Episode 106 - Texas Trinity

Hot Gut Hero (Beef Sausage and Pepper Jack Cheese Sandwich)

Hot Gut Hero (Beef Sausage and Pepper Jack Cheese Sandwich)

Other Recipes from Planet Barbecue Episode 106 – Texas Trinity

Sausage is often discussed in euphemism. We avoid saying what’s really in it. (Remember the adage about two things to avoid watching. The workings of politics and the stuffing of sausage. Texans have the courage to call it what it is: hot guts. Hot as in larded with jalapenos. Guts as in, well let’s just say they use natural sausage casings. This being Texas, the meat for the sausage is beef. And this being Texas, the essential flavoring is wood smoke.
Depending on where you are, this sandwich might be called a hoagie (in Philadelphia), a grinder (in western Massachusetts), a po’boy (in New Orleans). I call it a hero and it’s about to make you the hero of your next tailgating party. Note: encurdito is the Mexican term for pickled vegetables.

Makes 2 and can be multiplied as desired.

Note: prepare the encurdito at least 24 hours ahead


Hot Gut Hero (Beef Sausage and Pepper Jack Cheese Sandwich)


For the encurdito:

  • 2 cups distilled white vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 4 allspice berries
  • 1 medium white onion, thinly slivered
  • 2 carrots, thinly slivered
  • 1 poblano chile, cut in half lengthwise and seeded, thinly slivered (discard the seeds)
  • 2 cups shredded green cabbage

For the horseradish sauce:

  • 6 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

  • One poblano pepper, sliced lengthwise and seeded
  • One onion, cut crosswise into 1/2 inch wheels and pinned with toothpicks through the sides
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 Texas hot guts (uncooked smoked beef sausage
  • Extra virgin olive oil

  • 4 ounces pepper Jack cheese, coarsely grated

  • 4 hoagie rolls
  • 3 tablespoons butter, at room temperature

Recipe Steps

1: Make the encurdito: Place the vinegar, salt, oregano, and allspice berries in a non-reactive bowl and whisk until the salt is dissolved. Stir in the slivered onions, carrots, and cabbage. Let marinate for at least 24 hours in the refrigerator. You may want to transfer the mixture to glass Ball jars to marinate—store any unused encurdito in the jar.

2: The next day, combine the mayonnaise, horseradish, and mustard in a small bowl and whisk to mix. Keep cold until serving.

3: Just before serving, heat your grill and / or plancha and oil it well. Brush the poblano halves and onion wheels with oil and grill over direct heat until lightly charred. Remove from the heat, let cool, then slice the poblano into strips and remove the skewers from the onion. Grill the hot guts until the casings are crisp and the sausages are cooked through, 160 degrees on an instant-read meat thermometer, 5 minutes per side, turning with tongs. Keep the sausages warm.

4: Butter the cut sides of the hoagie rolls. Toast the hoagie rolls on the grill, cut sides down, until crusty and brown.

5: Assemble the heroes. Slather the insides of the rolls with horseradish mayonnaise. Add the sausages and top with cheese. (The hot sausage will melt the cheese.) Scatter on the poblano and grilled onion. Top with encurdito and serve at once.

Recipe Tips

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