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:
Apply a healthy portion of Jeff’s original rub (Purchase formula here | Purchase bottled rub)
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.
Add a good, healthy sprinkling of Jeff’s original rub (Purchase formula here | Purchase bottled rub) to the top side of the sausage.
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.
Season the ham with Jeff’s original rub (Purchase formula here | Purchase bottled rub).
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.
Sprinkle Jeff’s original rub (Purchase formula here | Purchase bottled rub) onto the outside of the bacon.
Setup your smoker for cooking with indirect heat at about 225-240°F using pecan, hickory, cherry or whatever smoking wood you have available.
When the smoker is ready, place the bacon wrapped sausage roll directly onto the grate or preferably use a Weber grill pan or Bradley rack to make it easier to handle.
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 (Purchase formula here | Purchase bottled sauce) 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.