Kent Rollins Smoked and Fried Bologna Sandwich

Howdy y’all, and thanks for stopping by the website! This week’s recipe is a cowboy take on a classic comfort food from many of our childhoods – the bologna sandwich. My dad used to call bologna “red rind steak.” Surely you remember the old jingle – ‘My bologna has a first name, it’s O-S-C-A-R’ – go on, sing the next line until that song gets in your head.

Anyway, now that I’ve probably got you singing that song all around the house for the next month, back to this sandwich. To get an amazing flavor, we are going to lightly caramelize some onions in butter, smoke the bologna and some jalapenos, and make a special sauce to spread on the Texas toast to finish it off. You’re going to want to stick around for this.

Pick the Right Ingredients

The first thing you need to focus on, before starting any of this, is picking the right ingredients up at the grocery store. Growing up, we all loved the little pre-packaged packs of bologna that were cheap and easy to deal with. That stuff served its purpose for sure, but for this sandwich we want to take it up a level. Go to the nearest deli and find some good all-beef bologna. Ask the deli to slice it 5/16″ – 1/2″ thick. You’ll want two thick slices of bologna per sandwich.

After that, head over the to the produce department and get a yellow onion and two large green jalapenos that look fresh and plump. Get you a beefsteak tomato if you can, and if you are low on mayo, get Duke’s mayonnaise. Last, pick thick-sliced bread if you can’t get a hold of any Texas toast.

Preheat the Smoker

Preheat your smoker to 225 degrees F. I like to treat bologna like white meat, which means pairing it with fruit woods. I added three chunks of mesquite and two big chunks of Applewood to the hardwood lump charcoal that I like to use to smoke meats.

Lay the bologna and jalapenos on the smoker or, if you’re using a grill, over indirect heat. Let them smoke for 20-25 minutes or so until it looks ready.

TIP: Make a little cut on the edge of each bologna slice to prevent the bologna from curling up.

Cook the Onions in Butter

Melt the butter in a medium cast iron skillet. Add the onion, and add the cast iron right to the smoker. After about 5 minutes, open the lid and sauté the onions in that delicious, smoke-infused butter. When the onions are done, remove them.

Melt the rest of the butter and add the smoked bologna. Fry the bologna in the cast iron until it looks like you can’t wait any more to eat it.

The Salve

Mix up the mayo, honey Dijon mustard, pepper, garlic, and Worcestershire sauce. We used to call this the ‘salve’ – putting the ‘salve’ on the sandwich. Let sit in the ice box until you’re ready to use it.

The Smoked and Fried Bologna Sandwich

Y’all can fix this sandwich however you’d like. This is how I make mine:

  • Before you start putting the sandwich together, peel the blistered skin/membrane off of the jalapeno. If you want to control the heat, remove the seeds. Slice and set aside.
  • Spread the salve on both “insides” of the bread.
  • Add a slice of bologna topped with a slice of American cheese.
  • Add the tomato
  • Add the second slice of bologna topped with the second slice of American cheese.
  • Top with jalapenos, onions, and lettuce.
  • Close the sandwich with the other slice of Texas toast, and dig in!

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Smoked & Fried Bologna Sandwich – Cowboy Kent Rollins

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 2 Sandwiches

Ingredients

  • ½ yellow onion
  • 4 slices thick cut all beef bologna
  • 2 jalapenos
  • 4 slices American cheese
  • Lettuce and tomato for topping
  • 4 pieces Texas Toast or thick sliced bread of your choice

Sauce

  • 1 stick of butter divided
  • ½ cup mayo
  • ½ cup honey Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons coarse ground black pepper
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • ½ tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Instructions

  1. Slice the onions into rings and place them in a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add ½ stick of butter and let cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  2. Let them cool and set aside.
  3. In a small mixing bowl add the mayonnaise, honey Dijon mustard, coarse ground pepper, garlic, and Worcestershire sauce. Mix well.
  4. Preheat the smoker to 225. Add a few chunks of apple or cherry wood. Place the jalapenos and bologna on the smoker, or on the indirect side of the grill. Let it smoke for at least 20 minutes.
  5. When the jalapenos are cool enough to handle, slice in half and remove the stems and seeds. Slice into strips and set aside.
  6. Remove the bologna and place it in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat, and cook for about 2 to minutes a side or until brown around the edges. Place a piece of the cheese on both slices of bologna,
  7. Tip: Cut the bologna on the edges to keep it laying flat while frying.
  8. Meanwhile, spread butter on both sides of the bread. Lay on the grill and toast until golden brown.
  9. Spread the mayonnaise mixture on both pieces of Texas toast. Add one slice of bologna, 1 slice of tomato, and top with another slice of bologna.

  10. Top that with the onions and sliced jalapenos and lettuce. Top with Texas toast and serve.