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Smoked Shotgun Shells by Meat Church

Matt Pittman of Meat Church says he and some friends workshopped this recipe for Smoked Shotgun Shells until they all agreed they tasted better than any other version out there. Given his addition of Hatch Chilis to the stuffing mix, we would have to agree. This smoker recipe is the perfect blend of savory and sweet with the crunchy kick of bacon. Guaranteed your guests are going to love them.

These smoked shotgun shells are a perfect fit for serving up at a big gathering for a holiday weekend, on game day at home or while tailgating at the stadium, because they’re easy to prep and you can transport the uncooked shells wherever you need to go without much fuss. The smoking phase is only about ninety minutes, so they’ll be ready to eat just a little while after you fire up your smoker to temp. Here’s how to make them!


Ingredients for Meat Church’s Smoked Shotgun Shells

  • 2 boxes manicotti shells
  • 2 packages, regular thin cut bacon
  • 1 lb 90\10 lean to fat ground beef
  • 1 lb sweet Italian ground sausage or links (just make sure to remove the casings)
  • 8 oz, farm cut shredded cheese
  • Meat Church Honey Hog
  • 1 cup Sweet BBQ Sauce. (Matt likes to use Meat Mitch Naked)
  • 4 roasted hatch chilles, diced (You can also roast and use any type of pepper you like for a higher heat profile, such as a serrano or habanero)

Set aside the BBQ sauce, rub and the bacon and mix your ground beef, Italian sausage, cheese and peppers in a large bowl. Once it looks like you have an even mix of all ingredients, begin stuffing the manicotti shells firmly, but gently. If you try and press too much mixture in them, they will crack or break.

Once you have all of your shells stuffed, there’s something important to know about this preparation stage, according to Matt. “It’s key to allow the meat mixture to rest in the pasta tubes in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. We have tested recipes based on letting them sit for 1, 2 and 3 hours. My family and friends all agree that the results are not as good when they sit less than 4 hours.”

For smoker temperature and other cooking steps, let’s jump over to the Meat Church site.  However, if you want to watch Matt give you step-by-step instructions for preparation and cooking, just watch his recipe video on YouTube, right here!

For more recipe ideas and a full section of sauces, spices, rubs and more, visit the BBQ section at Ace Hardware online!


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