Smoked Turkey French Onion Soup

I don’t know about you, but I am somewhat happy that Thanksgiving is done with. Not that I did not mind a couple of days off of work, but I think my wife and I both said that we were kind of tired of eating. I think you can only have so many leftovers and then get tired of them, but as much as I like to come up with some leftover recipes, I decided that I would come up with a new recipe of sorts; the smoked turkey French onion soup. I normally make French onion soup around Christmas time, but whoa was I ever glad I made a batch of soup this past week. Not only was it light, but did it ever hit the spot.

Smoked Turkey French Onion Soup Recipe
Smoked Turkey French Onion Soup Recipe

If you do not have smoked turkey, no worries, Leftover turkey breast will suffice but the light smokiness give it a really great flavor.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 4 whole onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 8 cups of beef stock
  • 1/2 cup of dry Vermouth
  • 1 cup smoked turkey breast, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 1/2  tbsp fresh thyme
  • French baguette, cut into rounds
  • 2 cups of Alpine style cheese, finely grated

Start by heating a medium sized pot on medium heat. Add in the oil, butter, and toss in the onions and garlic. After the onions begin to sweat out, add in the salt, and sugar. Continue cooking until the onions caramelize. This can take up to 30 minutes, so keep an eye on them, not letting them burn, and adjust your heat to medium low. Take in the smell. Gosh I love that smell.

After the onions caramelize, add in the turkey, thyme, vermouth, and cook for a few minutes before adding in your beef stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, and cook for about 25 minutes.

Smoked Turkey French Onion Soup Recipe
Smoked Turkey French Onion Soup Recipe

 

Before you are ready to serve, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Take a couple of rounds of your baguette, and generously top with the grated Alpine cheese. Place into the preheated oven, cooking for about 6-8 minutes or until the cheese is nice and melted. You can probably placed under your broiler as well. Your call.

When you are ready to serve, ladle the soup into a soup bowl and place the bread on top.

Dig in. Dunk that bread into the soup, spoon that deliciousness into your mouth and repeat. My wife,daughter and I fell in love with this soup, and it was one that had you going back for more. My wife and I both lifted our bowls at the end to finish every last drop of that awesome broth, and that is rare. Yep, this is a good one. Hope you enjoy!

 

Smoked Beef Brisket

A Costco was recently opened in our neighborhood, and the place is massive. My wife and I are not members (yet), but my father-in-law is and he invited us to join him. I have heard nothing but good things about this place, and as I was familiar with Sam’s Club, I was interested walking around, not knowing what I would purchase.  I did not realize this place offered so much stuff, and in particular I was pleasantly surprised with their meat department. A few minutes in and I had a cart full of stuff, including a huge beef brisket. I typically only find flats in our stores, and they are super expensive, but this one at Costco had the flat and point, and it was huge, and super affordable. That alone was worth the trip.

I was jazzed to make another attempt at smoking this beef brisket, and well pretty darn excited to boot.

Smoked Beef Brisket Recipe
Smoked Beef Brisket Recipe

Beef brisket is one of those cuts that, in my opinion, are sometimes tough to make, but when done right it is probably the best slice of beef you may ever have. I think I nailed it, not only in getting the awesome smoke ring, but this cut like butter and was super tender.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 11 lb beef brisket, fat trimmed
  • salt, to lightly coat
  • cracked black pepper, to lightly coat
  • Your favorite wood for smoking meats
  • aluminum foil

Start by trimming all of the fat. It’s ok to leave a little bit, but you pretty much want it off. Pay attention where the flat and the point meet, and get your knife in there and trim all of that out.

This process alone took me about 35 minutes. No lie.

Once you have the fat, feel free to save it for a later use, such as grinding into meat for making sausages, or discard.

Generously season all sides of the beef brisket with kosher salt and cracked black pepper. I then sealed mine in a large bag and let sit in the refrigerator overnight.

How to smoke a beef brisket
How to smoke a beef brisket

Before you are ready to smoke, take the brisket out of the refrigerator, and let it come to room temperature, roughly 30 minutes or so.

During this time, get your smoker ready. I use a Weber charcoal grill for my smoker, lining hot coals on one side, and drip pans, full of water, in the center.

My coworker sold me some digital probes for taking temperature for the meat, as well as the inside of the smoker, and when I put my brisket on, it was hovering around 270 degrees, and my brisket cooked at that temperature for probably 30 minutes until I got the temperature down to about 245 degrees. I smoked that for about 6 hours, then wrapped it in foil and cooked for about another 8 hours around 190 degrees. Low and slow if you will.

