Hot Pockets - YouTube
Today, for the Almighty Meatball Throwdown, I decided to make a Hot Pocket. There have already been some fantastic entries into the Throwdown and I wanted to do something different. Originally I was going to make a meatball pizza. I have been wanting to make more pizzas on my pizza cooker and this seemed to work. Then the idea of a calzone popped into my head and I decided to go with that as I have not tried a calzone yet.
So, I decided to grind up my own beef and started with this ~3lb chuck roast that I picked up yesterday at Sam's.
As I was feeding the grinder, I got to this section of the roast and it almost broke my heart to grind up these pieces.
Once the chuck was ground I ended up with about 3lbs of ground meat so I made two 1lb portions and vacusucked them and threw them into the freezer. The remaining meat was mixed up with an egg, bread crumbs, oregano, rosemary and basil.
Once the mixture was mixed, I formed my mighty meatballs. Ok, they aren't all that mighty as I decided to make them small.
Not only was this a first as far as the calzone but it was the first time I have had the opportunity to cook on my Stok CI grate in the Weber kettle I have mounted in my cooker cart. The Stok grate is nice and I decided to use the wok insert I picked up to brown up the meatballs. I was also cooking some turkey patties for lunch. This worked great. Once the meatballs were done, I put the regular grate insert back in to finish the turkey.
For those that haven't seen it, here is my cooker cart in its grilling configuration.
After lunch it was time to work on the pocket. I started off with dough from Trader Joe's (because I am lazy and it only costs $1.0
. I have learned that I only need to use half of the dough that comes in a bag so I took half of the dough and formed my ball. The other half was sealed up and into the freezer. I have been getting better at working with dough but I have to admit that I still had to use the rolling pin crutch to get it to its final thinness.
Once the dough was rolled, I started with a layer of fresh mozzerella. Then came the meatballs and another layer of mozzerella. Finally, I added some sauce because, as we all know, you need something in a Hot Pocket to achieve thermo-nuclear temperatures so it burns your mouth when you take a bite.
Here she is all sealed up and ready for the cooker. One thing I learned yesterday during a test run was that I needed to start it upside down. My pizza cooker does a good job of cooking toppings on a pizza but it doesn't quite have the heat to cook the dough before the bottom is over cooked.
Here is the cart in its pizza cooker configuration.
After a while I pulled the pocket and flipped it over. I then cut some vent slits (another lesson learned yesterday) and brushed on a mixture of butter, garlic, salt and oregano. Since I usually have to rotate pizzas to get an even cook I did the same with the pocket and brushed on the butter mixture at every rotation.
And here she is fresh from the cooker.
And now for the gratuitous, melty cheesy pr0n.
Yeah, it was good. It was fanfarkingtastic. The fresh mozzarella melted wonderfully and, as I had hoped, having the two layers of cheese allowed it to flow when I flipped the pocket mid cook. I will definitely be trying this again.