Gravy with a side of Smoked Meatloaf

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Gravy with a side of Smoked Meatloaf
Gravy with a side of Smoked Meatloaf

This post is for all lovers of gravy like myself!! I normally post Money $Shot photos with a touch of gravy in order to best display the cook. But before settling down to wolf my dinner I drown certain foods with gravy. Meatloaf & mashed potatoes is one of those recipes. I don't think I'll hear too complaints of people asking me where's the gravy!! As the meal progressed I must admit that I supplemented my plate with more gravy ... There is no better comfort food in my opinion than meatloaf, mashed potatoes, green beans, and lots of gravy.

Rested Smoked Meatloaf
Rested Smoked Meatloaf
Plated Smoked Meatloaf
Plated Smoked Meatloaf

Mixed up 1 lb hamburger, 1 lb Jimmy Dean sausage, red onion, green pepper, 2 eggs, Italian bread crumbs, tomato sauce, granulated garlic, black pepper, seasoned salt, and garlic salt. Split the mixture into 2 loaves. You can substitute this meatloaf recipe with your favorite family recipe.

Preheated my MAK 2 Star wood pellet smoker-grill  to 200ºF with hickory -> smoked the meatloaves at 200ºF for an hour -> bumped the pit tempt to 365ºF -> topped the loaves with tomato sauce after 30 minutes -> pulled the meatloaves at an internal temperature of 170ºF -> rested the meatloaves for 15 minutes loosely under a foil tent ... for planning purposes it took 2¾ hours from start to finish.

Hickory Smoked Meatloaf
Hickory Smoked Meatloaf
Smoked Meatloaf to 170ºF
Smoked Meatloaf to 170ºF
Resting Smoked Meatloaf
Resting Smoked Meatloaf

SPAM Orzo Recipe

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SPAM Orzo
SPAM Orzo

SPAM Orzo Recipe

SPAM Orzo Recipe - I'm always looking to develop and try new recipes so this morning I started thinking about ways to use SPAM. I recently restocked my pantry and found I need new ways to use cans of SPAM I bought on sale. Like many people, and the State of Hawaii as a whole, I really enjoy the taste of SPAM.There are almost 20 varieties of SPAM and I can honestly say that I've only enjoyed the Classic. Well over seven billion, that's billion with a "B", cans of SPAM have been sold to date. SPAM was first introduced by Hormel Foods Corporation in 1937.

According to its label, SPAM'S basic ingredients are pork shoulder meat, with ham meat added, salt, water, modified potato starch as a binder, sugar, and sodium nitrite as a preservative. Natural gelatin forms during cooking in its tins on the production line.

Hawaii consumes more SPAM than any state in our union -- in total, 7 million cans a year. According to the SPAM website, the island's love affair with SPAM began in World War II, when GIs were served the salty luncheon meat because it didn't require refrigeration and had a long shelf life.

SPAM Orzo Ingredients
SPAM Orzo Ingredients
SPAM Red Sauce
SPAM Red Sauce
SPAM Orzo $Shot
SPAM Orzo $Shot

Over the years I've made what I call 'Red Rice' which uses leftover ham in a tomato based sauce over white rice ... therefore turning it into red rice. If you do a search for 'Red Rice' you'll find millions of hits but I don't know where I first found a recipe for my version of 'Red Rice'. Not having any leftover ham around I decided to substitute SPAM. Then, I noticed that I've ran out of white rice. Upon further exploration of my cupboards I discovered that I had some Orzo left from a previous recipe. So I figured: ... why not throw together my 'Red Rice' recipe but use SPAM and Orzo.

Orzo, which means "barley" in Italian, is used most traditionally in soups, but this very versatile, rice-shaped pasta has been widely adapted by chefs in Italy and America for both main courses as well as side dishes.

Ingredients:  ½ pound orzo > 1 can Classic SPAM diced > 1 cup chopped celery > 1 cup chopped red onions > 4 oz canned mushrooms > handful of sliced black olives > chopped green onions > 14 oz tomato sauce > 14 oz chopped stewed tomatoes > 1 tsp crushed garlic > 1 tsp seasoned salt > ½ tsp black pepper > 2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil.

Directions:  Sauté celery & onions in olive oil till translucent > mix all ingredients except orzo in a large skillet > bring to boil and lower to a medium simmer > simmer SPAM and ingredients for 30 minutes > boil orzo according to directions > Drain orzo and add to sauce > Serve with a side of green salad and toasted roasted garlic bread.

