well, due to the friendly encouragement of many members, here's my entry, which also happens to be my first fatty:
i took three lbs of lean burger and mixed it with the following, pretty much making it up as i went along:
- 6 slices of bread, processed into crumbs
- 1 egg
- 1 small can of sliced mushrooms
- 1/2 of a large onion, chopped fine
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 small (8oz) can of el pato (mexican "hot" tomato sauce)
- 1 tbsp. kosher salt
- 1 tbsp. pepper
- a melange of herbs from my herb garden as available, including marjoram, oregano, savory, sage, thyme, rosemary etc., chopped fine
- 3 tbsp worcestershire sauce
i spread the mixture out on a wide cookie sheet on top of a layer of waxed paper, spread 8oz of shredded cheddar cheese across the top of the mixture, leaving the edges without cheese, then carefully rolled the whole thing up cinnamon-roll style. i pressed the ends together to seal set the chub in the fridge overnight wrapped in waxed paper to chill and firm up.
i put it on the "warm" smoker at 1130 PM this morning. at 3 lbs, i expected it to be done at around 1530, but it was closer to 1700 before it was done as the temperatures started to drop. the last hour it sat for quite a while at 140 degrees before i brought it up again.
the preparation was mostly a matter of leaving it alone; gowever, i did baste it with some extra virgin olive oil now and then and, keeping with the "mexitalian theme, i also basted it with old el paso's mild taco sauce for the last hour. it turn out with a good dark color, good smoke ring and overall good flavor. it was a little bit too spicy (from the el pato) and a little bit too smokey and there was a little too much onion, but other than that, it was pretty dang good!
here's a bit of Q-view eye-candy. it wasn't quite as dark as it looks in the pix, but close:
the cheese turned out great! i was worried that it might glop up or melt away, but everything was fine. a sharper cheddar would ahve been better but would have put things out of balance as sharp cheddar is not really italian.
i think that this could be refined a bit in future Qs to something pretty good. if anyone tries this using the recipe above, i suggest cutting back on the onion, mixing the breadcrumbs separate from the onion and using tomato sauce instead of el pato. let me know how it goes and if any improvements/modifications turn out a more interesting end result.