the rustler, barbecue mock duck pizza

by Stacy

Do you ever feel like a pizza menu is a serious test of your relationship? It could be a date or you could be married, it could even be with friends. “So…. what kind of pizza do you want?” An innocuous question, perhaps, but there is definitely a wrong answer sometimes. Reconciling disparate pizza hankerings can be a treacherous path.

A local Minnesota chain we used to frequent is Pizza Luce. We have eaten a lot of their pizza, delivered and not. When just the two of us, the conversation almost always went something like this:

Me: What are you thinking for pizza?
Him: What about the fresh veggie?
Me: *wrinkles nose*
Him: I suppose you want the garlic mashed potato. *rolls eyes*
Me: *smiles hopefully*
Him: We had that last time.
Me: *whines* The fresh veggie is boring. It doesn’t have green olives.
Him: I like the fresh veggie, though.
Me: *siiiiiiiigh* Boooooring.
Him: *frowns* I just don’t feel like the potato pizza.
Me: Hmph.
Him: Well… what about the Rustler?
Me: Oooooh. Remember to ask for no pineapple though! We always forget.

homemade "the rustler" pizza

Crisis averted!

The Rustler is a combination of BBQ-marinated mock duck, red onions, mozzarella and cheddar cheeses, banana peppers, and pineapple (which we leave off as an abomination — something we agree on). It’s delicious, and making the pizza at home is the whole reason I bought a banana pepper plant. Particularly for a first attempt, it turned out quite well. I forgot the onions and we were out of mozzarella cheese, but it was still tasty and was definitely a reasonable imitation of the Luce creation in lieu of a 2500 mile delivery zone.

This used up the last of my homemade seitan and I finally made some barbecue sauce (stop yelling at me, Erin! Wah!) that is quite tasty. I’ve included the recipe below.

homemade "the rustler" pizza

Sweet barbecue sauce, chewy mock duck, crunchy banana peppers and melty cheese make for an excellent combo. Neither one of us care for pineapple, but toss it on if that floats your boat. One time we ordered a Rustler for delivery and forgot to ask them to leave the pineapple off. I had picked a piece off and left it on my plate, but some cheese was stuck to it. My intrepid dairy-addict cat actually ate the pineapple just to get the cheese, resulting in some very amusing kitty faces.

What’s your favorite gourmet pizza? Have you ever tried to make it at home?

We eat more pizza than I post, mostly because I’m never happy with the photos. This one was too good not to share. The “regular” version is BBQ chicken if mock duck isn’t your thing. Give it a try!
Other fancy pizza ideas: butternut squash, caramelized onions, goat cheese, and sage, or arugula and balsamic vinegar.

homemade "the rustler" pizza

The Rustler Pizza

Inspired by Pizza Luce


  • 1 pizza crust or ball of pizza dough
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 3/4 cup barbecue sauce, divided (see recipe below)
  • 3/4 cup seitan or mock duck
  • 1/3 cup red onion, sliced thinly
  • 1/3 cup banana pepper, cut into rings
  • 3/4 cup grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/3 cup pineapple chunks, fresh or drained (optional)


  1. If using pizza dough, stretch and par-bake crust at 425F for 5-7 minutes.
  2. Mix the tomato sauce and 1/4 cup of the barbecue sauce together. Spread over pizza crust. Combine the rest of the barbecue sauce with the seitan and let stand while the rest of the pizza is assembled.
  3. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top of sauce. Evenly distribute onion, pepper, seitan, and pineapple (if using). Top with cheddar cheese.
  4. Bake at 425F for 7-10 minutes until crust is golden and cheese is melted and bubbling.
  5. Drizzle the remainder of the barbecue sauce on top before serving.

Kansas City Style Barbecue Sauce

Inspired by Big Al’s KC BBQ
Makes 2 cups sauce

This is scaled back from the 6 cup yield of the original. It also called for garlic and onion powder which I don’t have, so I adjusted for fresh.


  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup onion, diced
  • 2/3 cup ketchup
  • 2/3 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/3 cup red wine or apple cider vinegar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons hickory-flavored liquid smoke
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and stir, cooking until just softened. Stir in garlic and cook one minute.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Simmer longer for thicker sauce, or add water to thin sauce as desired. Use an immersion or stand blender to puree onion pieces if wanted.
  3. Brush onto meat for last 10 minutes of cooking. Store excess in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.

homemade "the rustler" pizza

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