There are a some foods that I can count on that I know Duke will eat. I think most parents will agree on these foods. Hotdogs, corn dogs, chicken nuggets, pizza, hamburgers, mac n cheese. I think these foods are universally liked by all kids. Needing a quick Sunday cook, I decided on hot dogs for The Boy, but I didn’t really want a hot dog. I did find these Polska Kielbasa in the deli section of my grocery store. I think I might have had them before, but I can’t remember, so I decided to give them a shot.
Dietz and Watson Polska Kielbasa, handcrafted, made in the USA, no MSG added and gluten-free if you care about those things. Not fancy food, but a little bit more sophisticated than a hotdog. I was surprised to find when I opened the package that all the links were still connected. Had I been using a larger grill, I would have kept them that way, but since I was using my Mini and space was limited, I used a knife to separate the links.
To cook these, I fired up the Mini BGE to around 400 direct and turned them every 3 or 4 minutes for about as long as it took to drink a beer. The sausage was fully cooked, so all I was doing was reheating it and adding some char. Don’t let your grill get too hot. You don’t want the casings to burst as you will lose all the juices and your sausage will be dry.
After I had finished my beer, and they sausages were cooked to my liking, I served them up on some hot dog buns with some course ground mustard, a little salad and some collard greens my wife had cooked up for her dinner.
The sausage was pretty good. Way better than Hillshire Farms or some of the other mas produced kielbasa. The casing had a nice snap to it. They were pretty mild in my opinion. Not spicy, not really smokey that I could discern. Pretty mild. The texture of the meat kind of surprised me. They were pretty emulsified and reminded me of a hot dog. All in all, a pretty decent sausage and great for a quick dinner.
Picked up some pork tenderloins the other day at Sams’s. 3 went in the freezer and one took a 24 hour bath in this stuff.
First time trying it out, sounded interesting. For this cook, I decided to use the Mini since it’s been sitting dormant for a while. Went and ahead and hooked up the new Flame Boss 100 to see how it would work on the Mini and a direct cook. Set it for 400.
Tenderloins sure do take up a lot of room on the Mini. Almost done.
Took about 30 minutes or so to hit 145, I was shooting for 140. Don’t tell anybody.
You noticed the tooth picks sticking out of one end? I like to fold over the skinny end of a tenderloin and secure it in place. I find that if left alone, that skinny end will end up being way overdone. I’ve tried using butcher’s twine, but the skinny end tends to slip out when the tenderloin is flipped. Toothpicks just seem to work better for me.
As always with large proteins, I let it rest about 10 minutes before slicing.
Look at all that juice!! We served it up on a bed of rice and drizzled on some of the reserved marinade. When using marinade that has touched raw meat, I boil it for 10 minutes and then let simmer until it reduced and thickened up a bit. I don’t know if that is technically “safe” and might not be restaurant approved, so do it at your own risk. I’ve never gotten sick, nor has anybody I’ve ever served, but I’m throwing out a little warning there for you to heed or not.
I was actually a bit surprised. It came out really good. Not really like your average teriyaki at all. Not overly salty, but had a sweetness to it that was very interesting. Even though I overshot the temp I was gonna pull it at by 5 degrees, it was still plenty juicy and oh so tender. The leftovers are gonna make some great sliders served up on some King’s Hawaiian rolls. 😀 I just wish I had made some kind of slaw and/or caramelized onions to go along with it. Will definitely use this marinade again in the future.
This past weekend, I was cleaning out the freezer and found some home made bratwurst (using this recipe) hiding in the back. This package of brats was in bulk form (ie wasn’t stuffed into casings) and I thought it would be perfect to make some burgers. Now, if you don’t happen to have fresh, home made bratwurst in your freezer (I do feel sorry for you), then you can always grab some links from your grocery store, slice open the casings and form them into your own burgers. I happened to have a pound of bratwurst which was perfect to make 3 patties as I like my burgers around 1/3 lb each. Feel free to make your patties to whatever size makes you happy.
I set up my Egg for a direct cook around 500F. The bratwurst burgers were grilled for about 2 minutes, then turned 90 degrees, grilled another 2 minutes, then flipped and repeated on the other side. Grill until the temp reaches 160F (carryover will take it to 165F). Even though the FDA says pork is safe at 145F, with ground pork (ie sausage), I like to play it on the safe side, especially if I didn’t grind it myself and it’s store bought.
I know pretzel buns are probably “so last year”, but while at the store getting some other things, I spotted them at my bakery for the first time. I’m not always the first to jump on every food bandwagon. Often times, I just watch it pass by and shake my head. Some of them make no sense to me, but pretzel buns with bratwurst burgers? Seemed like they were made for each other. Made me take a short trip down memory lane. Sitting at a biergarten in Germany. Drinking beer and snacking on pretzels and sausages. Good times. Sorry. My minds started to wander there for a bit.
So how to top these bratwurst burgers? I decided to keep it simple. Some spicy, brown mustard and a bit of sauerkraut. And why not some more pretzels on the side and a cold beer to wash it down (not pictured)?
