Magic Meat Rub

I do a lot of meat smoking and in so doing need a lot of rub.  It has taken several years to come up with the perfect mixture but now that I have it, I not only use it for meats before smoking but also as a seasoning for many other dishes.

It works on anything with potatoes, sausage, eggs and many other flavor profiles.

I won’t give you the exact mix in case I ever decide to market and sell it but the basic ingredient list includes:

  • Kosher salt
  • Smoked Paprika
  • Homemade Chili Powder
  • Black Pepper
  • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • Cayenne
  • Onion & Garlic – dried flakes
  • Mustard Powder
  • Smoked Hungarian Paprika
  • and a few more secret ingredients

I do not put any sugar in my rub!  For smoking meats I do not want the danger of the sugars burning.  For ribs that like a little sweetness, I mix apple juice or apple cider vinegar, water and brown sugar and spray it on several times at the end of the smoke session.


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Ultimate Breakfast Casserole

Just as I have – you’ve probably had or tried to make them all…    Potato cheese mixtures or bread bits and sausage drowned in scrambled egg mixture.

None of them are bad, but they all left me wanting for more.

The flavor profiles I was looking for was flavorful potatoes, cheese and sausage.  I enjoy shredded potatoes and onions cooked as a hash brown mixture then add spicy bulk sausage and topped with cheese to left melt down through it.  I have also begun to love the added flavor that caramelizing onions brings to my dishes but didn’t want to spend time slaving over a pan of oil / onion mixture to get the perfect ‘doneness’.

Ultimate Breakfast CasseroleList of basic ingredients:

  • Onion & bell pepper – roasted / caramelized
  • Bulk sausage – browned & seasoned with salt, crushed red pepper & cayenne
  • Frozen hash brown potatoes – just because they were there
  • Cheeses – Cheddar, Monterrey Jack, Shredded Parmesan
  • Sour Cream
  • Eggs & Milk
  • Magic Meat Rub

Step # 1 was actually done the night before.  I thinly sliced an onion on the mandolin and also sliced up a green pepper, spread it out on a tray, drizzled some olive oil, salt and crushed red pepper and placed it under the broiler of my toaster oven.

On the stove I started browning some bulk sausage with salt, crushed red pepper and a sprinkle of cayenne.  I like my sausage pretty spicy so you can adjust these flavors as you wish.

The next morning I left the frozen hash browns thaw a bit, then mixed about a cup of them with 3/4 cup of the sausage mixture, 1/2 a cup of shredded cheddar, 1/4 cup of shredded Parmesan and 1/4 cup of sour cream.  Season with a tablespoon of kosher salt and a tablespoon of my magic meat rub.

After mixing this well, I put it in a small loaf pan but in hindsight should have used a larger, shallower pan to lessen the cooking time.

I took 4 eggs and a 1/4 cup of milk and beat them together with a fork, added a tablespoon of kosher salt and a teaspoon of crushed red pepper to make certain that the egg mixture was well seasoned.  I then poured this over the potato and sausage mixture allowing it to sift down through.  Next came a layer of Monterrey cheese and the shredded Parmesan which creates a nice texture layer on top when the baking is complete.

I baked this in the toaster oven at 325 and it took about an hour.  To test for doneness, simply dig into the center and make sure the eggs are still not ‘wet’.

How did it taste?  The SO and myself both agreed it was the best breakfast casserole dish we’d ever had.  Multiple layers of flavor along with nice textural differences and mouth feel.

The egg mixture really only settled halfway down into the potato mixture so there was a different texture and flavor in that layer.  As a dish it was not as heavy and grease-laden as the typical fried hash brown and sausage dish that we already love.

Admittedly, we were both pretty hungry, but the two of us ate then entire casserole.

Try it and let me know what you think…

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Pepperjack Tomato Soup

OK, I happened to be in midstate PA last month and stopped at a local chain (Isaacs) soup and sandwich shop.

I usually don’t order soup but it was cold and the booth next to me had 2 bowls and it was looking pretty good so I decided to try it.  I’ve never had tomato soup this good!

I decided to look up a recipe online and found one that was close and modified it a bit.  Try it and let me know what you think.


  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 – (14-16 oz) cans Diced Tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 – (10-12 oz) cans condensed tomato soup, undiluted
  • 1-1/2 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 – 8 oz. package cream cheese
  • 6 oz. pepper jack cheese, grated
  • Tabasco or Red’s hot sauce


  • In a large saucepan, saute onion in butter until tender. Stir in tomatoes, soup, milk, sugar, basil, paprika and garlic powder.
  • Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in cream cheese & pepper jack until melted. Add a few drops of hot pepper sauce to taste.  Yield: 8 servings (2 quarts).
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