Pinwheels have received a bit of focus recently on our website so I thought about how to kick it up another notch. How about 3-meat pinwheel meat lollipops on skewers? I spoke to Scott about the idea and I think he thought I was slightly off kilter for suggesting it. Quite possibly, I am. And those of you doing the paleo thing, otherwise known as the caveman diet, well it doesn’t get any more caveman than this — meat on a stick cooked over fire! Paleo indeed!
***Editor’s Note ~ Stay tuned at the bottom for a bonus cookout of these meat lollipops we did the week after we made them the first time***
Here’s a photo of me stumbling into the kitchen after a shopping trip to the meat market. That always seems to bring a smile to my face. I’m like a kid on Christmas:
Meat Lollipops Ingredients:
2 thin boneless rib eye steaks (1/3 to 1/2 inch thick)
½ lb ground sausage
2–4 slices smoked ham
I picked up several steaks as I planned to do additional lollipops later. The meat cutter had thin-sliced steaks ready and waiting at their service counter:
The steaks are placed on a cutting board and covered with plastic wrap while I wreak havoc on them with a tenderizer:
This is not to tenderize. This will flatten the steaks yielding a larger surface area and make it easier to roll. Remember, we’re doing layers here.
Notice how the flattened steak has spread out compared to the non-flattened partner:
From a different angle you can see how much thinner the flattened steak is:
Notice the placement of thinner end to wider end and vice versa to give a more uniform outer layer. Be sure the steaks are tight against each other, a slight overlap might not be a bad idea. Here are both steaks flattened:
A half pound or so of ground sausage will be layered on top of the steak:
Sausage was approximately a quarter inch thick, but you could easily go a bit thinner:
Great off-the-bone ham. We did a bit of snacking on this stuff while doing our prep:
I’m only using 2 slices for this effort but would increase another layer or 2 next time around. Hey! This is the first time attempting this which is a learning experience, much the same as it would be for you:
***Editor’s Note ~ In the bonus cookout below, we lessened the sausage and increased the ham to four slices. Being a week apart between tastings, neither dad nor I could determine which was better. Both were really good, so feel free to use your own discretion here***
Now the tricky part… rolling this baby up into a log. Be sure to keep it as tight as possible:
I made it! However, I didn’t quite cover all the sausage:
Could I have flattened the steak more to cover? Possibly, but the steak can tear easily and fall apart if pounded too thin. I could’ve stopped shortly before the end of the roll with the layer of sausage to insure better coverage by the steak layer when rolled.
Cover the soon to be meat lollipops with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for an hour. The roll will stiffen, but not freeze, which will keep all the layers together after it’s sliced:
Freezer time is up and it’s on to the lollipop part. I used 6” wooden skewers that had soaked in water for a couple hours to prevent burning. Longer skewers could easily be substituted or even metal skewers:
Here’s my poor overlap again but also notice the seam made by the rib eye. This is where you’ll want to place the skewers so the meat lollipops hold together:
Skewers are inserted every inch or so right along the seam:
All skewers inserted. Looks kind of silly doesn’t it? Like barbeque acupuncture?
Simply and carefully slice between the skewers to create the meat lollipops. Use a gentle sawing effort as opposed to cutting straight down:
Viola! Raw meat lollipop!
The grill is set up with coals to one side and nothing on the other. The lollipops were placed right over a hot fire with the skewers over the side without the heat so they would not ignite:
***Editor’s note ~ If your grill doesn’t have much space for two zone grilling like this, place a folded sheet of aluminum foil over half the grill to deflect the heat away from the wooden skewers***
Here’s the first meat lollipop flipped… looking good! Typically, 4–5 minutes per side over high heat will do the trick but it could vary by grill, size of meat lollipop and weather:
I’d say Scott, who assisted, had a very good bed of coals. Don’t walk away from these once they hit the fire. The sausage will send a great deal of fat into the fire and can cause flare ups:
Looks close to being done. Notice the 3 on the cutting board in the background? They came from the end that wasn’t sealed very well and we decided not to include them in the photos. We thought they might fall apart so they were set aside. Later I put them on the grill for my wife who had just returned home from work and the end result came out as great as the others. They didn’t look as pretty going on the grill but they were great coming off in both appearance and taste.
