Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Barbecued Bat Out of Hell

And so we come to that time in midwinter when we can catch our breath after the holiday season.  Here at GreenWood we had a great time with family but we're exhausted.  I cooked, and cooked and then I cooked some more. We aren't having meatloaf tonight, but I had this older recipe posted on a different site and figured I'd post it because I'm still lazy and slow from the holidays. But before we get to the meatloaf recipe, let me tell you a bit about the past month or so at GreenWood.

As we tally up the results and survey the mess we've made it becomes evident that we need to redouble our efforts to renovate this old house into something new.  We bought this place knowing it needed some TLC, hence the very reasonable price we paid, but the years and other variables have outstripped our ability to just keep patching the leaks. If we add the couple of contractors we hired (i.e. out-of-work people we knew in our community who claimed to know what they were doing) who did far more damage than repair it starts to look like we need to tear everything out and start from scratch.  Ah well, says I, let's see how close we can come to doing just that; look for infrequent updates as I start the piecework- perhaps I can build a custom jewelry design studio with a Viking kitchen in the rear?

In other news, I'm writing again. Four books, on my own time: a memoir, an advice book, a steampunk horror tale, and a cookbook (you knew it had to happen sooner or later). I've made the most progress on the advice book but the cookbook and steampunk novel are on the front burner for the foreseeable future.  The jewelry design business is very much affected by the slow economy, so I'm culling equipment and accumulated junk from the shop while continuing to sift through the enormous amount of material I've mined over the years.  Each time I go through another batch I find more great stuff begging to be cut, as soon as the weather turns a bit warmer.

How am I going to get all these projects completed? Simple, I won't... not all of them- but I never intend to finish all the projects I start.  At least not now.  But you want meatloaf, as does my son:

Barbecue Meatloaf with Smashed Potatoes and Vegetable Medley.
The Smashed Potatoes are simply a bit more... man-mashed, you could say.  I take red or white potatoes, cut them into large chunks and boil them with a few pinches of Old Bay Seasoning until they are just tender but not super-soft.  Drain, add a little milk and butter for creamy goodness then smash.  Smashing is fun, much more fun than mashing- mashing is so... civilized.  To smash potatoes just do a little imitiation of The Incredible Hulk a few times- just remember that your enthusiasm is in direct proportion to your cleanup effort- until they are smashed (chunky) but not mashed (not so chunky).  While the potatoes are boiling you can prepare the meatloaf:

It's an easy list of ingredients but more importantly it lets me rummage through my cabinets like a mad scientist, wield sharp knives and mangle meat with my hands. Some days a guy just has to make a meatloaf.

First, preheat your oven to 375F

1.5lb lean ground beef or turkey
1 cup oatmeal or breadcrumbs
1 onion chopped
1 egg
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tbsp chopped garlic
1.5 tsp salt or to taste
1/2 tsp coarse ground pepper or to taste (I use at least 1 tbsp)
24oz bottle of Barbecue Sauce of your choice or you can make your own:
16oz tomato sauce (fresh or from the can)
1 cup water
2 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp spicy mustard
1 tsp vinegar
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Combine three-quarters of the sauce with the rest of the ingredients, mangling until unrecognizable as anything other than raw meatloaf with onions. Dump the mixture into a casserole dish (9x6 should do), level it off and place in the oven for 30 minutes. Add the remaining sauce to cover the top of the meatloaf and bake another 30 minutes or until the loaf is 165F in the center. Before slicing, take 5 minutes to fix yourself a refreshing drink. With rum. And an umbrella. And a straw. That's better. Better have another sip, to prepare for the slicing. Lay it out just like Mom used to do, diner-menu style if you want to add some presentation value to your meal. The vegetable medley is basically whatever I can find that I can steam together. That saves more time to devote to the meatloaf:  It can also be served over linguine if the smashing of potatoes offends your sensitivities.  However you wish to have your meatloaf, enjoy it and let your friends and dearest enemies know you got it from Cookin' With Mister C.


  1. wait. what happened tothe potatoes? you put the potatoes in the meatloaf? or under the meatloaf?

  2. I served them as a side, but if the linguine was chosen I figured the meatloaf could be served over the pasta.