One of my favorite things to fix for a get together is a sausage and cheese plate. This recipe is pretty straight forward since it is hard to mess up a sausage and cheese plate. But when you finally get to try a sausage and cheese plate that blows you away, you will never forget it! Trust me! This one is a favorite no matter what!
To start with, this isn’t you normal sausage and cheese plate. We of course have to put our twist on it. You have to start off with a good smoked sausage. Today we are using just the original Polk sausage that we picked up from the local Walmart, but that is not what going to separate this sausage and cheese plate from the rest. We are going to smoke the cheese as well. Just wait it gets better!
Of course there is a ton of cold smoke cheese recipes out there but that’s not what we are going for. We are going to hot smoke the cheese…. Yes you read that right! To start, pick an assortment of your favorite cheeses. I went with a block of Colby Monterey Jack, Gouda, Pepper Jack, and Monterey Jack. Once you have picked your favorite cheese’s, get them cut up into cubes.
You will need several small aluminum loaf pans. Make sure to get the cheap ones because it is easier to get the cheese out in the end. Put the cubed cheese in the small loaf pans and fill up over the top. Mix and match the cheese if you would like to create your own unique flavor. I added a touch of “Mississippi Grind” to bring out even more flavor.
At this point, get the cheese in the fridge while you get the smoker fired up. Today we are cooking on the Ole Hickory Ace BP with Royal Oak Chef Select Charcoal. You want to make sure to run a clean fire because the sausage and cheese only needs a touch of smoke. The cheese will soak it up and you don’t want too much smoke on it. I only used a small amount of cherry wood and a piece of onion. Give it plenty of time to burn before putting the sausage and cheese on. We will be running the pit at 250 during the whole cook.
As far as the sausage goes you are basically just taking it from the package and going straight to the pit with it. The main thing is to run a clean fire and keep an eye on the sausage and cheese since this will be a quick cook. You are only looking at about 45 minutes to get everything done.
Once you see the skin get tight on the sausage, it is close to being done. I always like to hit at least 160 internal on sausage but try and catch it before the skin bust. As far as the cheese, just smoke it until it is melted all the way through.
Get the sausage off when it’s done and let it rest for a few minutes. Now it’s time to get the flavor on it. Cut the sausage up and place back into a small pan. Sprinkle your favorite rub on the cut sausage and get it back on the pit. You are wanting to melt the rub and caramelize the sugars a little to really get the flavors going.
By this time, the cheese should be ready to come off the pit. Once it is melted through, remove from the pit and get in the fridge or freezer, if you are pressed for time. You want the cheese to set back up and get cold. You can even prepare the cheese days ahead of time. It seems to get better after a few days in the fridge.
As far as the sausage, it shouldn’t take but a few minutes back on the pit to caramelize the sugar and get sticky. Once that takes place get them off the pit as well.
Once the cheese sets back up you are ready to remove it from the pans. You simply cut a corner and unwrap them like little bars of gold. When you get them unwrapped, I would cut the crusty part off the top. You then cube the cheese up just like you would any other type of cheese.
Now its time to build the plate. I always add the pickles, peppers, and olives to the plate. The sausage is always a hit, but the cheese with take the crown. You will not believe the flavor you get from this recipe. You will not be disappointed, I promise! This recipe changed how I look at smoked cheese. Give it a try!