Category Archives: Sausage

St. Crispy Bacon’s Day, or I Feel Sorry For Jews

Well, I haven’t posted in about 48 months, due to laziness, a breakup, a layoff, and laziness.  The good thing is that I have a lot of stored up pics and potential posts.  Too bad nobody reads this thing.  Maybe if I post more than once a year people will check it out.  I feel sorry for them if they don’t, because they’ll miss this one.  In the credit where credit is due dept, I saw this on another site sent to me by a friend.  They call it the Bacon Explosion, and it’s all the rage with the kids these days.  I call it the Bacon Log, or “Blog” for short (that’s a new word I just made up).  Anyway, I had to try it.  So I called a few guys I know who love bacon flavored anything and told them to come over one Saturday.  I’ve never tried to smoke anything on my little Aussie Bushman elite grill, but I figured it was worth a shot.  So I went to BBQ Galore and got a meat thermometer, some rub (Bad Byron’s Butt Rub), a smoker box (cast iron, small) and some hickory chips.  Oh, and a tin foil pan to catch drippins.

So I started off by soaking the wood chips in the pan.

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Next I cooked up a batch of bacon (one package).  I like it crispy, so that’s how I made it.

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After snacking that entire package of bacon and chasing it down with a box of salt, I made another one.  Then I chopped it up.

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Next, I made the bacon weave.  If you had interrupted my Dungeons & Dragons game at age 13 to tell me I would someday master bacon weaving, I probably would have laughed about that for days.  I’m not sure what that means.

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Hannibal Lecter would be proud.

By this time I have the grill on super low heat, the lowest it will go, and I put the drained hickory chips in the smoker box and put it on the grill off in the corner (I used the lower rack for the smoker box, and the top rack for the blog).  I had also bought a surface thermometer, and that went on the top rack.  The guy told me that the surface temp would be about 150 degrees hotter than the general climate temp inside the grill, so I was planning to use that as a gauge.  Next comes the sausage layer.  I used a mixture of hot and sweet Italian sausage.

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Pigtastic.

Next I added the chopped up cooked bakey bits.  Then I seasoned it with the rub and some Italian dry seasoning I had.

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A Porkaleidoscope.

Last came a drizzle of BBQ sauce.  I used a mix of Sweet Baby Ray’s Honey BBQ and Trader Joe’s, which has a little kick to it.

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Now for the roll.  I carefully rolled the sausage forward…

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Someday I will build a bacon fence that you can eat.

Then tucked in the ends and sealed the seam and carefully rolled it back.

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I've washed my hands 13 times by now.

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That's right.

Last, another coat of rub.

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Then off to the grill.

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I put a drip pan under it to catch the fat runoff.  Do NOT skip this step, as I’ve heard tell of bacon logs catching on fire from flaming fat fallout.

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This pleases me to no end.

Ah, so clean.  Not for long…

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And later…

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Mmmmm...black pig sludge....

That’s what I’m talkin’ ’bout.

Next I let it rest for about ten minutes.  It was REALLY hard not to cut into it right away.  In the meantime I busied myself with brushing a good thick coat of BBQ sauce on that sumbitch.

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How could this get any better?

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Oh yeah, that's how.

Here it is being served.  Explicit content warning – the narrator works a bit blue toward the end of the video.  You’ve been warned.

And the finished product:

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Do you see the steam? It was almost a sin to eat it. But not.

It took a little longer than normal, about 3 hours, because I kept checking it and letting all the heat out.  And the temp never got hot enough to produce any smoke whatsoever from the wood chips.  So it wasn’t really smoked at all.  But I have to say it was spectacular.  Being the cook, I went for seconds.  Only a few of us pigs got two pieces, and it was actually a mistake.  We could literally feel our sodium counts go up as the blood pressures rose and we started hearing each other’s heartbeats.  My buddy JT actually had to take a knee, and a couple of us hallucinated.  I wish I was kidding.  But it was the best thing ever.  You had to be there.  In fact, here’s a poem dedicated to those happy few who took on the challenge (my apologies to The Bard).

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Project Pork Shank

It’s been my goal to post here much more responsibly than I do to my personal blog, which goes decades without an update. However, it’s been only weeks since this blog was born and I’ve already dropped the ball. To make up for it, I’ve decided to share with you something so appetizing and delicious that you’ll always want to come back for more hardtack and swill.

Monday some friends and I met at the Red Lion, a local fake German biergarden in Silverlake. I say fake just because the beer garden is kind of like drinking in the Germany section of Epcot Center. It’s full of faux ivy and painted on bricks and a semi-working fountain and signs pointing out the direction and distance to Berlin. But despite its facade, it actually makes for a quaint little sun-dappled place to sit and have some good beer. And the service is authentic. They’ve brought in actual Germans in full costume to ignore you completely all afternoon. Monday being labor day, I called ahead to make sure they were open. Here’s a transcript:

Mean, heavily accented German bar wench: RED LION, WHAT.

Me: Oh, uh yes – I was just calling to see if you were open today.

MHAGBW: YOU ARE LIKE ZE 10TH – NO, 11TH PERSON TO CALL ABOUT ZIS TODAY. CONGRATULATIONS.

Me: So, you’re open?

MHAGBW: WHY WOULDN’T WE BE OPEN????!

Me: Because it’s Memorial Day and you were closed last Fourth of July.

MHAGBW: WELL WE ARE OPEN. ZAT IS ZE ONLY TIME VE ARE CLOSED, OK? IS THAT OK?

Me: Jesus, yes, ok. You don’t have to yell at me. (click)

Happily, the same cheery and loving beer wench who answered the phone was also our server. I call her Sunshine.

They serve what I can only assume is fairly authentic German food, meaning flavorless sausages of varying kinds. One comes hanging limply out of a giant glass stein filled with dishwater-flavored pea soup. We call it the Lipton Cup ‘O Dong. It is a sight to see. I’ll order it next time just for the photos and post them.

This time I didn’t eat, but my friend Nick bravely ordered the pork shank. Here’s what arrived:

Now, if you’ll notice, there is a small patch of hair protruding from the skin in one spot:

Nevertheless, Nick soldiered on. He cut that baby up and went to work. And actually, the meat looked pretty good. Then again, Nick has a fascination with bums. So who can say.

The final result: Nick 1, Pork Shank 0.

My favorite server, Sarah, a very attractive and hard-working red-headed American girl, wasn’t there. However, a very pretty slim blonde woman showed up and began WORKING the room. I’m telling you she was focused. I was instantly smitten. Perhaps 25 years of terrible reviews have finally led to a change in service staff policy. Or maybe two or three girls have figured out that they can earn 138 times the tips of a German by simply trying a bit. Sorry, but Germans, you build a fine automobile. You are not cut out for the service industries.

Of course we were forced to leave at that point because another friend with us (the only female – I’m just sayin) wanted to go immediately. I never get to stay for the pretty shift. Ever. I really need to stop hanging out with couples.

Perhaps next time I’ll bring more than my camera phone and take some pics with the wenches. I’ll say I’m a food critic. A bachelor food critic. I think I’m onto something here…

I just won’t order the pork shank. I don’t think it’s a very “sexy” food. Then again, neither is the Cup ‘O Dong.