Making Bacon

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Home cured – smoked bacon!!!

On the smoker.

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Off the smoker.

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Asparagus – Artichoke Lasagna

1 Tbs plus 1 tsp olive oil

 9 lasagna sheets, fresh or dried

2 (8.5oz) jars sun dried tomatoes, drained

1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed

1 1/4 cups freshly grated parmesan cheese

1/4 pound pancetta, diced

1 medium onion diced

2 garlic cloves minced

3 bunches of asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces

6 artichoke hearts (I used frozen ones) chopped

1 (15oz) container whole milk ricotta cheese

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

2 cups shredded whole milk mozzarella cheese

2 Tbs unsalted butter but into small pieces
 Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.  Add the teaspoon of olive oil.  Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring  occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes for dried pasta or 2 to 3 minutes for fresh pasta.  Drain the pasta.  In a food processor, combine the sun dried tomatoes and basil.  Pulse until the mixture is combined.  Transfer to a small bowl and stir in 1/2 cup of the parmesan cheese.  Set aside.
In a large skillet, brown the pancetta until crisp.  Remove from the pan using a slotted spoon.  Add the tablespoon of olive oil, the onion and garlic to the same skillet and cook until tender about 4 minutes.  Add the asparagus and artichokes and cook until tender about 4 minutes, then transfer the mixture to a large bowl.  Add the ricotta, pancetta, salt and pepper and stir to combine.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Sprinkle some of the sun dried tomato mixture over the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.  Place a layer lasagna sheets on top of the sun dried tomato mixture and spread the noodles with half of the asparagus mixture .  Sprinkle with a third of the mozzarella cheese and a third of the remaining 3/4 cup parmesan cheese.  Make another layer in the same fashion.  Top with a third layer of lasagna sheets, some sun dried tomato mixture, and the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan.  Dot the top with the butter.  Bake until the lasagna is heated through and the cheese is melted, about 25 minutes.

 

Tri – Tip Red Wine Marinade

Tri – Tip Red Wine Marinade

1 – 2 1/2 Lb (more or less) trimmed Tr-Tip

1 – cup Red Table Wine (left over bottles work just fine)

1/4 – cup Red Wine Vinegar

5 – cloves Garlic (crushed)

1 – tablespoon Onion Flakes

2 – Bay Leaves

1 – teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes

Salt and Pepper to taste

 

Combine all and marinate in the frig for 5 hours minmum.  I put everything in a “zip-lock” baggie.

I cook over a charcoal BBQ.  The key to this Marinade is using a 1/4 “stick” of a wine barrel stave for the smoking flavor. I soak the stave in water for 3 to 4 hours.  Oak is very dense wood and takes a long time for the water to penetrate into the wood.

I set up the BBQ with all the charcoal on one half, with the exception of 4 or 5 coals.  The direct heat side has all the coals and the indirect heat side has the 4 or 5 coals with the barrel stave place on top for smoking.

Sear meat on both sides over the direct heat and then move meat to the indirect side. i rotate and turn the meat every 30-minutes until the internal temp. reaches 140 degrees. Remove meat and cover for 10 to 15 minutes.  At this temp, most of the meat should be med to med-rare depending on the thickness.