seam and ends using the tines of the fork. Transfer the beef roll to the bottom of the bacon weave. Using the plastic under the bacon weave, roll up the beef roll and fold the bacon over the ends. Place Beef roll seam side down on a baking sheet with a wire rack lightly sprayed with Pam. Place in a smoker preheated to 325 degrees. Smoke until an internal temp of 160 degrees is reached, about 1 1/4 hours.

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Remove from smoker and tent with foil for 15 minutes.

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Slice and serve.

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Crockpot Pulled Pork

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I am a big fan of the crockpot for all kinds of dishes. Beef pot roast, chicken & dumplings, soups, stews, chili, and other comfort food. The other day I was in the mood for some pulled pork. Since I am away from my home for the winter, (so no access to any of my smokers), I decided to break out the old crockpot and give it a try. I will tell you right now that it turned out much better than I thought it would. It’s not what I pull out of my smoker after hours and hours of smoking, but I can tell you that this is worth trying.

2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoons Kosher salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon dried thyme
½ cup honey
¼ cup cider vinegar
1 tsp Liquid smoke
2 onions, peeled and thick sliced
4 Lb. pork shoulder
12 Hawaiian dinner rolls or slider rolls, warmed.

Directions:
In a medium size mixing bowl, mix together the first five ingredients (all of the spices) with a fork.
Pour in the honey, vinegar, & liquid smoke. Stir to form a paste. Season pork with black pepper and brown in a skillet on all sides.
Place the onion in the bottom of the slow cooker. Top it with the pork and then pour the honey paste over all sides of the pork pieces. It’s okay if some of it drips down to the bottom.
Turn the slow cooker on to low and cook for 7 to 8 hours or until the meat is tender enough to be easily shredded with a fork. Strain juice from crock pot and place in freezer for 30 minutes. Pull pork and place in pan covered with foil. Remove pan juices from freezer and skim fat off the top. Pour into a small saucepan leaving as much of the seasoning residue out of the juice as possible. Warm the juice. Pile pulled pork on rolls, top with warm juice and BBQ sauce if desired.

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The resulting product is extremely good. It is smoky, juicy, and very tender. I served it on Hawaiian brand dinner rolls as sliders. Serve coleslaw as a side.

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Pastrami Beef Short Ribs

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This is a awesome recipe. I plan to use it the next time I cure a brisket into pastrami.

For the meat and brine:
4 to 5 pounds meaty bone-in beef short ribs
2 quarts cold water
1/3 cup kosher salt
2 teaspoons pink salt (important for curing and color)
1/4 cup brown sugar
4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
4 tablespoons pickling spices, roughly crushed
In a large mixing bowl, combine the water, kosher salt, pink salt, and brown sugar and stir until the salt and sugar crystals have dissolved. Place ribs in large Ziplock bag. Allow to marinate 48 hours turning bag to mix brine twice a day.

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Take ribs out of the brine and rinse off any spice left on them. Pat dry with paper towels. Now make the pastrami rub.

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3 tablespoons coriander seeds
3 tablespoons cracked black peppercorns
2 teaspoons yellow mustard seed
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. garlic granules

Put coriander, black pepper, mustard seed, and red pepper flakes into a spice grinder and coarse grind them. Stir in the garlic and mix well.

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Press spice into the meaty sides of the ribs, tops and sides. Don’t bother with the bone side. Place into a ziplock bag, remove as much air as possible and then place a weight on the ribs for 4 hours.

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Place ribs on a grill with smoke or a 375 degree smoker for 45 minutes. Remove and place ribs on a baking sheet bone side down.

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Pour ginger ale into the bottom of the baking sheet and up to the middle part of the bones on the ribs. Cover tightly with heavy duty foil and put into an 325 degree oven for 2 hours.

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Remove ribs from the baking sheet and place on a serving platter. Serve with cole slaw and garlic bread.

Jamaican Jerk Chicken

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Jamaican Jerk Chicken

To make Jamaican Jerk, it requires a two phase cooking process. The first is searing the meat over direct heat, and the second is smoking over indirect heat. I prepare both chicken & pork using this recipe. I like to use my Weber Kettle, charcoal, and wood chips. For the wood chips I use a broth can that I partially open the lid and then poke holes in it. Add the wood chips, close the lid and throw on top of the charcoal.

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1 medium onion. 3 green onions. 1 habanera chiles. 4 garlic cloves. 1 Tbsp. Chinese five spice. 1 Tbsp. allspice. 1 Tbsp. black pepper. 1 tsp. thyme. 1 tsp. nutmeg. 1 tsp. salt. 1/2 cup soy sauce. 1 Tbsp. oil. 4 lbs. thighs & breasts. Process all ingredients except the chicken in a food processor. Pour into a plastic bag and add the chicken. Marinate over night. Sear over medium coals until a nice dark bark is achieved. Move chicken to indirect heat. Put a can of wood chips directly on the coals. Close lid to grill and smoke for 1 hour.

Smoked Turkey Legs

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There are so many recipes for turkey legs you might wonder where to start. I always say start with the simplest recipe first and then adjust and modify for your taste. With turkey legs, I love the taste of the turkey with just the added smoke. So, here is my favorite simple recipe for Smoked Turkey Legs.

8 fresh turkey legs. 1 gallon ice water. 1 cup Kosher salt. 1 cup brown sugar. All Purpose Rub. Canola oil. Apple juice. Mix salt & sugar in the ice water. Put legs in a plastic bag and pour brine over. Seal and refrigerate 24 hours. Remove from brine, rinse and pat dry with paper towels and allow to come to room temperature, about 1/2 hour. Rub legs with the oil & season with All Purpose Rub. Put into a 225 degree smoker and smoke 6 hours, misting with apple juice every 30 minutes after the 2nd hour. If legs are getting to dark, cover with foil. Allow to cool 30 minutes before serving.

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Smoked Turkey

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1 Whole turkey, 10-14 lbs. Three gallons ice water. 3 cups kosher salt. 3 cups sugar. All purpose rub. Dissolve salt & sugar in the ice water. Inject turkey with brine using 10% of the weight of the turkey. Example: 10 lb. bird X 16 ounces = 160 ounces. 160 ounces X .10% = 16 ounces brine. Inject breasts, legs & thighs evenly. Put turkey in a plastic bag and add the rest of the brine. Refrigerate 12-24 hours. Remove from brine and pat dry with paper towels. Allow to come to room temperature, about 1 hour. Sprinkle rub in cavity of the bird. Rub turkey all over with canola oil. Rub entire bird with All purpose rub. Insert a temperature probe from a remote temp gauge. Place in a 275 degree smoker. Smoke until an internal temp of 160 degrees is reached.

Smoked Beef Brisket

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1 Whole packer brisket, 12-15 lbs. All purpose rub. Beef broth. Rub brisket liberally with rub. Place in smoker @ 275 for 6 hours, spraying with beef broth every hour after the 3rd hour. After smoking for 6 hours, double wrap whole brisket in heavy duty tin foil (any meat that is being smoked will absorb smoke for up to 6 hours but after that it will just start accumulating on the bark and make it black and bitter). Put back in smoker or oven @ 275 for another 6 hours.

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