Is there anything quite as delicious as ground sausage stuffed with cheese, meats, vegetables and other ingredients then wrapped in bacon and smoked? In the barbecue world this has come to be known as a “Fatty” and in this recipe, I give you my ham n' cheddar version.
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My original rub is used throughout this bacon wrapped sausage fatty to give it that perfect seasoning that is full of flavor without being salty. Just before it's finished, glaze the outside with my thick and delicious sweet and spicy barbecue sauce.
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- Prep Time: 45 minutes
- Cook Time: 3 hours
- Smoker Temp: 225-240°F
- Meat Finish Temp: 160°F
- Recommended Wood: Oak or Pecan
- 2 lbs ground breakfast sausage (Jimmy Deans, JC Potter, etc.)
- 1 lb original or thin sliced bacon (16 slices approx.)
- ½ lb ham, diced into quarter inch pieces
- 1.5 cups sharp cheddar, grated
- Jeff’s original rub recipe (purchase recipes here)
- Jeff's original barbecue sauce (purchase recipes here)
- Foil and/or wax paper
This is one of those things that looks difficult but it's really not so, don't be discouraged before you even begin.
You can do this!
Start by laying about 8 pieces of bacon horizontally on a piece of foil that is 3-4 inches wider and longer than the expected bacon weave. I normally use a piece that is about 18″ x 24″.
To make a weave, we are going to fold back every other piece to the left about 1 inch starting with the second one.
Lay a strip of bacon vertically all the way to the right.
Then the pieces that got folded back.. go back to where they were.
For the next strip, we will fold back every other strip of bacon, all the way to the right this time, beginning with the first one.
Lay another strip of bacon vertically on the right side butted up against the first one.
The pieces that got folded back, once again go back to where they were.
You continue this process until you have a bacon weave that is 8 slices by 8 slices or one that equals 12 inches by 12 inches approximately.
This is how it looks when you are finished:
to the top side of the bacon to finish off the weave.
Once the weave is complete, slide the foil or wax paper with the weave, onto a baking sheet and place it in the fridge to firm up while you roll out the sausage.
This will help to firm up the bacon and make it easier to work with.
I used JC Potter Hot but you can use another flavor if you like.
Remove the wrapper from the sausage chubs.
Place the sausage into a gallon sized zip top bag.
Flatten the sausage with your hands.
Make sure the thickness is as uniform as possible.
If you get air bubbles, you can snip the corners of the bag or leave it slightly unzipped at the top to help expel the trapped air.
Now it's time to remove the top layer of the bag.
Snip the corners of the zipper and then use kitchen shears or scissors to cut along the seam on both sides of the bag.
Peel off the top layer of the bag.
Cut along the bottom seam to to completely remove the top layer of plastic.
Turn the sausage 90° so the long side is facing you.
Place about ½ lb of diced ham onto the top of the sausage. Leave about 2 inches at the bottom and top and about 1 inch on the sides.
Place about 1.5 cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese to the top of the ham.
At this point, I realized that I SHOULD have placed the sausage on top of the bacon so that once it was rolled up, it would be exactly where it needed to be.
I carefully moved it with a pizza peel onto the top of the bacon weave about 2/3 from the end.
Roll the sausage into a chub using the plastic bag like a sushi rolling mat.
Tip: use your hands to push the ham and cheese back into the sausage roll if it tries to fall out of the front or sides while you are rolling it.
The sausage roll will do best if you make sure it ends up about 2-3 inches from the end of the bacon weave.
Press in on the ends of the sausage to adjust the width of the roll. It is best if the bacon weave is slightly wider than the sausage roll.
I also like to pull some sausage from the ends of the roll down to seal the opening to keep the cheese and ham from falling out.
Alternatively, you could have some extra sausage ready for this purpose. Pinch it into place to seal off the ends.
Using the foil like a sushi rolling mat, wrap the short edge of bacon at the top around the sausage roll and then continue to roll the sausage toward you as the bacon wraps around it.
When the bacon is completely wrapped around the sausage roll, roll the bacon wrapped sausage roll in the opposite direction away from you, allowing the foil to wrap around it.
This will allow us to shape the roll and to place it in the fridge to firm up.
I recommend allowing it to firm up for at least an hour before smoking it but overnight is preferable.
The foil wrapped fatty is placed on a Weber grill pan or baking sheet and placed in the fridge ready for the smoker.
When you are ready to cook, remove it from the fridge and remove the foil.
Setup your smoker for cooking with indirect heat at about 225-240°F using pecan, hickory, cherry or whatever smoking wood you have available.
You can expect this to take about 3 hours to reach 160°F.
When the bacon wrapped sausage roll reaches 160 °F, brush on a thin coat of Jeff’s original barbecue sauce recipe (purchase recipes here) and let it continue to cook in the smoker for about 10 minutes to allow the sauce to glaze.
Remove the meat from the smoker and set it on the counter to rest for 5-10 minutes.
With a very sharp knife, slice the roll into pieces that are about ½ to ¾ inch thick and serve immediately.
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- Make a bacon weave with 8 horizontal strips and 8 vertical strips on a large piece of foil. It should end up being about 12 inches by 12 inches.
- Season the top of the bacon weave with Jeff's original rub recipe.
- Place the bacon weave in the fridge to firm up.
- Place 2 lbs of ground sausage into a zip top bag.
- Flatten the sausage inside the bag until is of equal thickness.
- Use scissors to cut along the seams and remove the top layer of the plastic bag.
- Season the top of the sausage with Jeff's original rub recipe.
- Lay the flattened sausage onto the bacon weave with the top edge about 3 to 4 inches from the top edge of the bacon weave.
- Place ½ lb of diced ham and 1.5 cups of sharp cheddar cheese onto the flattened sausage. Leave about 2 inches at the top and bottom and 1 inch on the sides.
- Season the ham and cheese with Jeff's original rub recipe.
- Using the plastic like a sushi mat, roll the sausage and stuffing into a roll and onto the bacon weave.
- Seal the ends of the sausage roll with more sausage to keep the cheese and ham from falling out during the cooking process.
- Using the foil like a sushi mat, wrap the bacon weave around the sausage roll.
- Wrap the roll tightly in foil.
- Place the wrapped sausage roll in the fridge to firm up for at least an hour or overnight.
- Season the outside of the bacon with Jeff's original rub recipe.
- Setup smoker for cooking at 225-240°F using indirect heat.
- Place bacon wrapped sausage roll onto smoker grate or use a baking sheet, Weber grill pan or Bradley rack to make it easier.
- Smoke cook for 3 hours or until the inside of the meat reaches 160°F.
- Glaze the outside with Jeff's original barbecue sauce if desired and let it continue cooking for about 10 minutes to glaze the sauce.
- Remove from the smoker and let it rest for 10 minutes.
- Slice and serve.