Customizable to any meat lover's tastes, a meat log (sometimes called a "fattie") is a fun centerpiece or showstopper when cooking for a crowd.
The meat log has a fancy bacon weave on the outside and a pinwheel effect when sliced after cooking. I turned one meat log into a silly Meat "Yule" Log for this holiday video, but the video also serves as a tutorial for the standard recipe.
Serves: 5-6 people
Preheat your grill/smoker to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
1. Dice onion and jalapeño peppers, and cook them with 1 T olive oil in skillet over medium heat until onions are translucent and peppers are tender-crisp.
2. Mix together cream cheese and shredded cheddar cheese in a medium bowl and set aside.
3. Lay out two 24" (approximate) lengths of plastic wrap on your work surface, one above the other.
4. Weave a "mat" of bacon on top of your plastic wrap, approximately 8 pieces wide by 8 pieces tall (may vary depending on lengths of your bacon).
5. Spread all of the pork sausage over the bacon weave, keeping the sausage about 1/2" away from the edges of the bacon, so that once rolled the bacon will be able to wrap over the ends.
6. Spread the BBQ sauce over the sausage.
7. Shake on some BBQ spice rub (adjust amount to your tastes).
8. Spread cheese mixture over the BBQ sauce & rub. It's OK if it mixes a bit with the BBQ sauce, but try to keep the cheese mixture 1/2" away from the edges of the sausage.
9. Sprinkle onions and jalapeños over the cheese mixture.
10. Starting with the edge closest to you and rolling away from you, roll the sausage and fillings (but not the bacon weave) Into a log shape. Press together the sausage at the final seam and both ends so that no fillings will leak out.
11. Now wrap the log with the bacon weave by lifting the far edge of the plastic wrap and wrapping the bacon weave around the log as you roll it back toward yourself.
12. Remove plastic wrap and smoke the log until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit, typically 3 to 3.5 hours.
13. If creating a "Yule" Log, apply your favorite mashed potato recipe to the outside (to resemble tree bark) by using a piping bag — or by spreading potatoes with a spatula and adding texture with the tines of a fork — and then broil in oven on center rack for 10-20 minutes to add some color to the potatoes (watch carefully).
14. Slice to expose pinwheel swirl, and enjoy while hot!