Singing-Karaoke-Games-Wii-Playstation-3-Xbox-360-ConsolesLast week the group came over to enjoy some food, drink, and merriment one last time.  Check out the details after the jump…

Things actually got started long before the group showed up, beginning with the fabrication of my signature dish – the bacon explosion.  This wonderful, smoky, meaty, culinary delight begins with some advanced bacon weaving:

20140523_121102Here I use some thick-cut bacon that in this case worked out to a 6×7 weave.  This weave will become the casing that attempts to contain the explosion.  One of the mods I have added lately is a layer of thinly sliced bell pepper – this will give it a bit of italian peppers & sausage flair once it is done:

20140523_121455To this you add about 2.5 lbs. of good pork sausage filling.  I prefer the bulk italian sausage filling from the Cajun Meat Company.

20140523_121828Next, I once again deviate from the classic recipe by adding a layer of thinly sliced bell pepper and onion.  Some will rebel against the idea of veggies, which might be viewed as a spoiler of the colossal tube ‘o bacon.  For me, it breaks up the monotony and broadens the flavor palette a bit.

20140523_122011 The final component is six slices of crispy bacon crumbled on top:

20140523_122201Then the real skillz are in evidence as the entire beast is rolled into a massive bacon encased sausage loaf:

20140523_122538For the crowd expected at the party, I made two – just enough to satisfy the hungry masses.

20140523_124902Here they have been wrapped in plastic wrap – I let them chill in the refrigerator for a few hours so they set up nicely prior to smoking.

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They are ready to go.  You can’t see it in this photo, but I have a pizza stone above the fire to make the heat source indirect, and then on top of that is an aluminum roasting pan 1/2 full of water to maintain a low air temperature.  I also have water-soaked mesquite wood chunks on the fire for the smoke source.

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Note the dual thermometer action – never trust the PoC that comes on one of these grills.  You need one for the internal temperature, and one for the grill temp.  I will shoot for an internal temperature of ~165 ºF with a grill temperature of ~275 ºF.  Total smoking time should be around 2.5 hours.

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Close the lid and don’t be tempted to peek – gotta keep that temperature nice and steady.  With patience, you will eventually get something that looks like this:

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In the interest of full disclosure, these are from a previous event – I somehow forgot to document the unveiling of the ones I made for the group party.

To feast, slice these up in burger-sized disks and serve them solo or on a bun.

During the smoking action, people showed up and did exactly what they were supposed to do: drink and eat…

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20140523_165927Yes, Barça the dog was constantly searching for food and love.

20140523_160354Of course, no party is complete without karaoke.

20140523_182638 20140523_183825The playlist for the day was fairly diverse…can you identify my choices?

20140523_203726Alberto and family stopped by towards the end of the evening – coolest. physicist. ever. – despite his fondness for Real Madrid.

20140523_193017Importantly, the group presented me with a southern-themed gift basket that contained awesome tidbits like a KISS compilation and some bizarrely Gimped lion x human mash-ups.  They truly know me…

20140523_173741We didn’t manage to get the whole crew in one place at the same time for a group pic. To be fair, this is just part of the group + sig others + Alberto – so not a proper group pic, but a good one nonetheless.

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