Each meat lollipop is moved away from direct heat to bake a bit, while we poured the dipping sauces:
The lollipops are plated with sauces for dipping:
The barbeque sauce could also be glazed on the pops on the grill. The meat lollipops were great but we agreed they benefited from sauce. No rubs or seasonings were applied to any meats for this effort. Experimentation will likely incorporate a favorite rub, herb, and cheese to add different character. Different sausages such as chorizo could yield a spicy pop. There are many combinations possible so please send me your ideas or leave a note on our Facebook Fan Page. This is a fun recipe that adults and kids both will enjoy and we hope you try at your next family barbecue.
If you are doing the paleo diet, you don’t have to do the sauces. BBQ sauce has sugar in it, but the mustard sauce may be paleo friendly. This recipe is also gluten free.
What were the sauces used? Here they are, Blues Hog Barbecue Sauce and Trader Joe’s Aioli Garlic Mustard Sauce — both were outstanding with this:
***Time for the bonus cookout***
All three Grillin’ Fools, Tom, Scott, and yours truly, gathered at Tom’s recently for an afternoon/evening of epic grilling. You can find a photo anthology of all that we did during this lengthy and spectacular grill session on our Facebook page or check back here to see all the recipes as we put them up that include: gumbo done entirely on the grill; prosciutto and parmesan wrapped dates which is already up on the site; an amazing lamb recipe; goose breast and water chestnuts wrapped in prosciutto; and copious amounts of wine. We also had a couple of honored guests that would get to try the meat lollipops. Earlier in this post I mentioned that basting or glazing the lollipops would be a tasty alternative and this was the perfect time to try.
I prepped the meat lollipops at home and brought along Crawdad’s Classics Hot Sauce and Crawmama’s Dipping Sauce for basting sauces:
We sampled the hot sauce last week and thought it to be very, very good. Some hot sauce is just… well…hot. This sauce is different. It has a quality throughout that I call, “hot sauce with character.” We sampled the dipping sauce last week served with blackened steak by Chris Avolio of Hot Shots fame. What a tasty combination that turned out to be so good I decided to try it on the lollipops.
Here they are hitting the grill, a brand new Char-Broil TRU Infrared Grill:
What a great addition to our grilling equipment family. Expect to see a product review forthcoming.
***Editor’s Note ~ Since this was the inaugural cruise of this sweet grill, I thought I would post a couple of the pictures of the virgin grill from earlier in the day***
***Back to your regularly scheduled blogcast of this fine grilling recipe***
Now the lollipops are flipped with some serious grill marks appearing.
A couple are basted with hot sauce:
The dipping sauce is drizzled on the rest of the lollipops:
Classic plated shot:
My wife had shopped that day for a variety of plates for us to use in our presentations. Scott was eager to use one of the new dishes but in his haste he forgot to remove the manufacturer’s sticker. So much for professional presentation.
If you have any questions or comments about either of these dishes, feel free to leave them below or shoot me an email.
- 2 thin boneless rib eye steaks (1/3 to ½ inch thick)
- ½ lb ground sausage
- 2–4 slices smoked ham
- Lay 2 steaks out on a cutting board, side by side, cover with plastic wrap and flatten with a meat hammer
- Place a .25 inch layer of sausage over the steak
- Place 2–4 slices of ham over the sausage
- Roll the meat up into a loaf and wrap in plastic wrap
- Place the meat log in the freezer for 30 minutes to firm the meat up
- Prepare the grill for high heat grilling
- Remove from the freezer and take the plastic wrap off
- Slide skewers in every inch or so
- Slice between the skewers to form the lollipops
- Put each meat lollipop over the flames and cook on each side for 4–5 minutes depending on the heat of the fire, size of the lollipops and weather
- Remove from the heat and plate with your favorite dipping sauce (skip the dipping sauce to be paleo friendly)