Once I had the internal temperature set to around 190 degrees then it is time to pull it off the smoker. I let my beef brisket rest for about 40 minutes before slicing into it. Slicing is the moment of truth, and truth be told mine was perfect. I was left with a great outer bark, and great smoke ring, and moist and tender. I was stoked. You can use this for sandwiches, eat as is, or even quesadillas! Costco now has me sold and we are now most likely getting a membership for the brisket alone. Hope you give this one a shot, and wish you all the best in smoking a brisket!

Smoked Ham

I’m probably getting excited, not only because it is Spring time, or at least getting close, but probably because Easter Sunday is near. Unfortunately this year much of the family will not be around and no one will be able to get together to enjoy an Easter Sunday feast, hence why I had glanced in my freezer only to find a small ham I had found on sale some time ago. I love ham, don’t you? It’s probably my son’s favorite, maybe both of my kids, and to me, there is nothing better than a ham that is plated on a table. The big question is, is why do we typically only make ham once or twice a year?

When I saw that ham, I knew I could go the standard route and bake it, but I wanted to do something different, plus I wanted to bust out the smoker, and hence why I now had that smoked ham.

Smoked Ham Recipe
Smoked Ham Recipe

This is so easy to make, and the smoke adds a great additional character to the ham. Did my family love it? Yes! We actually ended up eating it for three days straight.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ham (I use the butt end)
  • 1/2 cup of yellow mustard
  • 1 cup of light brown sugar
  • cherry wood for the smoker
  • water pan for the smoker

Start by rubbing the ham with the mustard. The yellow mustard will act as the glue for the brown sugar.

Next, add the brown sugar, and massage it onto the ham. Let the mixture sit on your plate as you prepare your smoker.

When I smoke, I use charcoal as my ignition, and chunks of cherry wood as my smoking agent. I also have been using the Smokenator for well over a year now, and love it. But whatever smoker you use, have at it.

Smoked Ham Recipe
Smoked Ham Recipe

Once the charcoal is lit and nice and grey, add the wood chunks and water pan, and set your ham over the indirect heat on the grill. Cover, and cook for about three hours at 250 degrees.

After three hours, remove the ham from the smoker, wrap it in a couple of sheets of aluminum foil, and place into a 300 degree oven until the internal temperature of the ham is about 140 degrees. I do this in a two step process as to not only get the great smoke flavor from the grill, but to also have it finish and be nice in tender in the oven.

Once the temperature has reached 140 degrees, remove it from the oven, and using a sharp knife, cut it into thin slices, or your desired thickness.

Now you are ready to serve. The subtle smokiness of the cherry wood really had my kids, all of them, coming back for more. Again, we ate the ham for dinner three nights straight, and even my kids loved it so much they were making ham sandwiches for their lunches, plus I had plenty of leftover ham to freeze. I’m sure I’ll be serving it again during the Easter holiday.

If you are looking for a nice smoked ham, give this one a shot. That mustard and sugar combination, along with the cherry smoke, really made this smoked ham shine. Enjoy!

Mustard and Dill Smoked Salmon

This past Thanksgiving was pretty darn good. As you recall I made a couple of different turkeys, including a smoked turkey breast that was out of this world. My mother-n-law laid out a few appetizers before the big feast, and one of them was this great smoked salmon she picked up from Empire Fish in our area. Everyone surrounded that smoked salmon like they have never eaten in days, it was that good. So the following week, I remembered I had purchased a salmon that was on sale not too long ago, and I brought it up, only to be placed onto the smoker.

Mustard and Dill Smoked Salmon Recipe
Mustard and Dill Smoked Salmon Recipe

Any time I can mask mustard into a recipe, as my wife does not like mustard, I do, and this was one of those occasions. This recipe uses a dill and mustard spread over the top, that almost builds this awesome smokey crust on the salmon, and impart packs a bunch of additional flavor.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole salmon filet, bones removed, skin on
  • 1/2 cup of yellow mustard
  • 1 tbsp dill
  • Cherry wood chips, soaked in water
  • Smoker
  • 1 tbsp canola oil

Start by getting your smoker started. Again, I use my Weber grill with the Smokenator 1000 accessory, which works really well, but use what you have.

In the meantime, rub the meat side of the salmon with the yellow mustard, then sprinkle on the dill. That’s it.

Mustard and Dill Smoked Salmon Ingredients
Mustard and Dill Smoked Salmon Ingredients

Before placing the salmon onto the smoker, I liked to brush a bit of oil on the grates where you are going to place the salmon to prevent the skin from sticking. Place the fish, skin side down onto the oiled grates, cover, and let smoke until your internal temperature of the salmon reads 150 degrees on your food thermometer.

Carefully lift up, and place on a plate.

Let cool for about 15 minutes or so, and then dig in. The end result is a perfectly smoked salmon that just flakes apart. When I served this up, it reminded me a lot like that Thanksgiving day. Everyone was picking at it and placing on top of crackers. Regardless, it was super delicious, and was way too easy to make. Hope you enjoy, and happy holidays to everyone!