Fattie (Bacon Sausage Cheese Roll)Steven Raichlen
Fattie (Bacon Sausage Cheese Roll)
- Advance Prep: 30 minutes plus 3 to 4 hours for chilling the meat
- Yield: Serves 8 to 10
- Method: Hot smoking
- Equipment: 3 cups hickory or oak chunks, soaked in water to cover for 30 minutes, then drained, or smoking pellets; 1 2-1/2 gallon resealable plastic bag; 1 wide roll of plastic wrap, heavy duty aluminum foil or parchment paper
- 2 1/2 pounds bulk breakfast sausage
- 15 strips thick cut bacon (about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds), or more as needed
- 6 ounces sliced or grated cheese, such as Jack or cheddar
- 12 inches of Polish sausage
- 1/2 pound hot links, diced (2 to 3 links)
Step 1: Put the breakfast sausage in a 2 1/2 gallon resealable plastic bag. Seal the top, leaving a small opening for air to escape. Using a rolling pin, roll the sausage into a rectangle that is 14 3/4 inches (the width of the bag) by 12 inches. (You can use a ruler or a package of bacon as a guide; see photo below). The rectangle will be about 1/2 inch thick. Chill for at least 2 hours, leaving the sausage in the bag.
Step 2: Build the bacon weave. Moisten your countertop or workspace with a damp towel. Lay a 15-inch rectangle of parchment paper, plastic wrap, or heavy-duty foil on the dampened workspace and smooth it out. Arrange 8 strips of bacon, sides touching, parallel to the edge of the parchment.
Step 3: Fold back the even-numbered strips of bacon (2, 4, 6, and 8) and lay a ninth strip of bacon snugly against the folds (perpendicular to the first 8 slices). Next, fold back the odd-numbered strips of bacon (1, 3, 5, and 7) and lay a tenth strip of bacon snugly against the folds. Repeat, alternating even- and odd-numbered strips until the bacon weave is complete.
Step 4: Lay a sheet of plastic wrap over the completed bacon weave and gently roll with a rolling pin to tighten the weave and expand its size. Chill for at least 2 hours.
Step 5: Retrieve the sausage rectangle from the refrigerator and slice the long sides of the plastic bag with a knife or scissors. (You can use the bag as an aid in rolling the fattie, or transfer the sausage to a piece of parchment, plastic wrap, or heavy-duty foil. We found plastic wrap was easier to work with.) Arrange the sausage so the short side is parallel to you.
Step 6: Arrange the cheese slices or grated cheese on the sausage rectangle leaving a margin of about an inch. Sprinkle the diced hot links evenly over the cheese.
Step 7: Cut the ends off the Polish sausages on a 45-degree angle. Butt the diagonal cuts together to form one 12-inch Polish sausage and arrange the pieces on the sausage rectangle parallel to and 1 inch above the edge of the short side. Carefully roll the sausage rectangle and its fillings into a tight log using the plastic wrap as an aid. Smooth the seam. At this point, you can chill the fattie (wrapped in plastic wrap) if desired.
Step 8: Once again, moisten your countertop or workspace with a damp towel, then cover it with plastic wrap. Gently unwrap the bacon weave and place it on the countertop. Gently
unwrap the chilled fattie and place it in the center of the bacon weave—it (and its lengthwise seam) should run parallel to the edge of your counter. Lifting the overhanging edge of the plastic wrap under the bacon, wrap the fattie in the bacon weave, finishing with the seams on the bottom. Gently pat the fattie to make an even compact log. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour or until you’re ready to smoke. The fattie can be prepared up to 4 hours ahead.
Step 9: Set up your smoker following the manufacturer’s instructions and preheat to 225 to 250 degrees. Add the wood chunks just before smoking.
Step 10: Gently unwrap the bacon-wrapped fattie and place it seam-side down on one of the racks of your smoker. Smoke the fattie until nicely browned on the outside and cooked to at least 160 degrees in the center. Depending on your smoker and the weather, this will take 2 to 3 hours.
Step 11: Loosen the fattie from the smoker rack (gently rock it back and forth with the edge of a spatula if it sticks). Transfer the fattie to a cutting board. Let it rest for 10 minutes, then cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices. Awesome!