In this edition of the smoking meat newsletter we are covering one of my most favorite smoked delicacies.. the bacon wrapped stuffed sausage fatty most commonly called a Bacon Explosion around the internet.
Around here we just call it a fatty and everyone knows what we are talking about.
If you have never tried eating one of these or making one then you are in for a real treat.. it is unbearably delicious.
What You'll Need
- 3 lbs quality, thick sliced bacon
- 2 lbs regular Jimmy Dean breakfast sausage
- 8 oz Pepper Jack cheese slices
- 2 jalapeno peppers
- 1 batch of Jeff's original rub (purchase recipes here)
- 1 batch of Jeff's barbecue sauce (purchase recipes here)
- 2 gallon sizes ziplock bags
- 2 pieces of wax paper (I use parchment paper)
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I like to do all of my preparation before even starting to put the fatties together. Remove the seeds from the peppers and then dice them up or slice them however you like, make the rub and the sauce, etc.
If you are using onions or other veggies, you can go ahead and slice and dice those as you see fit and set them aside.
The bacon weave will require thirteen pieces of bacon per weave and if you are making two weaves, you will need twenty-six pieces total. Count out and set aside the bacon you will need for the weaves and fry the rest up real nice and crispy. Place it on a paper towel to absorb some of the grease and set aside.
Weaving the Bacon
This may look difficult but once you do it one time, you will see how easy it really is.
Lay out 7 pieces of bacon horizontally on the wax paper butting them up to each other with no overlapping.
Now remove the 2nd, 4th, and 6th piece and lay them aside.
Lay a piece of bacon vertically all the way to the left and on top of the horizontal pieces.
Replace pieces 2,4 and 6 that you removed earlier to the exact location that you removed them from.
Fold horizontal pieces 1, 3, 5, and 7 back to the left over the top of the first vertical piece.
Lay down the 2nd vertical piece just to the right of the 1st vertical piece and lay horizontal pieces 1, 3, 5, and 7 back down into their original location.
You get the idea.. continue this alternating pattern until you have 6-7 vertical pieces of bacon woven into the 7 horizontal pieces.
This completes the weave that will be wrapped around the roll of stuffed sausage.
Flattening out the Sausage
Place the one pound sausage roll into a gallon sized ziploc bag and seal it up.
Then use your hand or a rolling pin to flatten it out to an even square. To avoid air pockets you can snip off a corner or two of the bag to allow some air to escape.
You can also just flatten the sausage out into a square that is approximately the same size as your bacon weave or slightly smaller without using a bag.
If you used the bag to make the square of sausage, use a very sharp knife to cut the top of the plastic away from the sausage.. down one side, across the bottom and up the other side to where the zipper is located.
You should then be able to lift the sausage square up and flip it over carefully onto the wax paper allowing you to then remove the remaining bottom of the plastic bag from the sausage.
Stuffing the Sausage
What you put on the sausage is a matter of preference.. I made one the traditional way with a layer of my original barbecue sauce recipe (purchase recipes here), 5-6 slices of pepper jack cheese, 10 pieces of bacon fried crispy and torn into small one inch pieces.
The second one was simply 5-6 pieces of pepper jack cheese, spinach greens, chopped red onion, and one seeded, chopped jalapeno.
Note: place all of the stuffing in the bottom two thirds of the sausage square for best results.
Rolling the Stuffed Sausage
Lift up the wax paper and roll the sausage as tightly as possible making sure that the ingredients are rolled up into the sausage. An assistant is very helpful with this process.
Be sure to remove the wax paper as you go so it does not get rolled into the sausage as well.
When it is completely rolled up, very carefully lift up the roll of sausage and place it on top of the bacon weave at the bottom end.
Rolling the Bacon Weave Around the Sausage Roll
As with the sausage, lift the bottom of the wax paper up to help start the bacon weave around the sausage.
Continue to roll the bacon weave until it is completely around the sausage roll. Be sure to keep the wax paper pulled back so it does not get rolled up with the bacon weave.
Brush on another coating of the barbecue sauce and you are ready to place on the smoker.
Preparing the Smoker
Prepare your wood, charcoal, electric or gas smoker for about 230-240°F. I used mesquite for this experiment since I wanted a really nice robust smoke flavor.
Feel free to use your favorite type of wood. I would imagine that pecan, oak, apple, cherry, etc. would all be wonderful woods to use.
Smoking the Fatties (some of you just got excited when you read that)
Place the fatties on the grate. The bacon wrapped stuffed sausage rolls will take about 2-3 hours to reach 165°F in the center. I recommend that you keep the smoke flowing for at least 2 hours. Use a digital probe meat thermometer and remove them from the smoker when they reach 165°F.
I have read that it takes about one hour per inch of thickness. I am not sure how well that holds true but one of mine got done about 30 minutes before the other one. The one that got done early was thicker than the one that took the longest so.. go figure.
Let the temperature tell you when it is done no matter how long it takes.
Crisping up the Bacon on the Outside
When you first remove the fatty from the smoker, the bacon on the outside will not be crispy. If you prefer crispy bacon then simply pop it into a 500°F broiler for a couple of minutes but keep a very close eye on it will burn.
I have also wondered if you could place the whole fatty on a griddle once it is done smoking and do a fry on the outside of the bacon weave after it is finished. I have not tried this but I have a feeling it would work.
You would probably want to put toothpicks thought the fatty to make sure the bacon does not come unwrapped. You would also have to turn it a few times to get all sides crisp.
If you happen to try this, let me know how it goes.
Serving the Fatties
There are no rules as to how to eat these. Let them rest for about 10 minutes then slice them into 1/2 inch pieces to be eaten as is, on a large biscuit or make a sandwich out of it. Either way, they are simply delicious and you will do these time and time again, I promise!!
A Healthier Fatty?
Purchase two pounds of turkey sausage and two pounds of turkey bacon. I know.. I know!! It won't be as good as a real pork and real bacon but if you are on a reduced calorie or reduced fat diet then maybe this would be an “ok” alternative.
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