OK, I admit it. I’m obsessed with my new meat grinder and I’m now a passenger with the Mad Hatter’s grinding device.
Adventure? Or road trip with insanity? That question, partially, will be answered tonight when we know about the results of a strange concoction that forever more will be known as “God Help Me Meatloaf”.
I’m also in danger of self rejecting myself as an 18/8 Man. Would an 18/8 Man really conduct an experiment that is so wrought with strangeness and, well…pot luck?
OK – so what is this culinary chemistry act that fills me with such trepidation?
Below is the first act to this two act play. I don’t yet know the outcome:
I grind up about three pounds of pork loin and pork shoulder (the pork shoulder is so there is some extra fat, or else the meat is too lean for cooking). I’m thinking that the ground pork will be turned into pork patties (we tried ground sirloin beef patties last week…phenomenal).
After grinding away, Chief Chef, aka wife, asks me with that ‘what the heck are you thinking of?’ voice, “what do you plan to do with the ground pork??”
Timid Chef – I respond with a defensive bounce in my voice…”pork patties.”
Chief Chef “Noooooooooo, won’t turn out well. You need to turn it into meatloaf.”
Timid Chef “Ok, I respond” and start to form meatloaf balls.
Chief Chef – “No, you’re not thinking…meatloaf needs lots of stuff to give it flavor.”
Timid Chef – “Ok, why don’t you chop up fresh, de-seeded jalapeno, fresh oregano from the garden, scallions, and onions?”
Chief Chef chops away. After everything is chopped, I proceed to mix, ready to form into a meatloaf ball.
Chief Chef – “You’re not ready. Meatloaf needs other meats to give it more flavor and texture.”
Passive Aggressive Timid Chef – “Whatever you say” – I’m now forming a quiet subplot to show Chief Chef who’s the real boss.
I proceed to grind up yesterdays grilled sirloin steak. Then add minced spicy chicken left over from Thai restaurant. Then add three Italian sausage links. Then take a quarter of a loaf of three day old drying homemade bread. The bread being the ultimate act of passive aggression…’because I feel like it.” The bread as it grinds spews out of the machine like an insidious onslaught of asbestos.
I’m no longer consulting with Chief Chef. I simply mix everything together into a meatloaf ball, put in preheated oven at 400 degrees…and pray.
Chief Chef – “Set for one hour.”
I set the timer for 40 minutes. Chief Chef always overcooks meatloaf. I do not mention this fact. Worried, Timid Chef lives in fear to second guess Chief Chef.
Chief Chef – “what else did you add?”
Worried Timid Chef – “some leftover meat”. A half lie. Then I pray some more.
Ok, just out of the oven….what does it look like? What does it taste like? Oh God, please do not let this day go down in 18/8 culinary infamy…
Discreetly, I cut into the meatloaf to make sure it is not over cooked. It is perfect – moist and juicy in the middle; a dark patina of crust on the outside.
I take a bite to test the results…very discreetly, and fully ready to toss the experiment into the garbage can.
“Oh my God”…are the first words that leap from my tongue. “Wow….This is incredible… extraordinary.”
Chief Chef – tastes, giving me the all knowing culinary eye contact. “Scottie…this is really, really good. This is the best meat loaf I have ever tasted.”
“Scottie” …that’s a good sign that I’m being stroked in adoring approval…I think.
Anyway, for a moment, I can bask in culinary glory and puff my chest knowing that God Help Me Meatloaf can be proudly rebranded as OMG Meatloaf.
A culinary tale with a very happy ending.