Pork n beans. Moinks n beans. What?! Moinks? Never heard of them? Neither had I until about a year ago when we started getting more and more into this whole smoking thing.
Moinks are pork meatballs, wrapped in bacon and smoked. The name? I think it comes from the 'M' in Meatball and the 'OINK' in the pig. Moink.
Sunday's smoking consisted of ribs with pineapple jalapeno glaze, a simple on-sale salmon steak (only 1 because Mark won't eat anything that swims) and Moinks. While we ate the ribs that evening, the salmon was planned for a couple salads for work. The Moinks became an appetizer (mainly because we couldn't wait to try them!), treats for neighbors and the rest became dinner for another night. When we smoke, we make the most of it...you don't waste the smoke.
The beans? Lots of pineapple was left from the marinade and rib baste - jalapenos too - so both became part of the baked beans I'd planned as a side to the ribs. Because I bake my doctored up beans for at least an hour - sometimes longer, I even used the core of the pineapple in the beans instead of tossing it out. I learned that thrifty trick from Graham Kerr, The Galloping Gourmet, long, looooonnng ago. The pineapple core becomes tender when it cooks! A good tip for Asian stir fries, too.
The fresh pineapple added LOTS of sweetness (and a nice bit of tartness, too), so I didn't add the brown sugar or molasses I usually do, but I DID add just a little kick of bourbon and a little bottled barbecue sauce along with the jalapeno. The result? One that will be repeated! Often.
In fact, my son-in-law wants me to bring a dish of them when I visit them in Michigan next weekend. Maybe we'll even throw a few Moinks on his smoker. Why not?! They couldn't be easier.
- 1/2 pound ground pork
- 1/2 pound sausage meat, hot sausage if you wish...I wish!
- 7 slices bacon, thin sliced bacon
Mix the pork and sausage well - it helps to let the meat come almost to room temp first. Shape golfball sized meatballs and set aside until all are done.
Cut the bacon strips in half and wrap a half slice of bacon around the circumference of each meatball. Secure with a toothpick or slide several moinks onto metal skewers. (If you use wooden skewers, be sure to soak those right along with the hickory chips for at least an hour so they don't burn.) Chill the moinks in the fridge until the smoker is ready to go.
Prepare the smoker as you normally would for whatever type of smoker YOU use. I like hockory chips for these, so soak them at least an hour ahead. When the smoker is to temp, scatter some soaked hickory chips on the coals.
Place the skewers of moinks on the grate, cover and smoke until cooked through and bacon is golden.
NOTE: You can do these on the grill, too. Be sure to keep the flame low and use indirect heat so the bacon drippings don't ignite.
Pineapple, Jalapeno, Bourbon BBQ Baked Beans
- 1 cup pineapple, fresh, diced small, core and all
- 2 jalapenos, seeds and ribs removed, very finely diced - red or green
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 15 ounces black beans, drained
- 28 ounces baked beans, do NOT drain
- 1/2 cup barbecue sauce, hickory, bottled
- 1/4 cup bourbon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 7 slices bacon, cut into thirds
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Combine everything but the bacon and mix well. Pour into a large casserole dish and cover the top evenly with bacon.
Bake 1 - 1/2 hours or until the bacon is cooked, crisp and browned.