Monday, September 2, 2013

The Flavornator (a.k.a. Bacon Explosion)

Today is Labor Day.  I most definitely have done much labor this weekend.  Yesterday involved washing, drying, folding and hanging what had to be 37 loads of laundry.  It was a hectic week after all (if you read last Friday's post, you know what I mean), which meant no laundry was done at all last week.

My husband is back to his pickling and fresh salsa as we are starting to see the end of our garden for the season.  The girls have been baking, making breakfasts and lunches before sports.  I prepared cookies, pancakes and waffles to freeze for breakfasts and lunches to make my life somewhat easier in the coming week.  This all adds up to a very busy dishwasher that has been laboring all weekend.  Just when I have the counters polished up and the cooktop spotless, someone else comes in and we start all over again.....

Our family has many fond memories of past Labor Days. When I first met my husband, his sister Cathy and husband Rudy put on quite an event for the most amazing beach party on Labor Day in Huntington Beach each summer.  She had a huge banner made, volleyball courts up, several BBQs and between her family and friends, we took over the beach.  During those years, we met  future spouses (myself included), welcomed new children/grandchildren/great-grandchildren and unfortunatley lost a few of those near to our hearts.

As the years passed, the gathering got somewhat smaller and moved to his brother Rick and wife Jodi's house in Altadena.  Volleyball turned into basketball in the pool with swimming and floating and the BBQ tradition continued.  The 6 brothers live for their BBQ time together, it is truly an enjoyment for them and fun to watch.  They take it quite seriously seeing who has the best rub, who made the best sauce and who can run a smoker better.  Oh yes, then there is the ever running debate (electric or charcoal smoker)...I think you get the picture.

Well, today in the Labor Day Party tradition, we tried something different.  I saw this recipe being made on tv this weekend that apparently has been around about 5 years and knowing how our family are carnavores, I cannot believe we didn't know about this. It is not the type of meal that you would eat every day, in fact I think once in your lifetime is probably enough,  given the fat and calorie content.

It is called the Bacon Explosion, created by 2 guys in Kansas.  If you are a BBQ addict like we are, you must try this.  After eating it, my husband calls it The Flavornator and cannot stop talking about it.   I served it topped with Stubb's Original BBQ Sauce, French's Fried Onion Rings and my blue cheese coleslaw and shoestring fries on the side.  This was not a dinner for the weak hearted and I think my butt will need to be back to the gym tomorrow!

Four ingredients: Ground Sausage, Thick Cut Bacon, BBQ Sauce and Rub Seasoning, that's it, and you are a few steps away to "Pig, Pig and More Pig".

First we weaved 10 slices of thick cut bacon (5 vertical and 5 horizontal), which turned out to be much easier to do than I thought it would.

Spread out (2) 1 lb. packages of Jimmy Dean Original Ground Sausage.  Sprinkle with your favorite BBQ rub seasoning.

Schmear (that's a culinary technical term) your favorite BBQ sauce over all the saugage. ** At this point, the original recipe adds cooked crumbled bacon onto the sauce, but we skipped that step this time**.  (Honestly I just didn't want to mess up my clean cooktop again with bacon grease splatters).

Roll it tight (like you would sushi) and put in smoker, seam side down.

Keep an eye on your smoker to make sure there is constant smoke and heat.  After approximatley 2-1/2 - 3 hours (depending on the thickness of the roll) and your meat thermometer gives the correct internal temperature for fully cooked pork.

Add some finishing flavors with the same BBQ sauce you used inside the roll to baste a light glaze on the outside.

Cut into quarter to half inch slices and enjoy your Pig Pinwheel!!!

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