Taking a food that is normally eaten as a link and serving it in a burger form was different, to say the least. I mean I knew on a mental level what to expect it to taste like, but picking it up, it was like some kind of mental muscle memory kicked in and I almost expected it to taste like a burger. Like the eyes and sense of taste and mind just weren’t meshing up. It’s hard to explain. I think I had the same experience when we made King Ranch Mac and Cheese. I expected that to taste like Mac and Cheese, but then got all the flavors of King Ranch Chicken. Weird what the brain can do to you sometimes. Regardless, it was a pretty tasty burger/bratwurst burger. The only thing I think it was missing was some kind of cheese. What kind of cheese would you serve on a bratwurst burger?
We’ve been busy lately. No excuse for it. Haven’t had much time to work on recipes or post up new stuff and we’ve just been doing old things around here, but I thought I’d share some pictures anyway today. One thing we have been doing is homebrewing. This picture was a few weeks ago when we brewed up an Irish Red. Due to rain and cold weather, we had to brew in the garage.
While we were working on the brew, we also had two rack of spare ribs going.
Sometimes you just get a craving for a good burger. These ones were 80/20 ground rib eye. If you can get ground rib eye rather than chuck, I’d suggest trying it.
We recently found thinly sliced brisket at a nearby Asian store. Picked it up not being sure what we were going to do with it. How about using it for ABTs instead of bacon?
In an effort to eat better, we pulled the wok out and did some stir fry on the Egg.
And how can you resist some leg quarters? Half rubbed with John Henry’s Texas Chicken Tickler and half with Salt Lick Rub.
Brush ’em with a little Lauren’s Spicy Sauce from Salt Lick and add some home made venison jalapeno cheese sausage.
Served up with some sautéed ‘shrooms and some kale. Um, Um good.
I’ll try and work on and finish up some new recipes this weekend to share with you this week. Unless March Madness ends up taking too much of my time. Sorry for the lack of new recipes lately. Hope this food porn will hold you over till then. Thanks for benig patient with us.
We don’t have any new recipes to share with you today, but I thought I would give you an update on some of the things we are working on right now and some of the projects we will be taking on this year.
A while back, and I don’t even know how long ago, I got a copy of Michael Ruhlman and Brian Poleyn’s Charcuterie. I had every intention to dive right in and make some home made bacon and Canadian bacon. You know what they say about the best of intentions? I pulled it off the bookshelf, dusted it off and have now committed myself to finally attempting some of those recipes.
At some point, I must have mentioned to my brother, the other Mr. G, that I didn’t know where to find pork belly. He told me to try an Asian market. Later on, he brought me right around 5 lbs of pork belly which got dumped into the freezer and lost.
Getting into Charcuterie was one of my New Year’s Resolutions. From what I have heard, store bought bacon does not even compare to the stuff you can make at home. It does require curing the meat for around 7 days with a basic cure of Kosher salt, sugar and Cure #1.
I’m thinking that since I am doing smaller slabs instead of one big slab and since there will be more surface area, the cure won’t take the full seven days. I’m hoping to pull it Saturday, rinse it, rest it overnight and cold smoke it on Sunday. We’ll see how that goes…
The other thing I need to get underway is a book review of Sausage! by Johan Akerberg and Jesper Lindberg. The nice folks at Skyhorse Publishing contacted me back in November and offered me the opportunity to review this new book. Unfortunately, the holidays got in the way, but now that things are returning to normal, I’m looking forward to diving into it. They gave me permission to reprint two or three of their recipes, so I’ll be scouring the book looking for the ones that most appeal to me and I’ll share them with you. The pictures are very appealing so it might be hard to pick, but I’m leaning towards one of their pork sausages, a duck sausage (if I can find some duck) and possibly a seafood sausage. They have one they call Moules de Mer, crab and lobster sausage with moules mariniere (a bowl of mussels) and French fries. I know Mrs. G will be a fan of that one.
The authors have also included quick and simple recipes for sides (such as sauerkrauts, pickled red onions or German potato salads to name a few) and home made condiments (mustards, ketchups, curry sauces and more) to go along with each sausage. I am really excited to get started on some of these right away.
Don’t think we’ve forgotten about the Flame Boss. We’ve used it a few times here and there and so far our initial impressions have been really postitive, but we are going to really put it through its paces now. Expect a thorough review of how it performs and what we like and/or don’t like about it.
Along with dabbling in some Charcuterie and stuffing some sausages, we will strive to bring you new and fresh recipes this year including grilled foods, smoked foods and even some prepared solely in the kitchen. And we’ve got a few reviews that will be coming up early in the year of some new products that I am excited to try out. So that’s what we’ve got planned. As always, we love hearing from each and every one of you, whether it’s you sharing your opinions with us, offering us suggestions or asking questions. If you have any ideas or recipes that you would like us to try, feel free to tell us about them. If you have a recipe that you would like to share with us and possible see here on the blog, send it our way. We love interacting with you, so make sure to leave us a comment. Here’s to a bigger and better New Year in 2014!
Disclaimer: Michael Ruhlman and Brian Poleyn’s Charcuterie was purchased with our own hard earned dollars. We have had no contact with either of them or their publishers and have received no monetary compensation from them. The publishers of Sausage! and the makers of Flame Boss contacted us and sent us their products free of charge. There has been and will not be any monetary compensation from them for reviewing their products. We have always been and will continue to be a non-profit blog, doing it for the love of it and not in the pursuit of money.