From Field to Table – Javelina
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I enjoy hunting, and in Arizona, one of the most enjoyable species to hunt is the javelina. Locals call them “pigs”, but most of us know that they are not related to pigs at all. They are their own, unusual species of critter. Some people don’t like how they taste, but I think that has a lot to do with how they are cared for in the field. If you enjoy hunting, you can read the tale of my 2016 Javelina Hunt HERE.

So far, I have had all of my javelina made into chorizo – a spicy Mexican (or Spanish) sausage that I have grown fond of since moving to Arizona. I think the next one I get though I will have made into Jalapeno Cheddar Summer Sausage – mmmmmm

One javelina’s worth of chorizo lasts me just about a year so I was running low and anxiously awaiting the call from my meat processor.

They mix the meat with pork fat to make the chorizon, and my javelina was turned into 34 one pound packages of yummy chorizo!

I cook it into chorizo and eggs, and then make breakfast burritos!

To make this, brown the chorizo. When it’s about halfway done, beat 3 or 4 eggs and stir them in and mix it all together. Cook until done. Some people add potatoes to the mix (papas)

The you roll into the burrito (clearly, I am still mastering this technique!) adding what you like. I often add shredded cheese and some salsa. My daughter likes just cheese. You can also add sour cream, or whatever you like…


Review – San Tan Valley Barbecue Co Sweet and Spicy BBQ Sauce
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I met Dave Calvert (Kegger) at a recent Town of Queen Creek function where he had a booth next to the one I was manning. He was selling his sauces and rubs and offered me a taste. Wow!

San Tan Valley BBQ Sauce

I do a lot of reviews and honestly, sometimes they all start to taste the same. What I really love is finding a sauce that has: a) a subtle flavor I like; but b) can’t put my finger on

That was definitely the case with this sauce. Yeah there’s heat. It’s a delayed heat too which I always like… But there’s a tangy sweetness that you get right away, and gosh – you can’t figure it out! Finally I asked Dave and he told me – figs. Yep, figs. He has a fig tree in his yard and he harvest the figs and infuses them into his sauce. It works remarkably!

He offered me a bottle of each of his sauces to sample and I couldn’t wait to try it. That weekend I put chicken thoghs on the smoker, anxious to try this sauce and get the family some more of it.

As per my normal routine, I seasoned the chicken thighs several hours in advance of smoking them. I smoked at 225 for about 2 hours, getting them up to 155 or so internally. Then I raised the temp of the smoker and started basting them with Kegger’s Sauce; turn, baste, repeat.

I then pulled them off and finished in a hot oven, trying to get some caramelization of the sauce and some crispiness of the skin. This sauce was a hit. My wife loved the delay on the heat and loved the mysterious sweet. My daughter thought the heat was just right.

This sauce gets the “family seal of approval”. One observation we made is that the sauce is a bit on the thin side. If you like your sauce to be really thick, you might be disappointed. That being said, I liked the thinner consistency – made for a great basting sauce on the chicken.

The San tan Valley Barbecue Company is in San Tan Valley, about 35 miles or so southeast of Phoenix. The best way to contact Kegger and get some of this amazing sauce is to email him at

Figs… whouldathunk?

Great sauce!

More Dutch Oven Cooking!
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I’m loving my Dutch Oven! Last week I cooked dinner again, this time a simple casserole with shredded cheese, sour cream, onion, hash browns and smoked sausage.

All of this stuff was mixed together and cooked for about an hour or so. The smoke flavor from the sausage permeated the dish with just s hint of smokiness. The cheese and sour cream gave it tang, and the hash browns cooked up just right – cooked through but slightly firm. I know this dish isn’t healthy but mannnnnnnn it was good!

Mmmmm… Pork Rinds
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I really need to thank Erin England from RMD Advertising and of course, the folks from Rudolph Foods for sending me a package of goodies in recognition of February being National Snack Food Month (yes, it’s a thing!)

Of course, it doesn’t need to be NSFM for you to enjoy fine products from Rudolph’s. Barbecue season is right around the corner; so are hockey playoffs. OK, well you don’t really need a reason…

Their pork rinds come in great flavors and they are always seasoned just right. They are light and crispy and always fresh. The best news? According to their website they have more protein than peanuts and zero carbs.

If you check out their website, they always seem to have a contest running…

They have a cool little section called the “Pig Skin Primer, and a nice page of Recipes too.

Seriously, got a hankering for something different? Find yourself a bag of pork rinds from Rudloph’s

Broke Out The Dutch Oven
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A recent hunting trip where friend RL Gray cooked Enchilada Casserole inspired me to break out my Dutch Oven. I received it for Christmas last year and had never used it. Like most outdoor cooking, food cooked in a Dutch Oven just tastes good! After a day of javelina hunting, we were tired and hungry. RL’s supper really hit the spot. It was so tasty everyone had seconds (even thirds!) and there was no leftovers to worry about.

I attended a Dutch Oven Class several years ago so I had some cookbooks. Flipping through them I decided Beef and Green Chili Casserole would be on the menu!

The casserole is created by building layers of corn tortillas, ground beef, green chilis and enchilada sauce, and cheese.

Then – it cooks!

After about an hour or so, I sneaked a peek. By now, my family was chomping at the bit!

After about 90 minutes or so, it was finally done, and it was amazing! Served up with dollops of whipped cream, it was really, really successful. I can see more Dutch Oven cooking in my future!