Every year around the Holiday time, I get the craving for beef summer sausage(I miss hanging out with my friend Jodi, I could always count on her to have a stick of summer sausage and a chunk of cheese on hand for happy hour) and Dried Beef Cheese balls on Ritz crackers. I try to justify eating these in my mind as cheese is a dairy product and we as women need a couple servings a day to prevent osteoporosis. I don’t have photos for all of the recipes that I post, as this blog is going to be a work in progress; but I guarantee you will not be disappointed after you taste this! Best of all it is a simple recipe; but keep in mind if you can stand it; let it set in the refrigerator a couple of days before digging in.
DRIED BEEF CHEESE BALL
2 -8 oz pkgs. cream cheese*
1 teaspoon hot taco sauce (If you don’t like a lot of spice, don’t worry, you won’t notice that it is too hot)
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4# Cured Smoked Dried Beef (this is kind of expensive; but worth it, be sure not to buy deli roast beef, not the same)
3/4 teaspoon garlic salt
8oz. finely shredded cheddar cheese (I prefer sharp cheddar but any kind will do)
*I have tried this recipe using Neufchatel cheese (low fat cream cheese) & the cheese balls didn’t set up like they should have. I figure if you only make them one time a year, it is okay to splurge. If you want to know the difference between cream cheese and neufchatel cheese just click on the highlighted link.
Let your cream cheese come to room temperature. In a large mixing bowl, cream together all ingredients until well blended using a stand or hand mixer. The consistency will be very soft, so put refrigerator for a couple of hours to let “set-up”.
After making so many of these I figured out the best way or least messy way to roll these. Tear off 3 medium size pieces of waxed paper. Divide the cheddar cheese onto the 3 sheets. Distribute the cheese ball mixture into 3 separate piles, using the waxed paper roll the cheese ball into the shredded cheese. Roll each ball up in the waxed paper and refrigerate.
These freeze really well – you just have to roll the cheese ball in a little more cheese after thawing.