Scalloped Potatoes and Smoked Pork Loin

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Scalloped Potatoes and Smoked Pork Loin
Scalloped Potatoes and Smoked Pork Loin

Scalloped Potatoes and Smoked Pork Loin

Scalloped Potatoes and Smoked Pork Loin - Do you love potatoes as much as I do? I can honestly say that in my youth there were times when we only had a potato or two to eat the entire day. Yes, like many coal mining families in Northern France we had some extreme hard times. But as the old saying goes, all's well that ends well. Those hard times helped mold the person I am today. As such, to this day I simply adore potatoes in any form: scalloped, Au Gratin, baked, mashed, fried ... just to name a few.

Do a search on scalloped potatoes and you'll only get about 1,770,000 results. What's a man to do? So many recipes and so little time. When we were married, 44 plus years ago, we bought a Betty Crockett Cookbook which had a simple scalloped potato recipe. After all these years I still use that easy recipe. I only deviate from the recipe when I want to make potatoes au gratin which merely requires the addition of a nice sharp cheddar cheese.

Resting Smoked Pork Loin
Resting Smoked Pork Loin
Scalloped Potatoes
Scalloped Potatoes
Carved Smoked Pork Loin
Carved Smoked Pork Loin

For the scalloped potato recipe see my post called "Scalloped Potatoes with SPAM". It's actually an Au Gratin recipe with diced SPAM in it topped with Italian style Panko crispy bread crumbs. Just omit the SPAM and Panko crumb ingredients - or not!

Trimmed a 3 pound Swift pork loin roast of excess fat and silver skin. Rubbed the pork loin on all sides with roasted garlic extra virgin olive oil and Jan's Original Dry Rub. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate overnight. Preheated my MAK 2 Star to 200ºF with hickory wood pellets. Smoked the seasoned pork loin for an hour at 200ºF for an hour before increasing the pit temperature to 350ºF until the internal temperature of the loin reaches 145ºF. For planning purposes only, it took approximately 2 hours to smoke/cook the pork loin. Rest the pork loin loosely under a foil tent before slicing against the grain.

Bodacious Sliced Smoked New York Strip

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Bodacious Sliced Smoked New York Strip
Bodacious Sliced Smoked New York Strip

Broke out the Chef's Choice food slicer and sliced the rest of the hickory smoked 8 pound New York strip roast we had for Christmas. I don't get to use the slicer often enough but when I do it does a great job of providing thin slices. They will soon be enhancing many a sammich ... I look forward to dipping a sammich or two in a nice Au Jus sauce! Vacuum sealed and frozen for future use.

Chef's Choice 632
Chef's Choice 632
Vacuum sealed NY strip
Vacuum sealed NY strip

Smoked New York Top Loin Roast

posted in: Beef | 0
Smoked New York Top Loin
Smoked New York Top Loin

Smoked New York Top Loin Roast

Smoked New York Top Loin Roast - Our Christmas dinner tradition is to have a nice roast with all the trimmings. This year we smoked a New York Strip at my Son's house using his MAK 2 Star. The 8 pound NY top loin was hickory smoked at 240ºF until the internal temperature reached 135ºF. Rested under a foil tent for 15 minutes before carving. Served with baked potatoes and a nice green salad. Course we had munchies up the wazoo during the day - deviled eggs, stuffed mushrooms, guacamole dip, spinach dip, crab mold ... Let me just say that it was scrumptious and enjoyed by all!!!

Trimmed NY Strip
Trimmed NY Strip
New York Strip Steaks
New York Strip Steaks

Are there better cuts of beef than a NY strip? Yes there are - like Prime Rib/Rib Roast or Ribeyes which are essentially the same except the bones have been removed. But for the price of $4.99/lb you can't go wrong with a New York Top Loin when properly smoked. It came out so tender and juicy!

Started with a 16 lb Choice grade New York strip at Costco and trimmed the fat cap and silver skin off. Cut the roast in half for our Christmas feast and cut the other half into eight 1 inch thick steaks. Vacuum sealed the steaks into packages of 2 for grilling later.

Rubbed on all sides of the trimmed New York strip with Roasted Garlic Extra Virgin Olive Oil and applied a liberal amount of Fagundes Prime Rib Roast Seasoning. Wrapped the seasoned roast in plastic and refrigerated overnight. Preheated the wood pellet smoker-grill to 240ºF using hickory wood pellets. Smoked at 240ºF for approximately 3 hours until the internal temperature reached 135ºF. Times are for estimates only - always cook to internal temperatures.

Seasoned NY Strip Roast
Seasoned NY Strip Roast
Hickory Smoked NY Strip
Hickory Smoked NY Strip
Resting NY Strip Roast
Resting NY Strip Roast
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