Saturday, February 21, 2015

Venison Roll with Spinach and Feta Cheese

It has been too long a time since posting so I have a treat in store for ye today!!

A neighbor (Paul) had a fresh venison roast that he asked "what can you do with this?" Well, about 10 years ago I was the Chamber President in town and we put on a Wild Game and KCBS Cook-off on. 

As we worked getting the contestants settled in the wife and I went round to visit them all. One had given the wife and I a sample of their preparation of venison that was done with the spinach and feta cheese. I thought the wife would turn up her nose but instead asked the gent what he had given her as she liked it. When he told her I expected turn and run but she surprised me by asking him if she could have another piece.

Armed with the memory of this encounter I told Paul I would like to give it a try.

The first thing that needed to be done was to slice the roast into a flat steak that would be the base for the roll.

Next I coated the inside with a little olive oil and using fresh spinach with a rough chop and crumbled feta cheese and crushed and fine chopped garlic.


Tying the roll the with 3 strings and a light dusting of rub it was now ready for the smoker!

Into the smoker it went at 250 degrees for 4 hours. I was doing a Boston Butt at the same time so I let it drip on the venison as it smoked. Once it reached an inside temp of 165 degrees I wrapped it in foil and let it rest for 30 minutes. 

As I have never smoked venison prior too this I was very happy with the result. Paul was thrilled and told all his friends about it. 

This will be one that I will eagerly attempt again. 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Franken Smoker is Reborn!!

 What do you do when the maker of your smoker does NOT make ALL the parts to replace those that get burned out? You improvise that's what!!

 I have a Brinkmann Gourmet Smoke and Cook that the base burned out of. Brinkmann makes new fireboxes but not the base for replacement. Now I have been Jonesing for SOMETHING, ANYTHING smoked. Have you ever been there?

 Now, if you follow Tulsa Jeff Phillips @ you know he uses an ECB with round pavers to put the fire pan on so that he can lift the food off the fire with out having to open the lid and lose the heat inside when adding coals or wood chunks to the fire. Well, I went in search for the pavers and with all of the big box stores in my area wouldn't you know that they no longer carry the round pavers!

 Argh! What's a smoke deprived Pyrate to do??

 Well I was going to cast me own paver from concrete, but, the more I looked at me situation I had to think that this was not how I wanted to go. Me firebox is burned out at the bottom and the base is gone as well. But, But, the side of the firebox is still in OK shape. So I got a piece of 1 1/2" angle iron and made four legs  and attached them to the side of the firebox! This allowed the body of the smoker to sit in the seal made for it and the replacement fire pan to sit inside of it as well.

 The first thing to do was to cut out the old burned out center of the firebox.

 Next was to drill and bolt the new legs to the side of the box.

 Simple fix for a tight (cheap) budget smoker!!

Now for some Chicken!!

What turned out to be a simple fix had been delayed for a couple months and that caused much grief. But, now we're back up and cooking!!

 Till next time may the wind fill yer sails and be fair seas ahead of ye!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Aye, A wee Rum BBQ Sauce for Superbowl Chicken Thighs & Wings

Argh, It's Superbowl Sunday!!

So Let's Pillage Some of the Captains Rum!!

This is a Sweet and Sneaky Hot BBQ Sauce.

Mix the following in a sauce pan over a medium heat on the stove.

1/2 C honey
2 C ketchup
1 C brewed coffee
2 Tbl Sp Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbl Sp brown mustard
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp chipotle pepper
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/3 C Captain Morgan's Private Stock Rum

Bring to boil and reduce heat to simmer for about 15 mins. and allow to cool.

I used some chicken thighs and smoked them with my rub (listed in the first post) and added 1 tsp of cayenne pepper to bring up the heat. They smoked for an hour with apple wood smoke. After an hour I used the sauce to baste the thighs on both sides and continued to smoke for 30 mins more. And basted a finish coat 5 mins before taking them off the smoker.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!!!

Wishing everyone a Very Happy New Year!

In the South we have many traditions. One is to have corn bread, blackeyed peas and greens to celebrate the new year. In addition to this I have made some smoked chicken breasts and thighs.

 While the weather is great with the temp in the mid 60's, the wind is blowing hard and making it hard to get the smoker up to temperature. Wind can cause all kinds of trouble when trying to do lo and slow cooking. When the wind kicks up you will need to block it to get the temp up. You need to be able to control the temp or your bbq will not come out correctly. Once you can maintain the temp, you are in control!

Using a basic rub of:
1 tsp garlic
1 tsp curry
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp chili
1 tsp paprika
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 TBL sp kosher salt

Mix the dry rub and give a generous coating to the chicken.

Once the smoker is up to temp then put the chicken in and add the wood chunks for the type of smoke flavor you like. Today I am using pecan chunks.

