Smoky Graham's Pie

By Jeff Graham

Votes: 346

VS

Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Chicken Thighs

By Jeff Graham

Votes: 392

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About Jeff Graham

Proud father of one (very soon to be two) living in Pittsburgh. I enjoy being outdoors and telling bad dad jokes.

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About Jeff Graham

Dedicated father, acclaimed home cook, and decorated barbecue contestant, I am always looking for new ways to challenge myself and improve my cooking skills. It would be a great honor to be chosen for Meat Madness. If selected, I'd have to turn down some exciting opportunities, including going through spring training with the Astros, touring with Billy Joel, advising Warren Buffett on stock purchases, and tutoring Neil deGrasse Tyson. A lot of disappointment, but they'll just have to understand

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Smoky Graham's Pie

By Jeff Graham

My take on the classic hearty dish, Shepherd's Pie. This delicious recipe includes meat and potatoes, a few different veggies, mixed with varied seasonings and topped off with cheese... lots of cheese.

Serves: 4

Recipe Ingredients

  • 4 bunch Potatoes
  • 3 bunch Carrots
  • 1 bunch Onion
  • 1 cup Peas
  • 1 cup Corn
  • 1 lbs Ground Beef
  • 1 cup Beef Broth
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 tbsp Flour
  • 1 tbsp Parsley
  • 1 tsp Rosemary
  • 1 tsp Thyme
  • 1 pinch Salt
  • 1 pinch Pepper
  • 1 cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 8 tbsp Butter
  • 1 splash Milk

Recipe Instructions

  1. Fill medium to large pot of water and bring to boil. Peel and quarter potatoes and add to boiling water. Boil until tender about 20-25 minutes. In the meantime, peel and chop carrots and onion.
  2. While the potatoes are boiling melt 4 tablespoons of butter in large skillet and add carrots and onion. Cook until tender about 10 minutes. Add meat and cook until browned for about 5 minutes and drain.
  3. Add remaining vegetables, seasonings, flour, Worcestershire sauce, and beef broth and bring to a boil about 5 minutes. Stirring occasionally.
  4. When potatoes are ready, drain water and mash while mixing in butter, milk, salt, pepper, and 1/2 cup of shredded cheese.
  5. Put the meat mixture in a cast iron skillet or casserole dish, then layer with 1/2 cup of shredded cheese spread evenly. Next, layer the mashed potatoes evenly on top. Using a fork, lightly break up the surface to create an uneven surface to allowing browning of the top layer of potatoes. Cook at 400 degrees until top layer is golden brown or as desired.
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Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Chicken Thighs

By Jeff Graham

I came up with this for a cookoff a couple of years ago. I wanted a dish that would just leap out of the box and really grab the judges attention. It needed to be visually appealing and full of flavor, but I also wanted it to have something unexpected. I hid my stuffed jalapenos inside boneless chicken thighs, and then put a bacon weave around the whole bundle. I guess you could say, "Mission accomplished." It brought me my first blue ribbon at a major barbecue cookoff. Hope you like it.

Serves: 4

Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp Chili powder
  • 1 tbsp Honey powder
  • 2 tsp Cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp Adobo seasoning
  • 1 tsp Ground coriander
  • 1 tsp Smoked sweeet paprika
  • 1/2 lbs Mexican chorizo
  • 1/2 lbs Cream cheese, softened for 30-45 minutes at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup Green olives, chopped
  • 8 piece Jalapenos, mediums sized
  • 8 piece Prosciutto slices, thinly sliced
  • 8 piece Chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
  • 32 piece Maple bacon slices

Recipe Instructions

  1. Preheat your smoker, grill, or oven to 275 degrees. If using a grill, prepare it for indirect heat. If using a smoker, I like a sweeter fruitwood for this dish, preferably peach or sassafras, but pick your favorite.
  2. Combine the chili powder, honey powder, cocoa powder, adobo seasoning, coriander, and paprika, and mix well and set aside.
  3. Heat the chorizo in a skillet over medium to render out the fat. When the chorizo is browned, drain the fat and mix the warm sausage with the cream cheese, chopped green olives, and one teaspoon of the spice mixture. When well mixed, transfer the mixture to a plastic bag. Snip off the corner of the bag, and pipe the cheese mixture into the cored jalapenos. If the mixture is too think for piping, you can either thin it with a little of the melted chorizo fat or heat the mixture in the microwave at ten second intervals until thin enough. Don’t overheat it, or the mixture could separate.
  4. Lay out one slice of prosciutto on a cutting board. Place one of the stuffed jalapenos perpendicularly on the prosciutto slice. Roll the prosciutto up around the jalapeno until well-wrapped. Continue with the remaining jalapenos until all eight are wrapped. Set them aside for later.
  5. Pound the chicken thighs between sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap until they’re just under ½” thick. Lay one of the thighs onto the cutting board, smooth side down. Season the thigh well with the spice blend. Lay the pepper package on the thigh, and then wrap it up snugly and season the outside of the thigh with the spice blend. Repeat for all eight thighs.
  6. Using four slices of the bacon, make a basket-weave pattern. Place the wrapped chicken thigh, seam side down, on the bacon weave. Wrap the bacon securely around the thighs, optionally completing the weave on the underside. If done right, it should be about the size and shape of a standard bone-in chicken thigh. Place the bacon-wrapped thigh seam side down on a baking sheet to rest while you finish the other thighs. If using your oven, use a rack on your bacon sheet to keep the thighs out of the fat while they cook.
  7. Cook the thighs at 275 for 1½-2 hours, or until they reach 165 degrees. Allow to rest 15-20 minutes so the cheese can set back up. To serve, slice one of the thighs in half diagonally to show all of the layers.
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