Sometimes things don't go quite as well as we'd like. That pesky wind managed to keep the smoker from maintaining temp. It kept dropping and would not come up to the 225 degrees needed to make the cook go right. After two hours of frustrating work I threw in the towel. The meat had a good amount of the smoke even tho the temp was too low for safe eating. So inside we go. I got the oven set at 275 and finished the cooking process.

As this is the first cook of the year we'll not let this set the tone for the rest of the year.

Have a Great time this year and keep the fire and smoke rolling!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Here's Chuckie!!

Today I am doing a chuck roast a "Chuckie".

A Chuckie is an inexpensive way to have beef smoked like a brisket.

I've used homemade rub which is listed here:

1 TBL spoon Paprika - Spanish or Hungarian. Sweet works well too.
1/2 Tsp Cayenne Pepper - Adjust to HEAT your tolerance
1/2 Tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 Tsp Onion Powder
1 1/2 Tsp Salt - I use the large ground Kosher Salt
1/2 Tsp Ground Black Pepper
1 Tsp Ground Cumin
2 1/2 TBL Dark Brown Sugar
1/8 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/8 Tsp Ground Cloves
1/8 Tsp Ground Nutmeg

Read more:

I gave the meat a generous coating of rub and wrapped it in plastic wrap to rest and let the flavors mingle well.

After firing up the smoker (I am using the Brinkman above) and letting the temp come up I filled the water pan with an Apple Juice and Apple Cider vinegar and water mix to help keep the meat moist.

After the second hour I used a solution of Apple Juice and water to spray the meat with to add more moisture to keep the meat from drying out. Do this every thirty minutes until the cook is finished.

When the temp comes up to 160 degrees you can remove the meat from the smoker and wrap in heavy aluminum foil to allow it to rest for about 30 minutes. After it rests you can then slice it just like you would for a brisket. Cut across the grain and slice it thin.

Make a sandwich add some sides and have yourself a real good time!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Happy Easter Ham!!

First let me thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for his gift of salvation! He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!

Aye, On to the Ham!

I am doing something a little different this year as my wife and I will be dining alone. I will be doing a 1/4 cut spiral sliced ham. Using a brown mustard to hold the spice and sweet brown sugar.

Take the ham out of the wrapper and place face down on a cutting board.
Pat dry with a paper towel.
Spread a nice coating of spicy brown  or course ground mustard over the ham.
Dust liberally with your favorite rub.
Wrap in plastic and put into the fridge overnight to let the spices make nice with the meat!

Remove from the fridge. Let stand to come up to room temp. Begin the fire and get the smoker ready for work

Give the ham a generous coating of dark brown sugar.

 To add a little zip you can add several pineapple rings.

Place the ham on the top grate and in the center of the grate. Add your favorite wood to the smoker pit and let it ride! Keep the temp between 225 and 250 degrees until the ham reaches an internal temp of 165 degrees. Once the temp comes up wrap the ham in heavy aluminum foil and let it rest for about 1 hour before serving.

When you load the ham into the smoker, wrap some washed and poked potatoes in foil and place on the lower grate and let them cook at the same time. Prepare your side dishes and get ready to enjoy some gooood victuals!

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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sweet Bacon Wrapped Chicken!!

Arr, Bacon and Chicken! Two of me Favorites, Together!!

I was plunderin on the net and sailed upon this idea for bacon wrapped chicken pieces and thought WOW what a Great Combination!

Now, I have taken the liberty to adjust the one I read to my own liking and added me personal touches to it. Ye can feel free to do the same....

 I marinaded the chicken in Stubbs Chicken Marinade overnight in the fridge. Then gave them a good dusting of rub. You can use any of your favorite rubs or use one in a previous post here that I've shared.

 Let the rub settle into the meat while you get the smoker going. I'm using the oak lump charcoal and apple wood for the smoke. We like a lot of flavor so I'll use the apple wood through out the smoke. For this cook I'll use the Brinkmann Gourmet Smoker.

What you will need:

2 lbs chicken thighs
2 lbs chicken breast boneless / skinless
1 cup of dark brown sugar
Rub of your choice
2 cups of cinnamon apple sauce
1 lb sliced bacon
2 cups of orange juice for the water pan
6 cups of water for the water pan
apple wood chunks

If you are using frozen chicken parts make sure to thaw in the refrigerator a couple of days prior to smoking. The thighs can be trimmed and boned to allow for easier eating when done. Try not to remove all of the fat as it will render down during the cooking process and add flavor too. Remove from the marinade and pat dry.

Take a slice of bacon and wrap each piece of chicken and secure with a toothpick. You may use as many strips of bacon to cover the entire piece as needed.

When wrapped then give each a generous coating of apple sauce and sprinkle generously with the brown sugar.

 Place into the smoker on the top shelf and add orange juice and water to the water pan then add the apple wood chunks to the fire and you are all set. Smoke for about three hours or until the temp gets to an internal temp of 165 degrees.

The finished product will be out of this world!!