It was a drizzly, blackened evening.
Damp leaves and soggy grass threatened to give way under my feet as I stumbled out of my last bus onto the grass, up the hill to a cat walk.
My trusty backpack full of groceries.
I went to Whole Paycheck after work and barely broke $13:
6 organic avocados (on sale)
1 bag frozen broccoli (on sale)
1 bag frozen butternut squash (ditto)
1 large bunch of locally grown spinach
Upon arriving, I got to work in the kitchen. I seared two large pieces of beef shank (that’s osso bucco to you fine readers of mine), and threw a large guillotined head of cauliflower into the crock pot. The cauliflower was sharing the space with a gelatinous goo of pork scraps, onions, garlic, rosemary and other casualties of a long, drawn out pork butt crock pot war.
A local grocery store makes awesome, made-from-de-scratch soup in a jar. Their tomato soup is excellent, and this week, I bought a sweet potato and leek concoction. Delicious. This soup was poured over the cauliflower and just arriving beef shanks, browned and glistening in slick fat, marrow and blood. A final oddment of leftover chicken broth was added at the end, a dash of chopped red onion, a few bits of rosemary. Lid on. Low heat, 8 hours. Done.
Two packages of ground meat were glaring at me from the fridge.
Ah, crap. I’m so hungry. That meat must be made.
Roughly one and a half pounds each of grass-fed beef, and ground lamb.
I threw this mixture together with a random mix of vegetable drawer leftovers. Insignificant carrots, celery. Garlic. Onions. Fresh parsley. The last wave of potent garlicky chicken broth I’d made to stave off illness this past week.
A clever assortment of flavours and textures. As I was mixing, I thought:
Bacon on top.
In the oven. Like last week. Yeah. That’ll be tasty.
Burgers. Let’s make burgers. Yes. Good. Okay.
Brow furrows. Batman scowl.
Then, a thought. A twinkle. A big grin.
OH MY GOD.
This is going to be the MOST BADASS MEATZZA EVER!
Ensuing happy dance.
I’ve done meatzza before. I love it. I actually haven’t made some in a while. Probably because I usually put red peppers on my meatzza, but my body is like, uh, no. We don’t like that.
Bacon fat ensnares taste buds, pleases the belly and brings joy wherever it is mixed in to. Crunchy, crumbled bacon bits top this meatzza that is lovingly draped with wilted spinach, and a merry mix of chopped grape tomatoes.
I don’t care if Jules thinks pigs are filthy animals. He’d eat this badass mother of a meatzza.
I have to watch me some Pulp Fiction soon.
Let joy ensue.
BADASS MEATZZA THAT YOU’VE NEVER HAD (BUT WILL AGAIN)
1.5 lbs ground grass fed beef
1.5 lbs ground lamb
3/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1 large garlic clove, smashed, chopped, obliterated
2 small stalks of celery, thinly sliced
2 – 3 small carrots, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chicken broth
A few splashes of homemade soup (Don’t have any? Don’t worry about it)
Small bunch of celery leaves, chopped
Small handful of fresh parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper
Preheat your oven to a hot 375 degrees. Combine this meat and veg amalgam thoroughly. I mean, really. Get in there. Take off your jewelry, watch, and bracelet. Maybe put your hair up. Maybe put on some music. But get in there, dammit!
Make a ball.
Flatten said meat and veg ball onto a baking sheet. I have a typical round pizza one that I used this time, but you don’t have to. When you’re flattening your ball, make sure it’s nice and even. I even formed a bit of a crust around the edges. Toss that bad boy into the oven. Give it 15, 20 minutes tops.
You smell that?
In the oven.
Take out your ‘crust’. There will be a pool of liquid and fat. Drain this carefully, but don’t toss it! Use it for soup, or for boiling some sweet potatoes in, or squash, cauliflower. That’s flavour, baby. Don’t waste it.
Next, crank your oven to broil.
You will need:
1/2 pint grape tomatoes, chopped
2 handfuls of spinach, chopped
2 slices bacon
Chop up your bacon into bits and bites and fry it up until browned and crispy. Scoop out the bacon and set it aside. Don’t eat it. I know it’s tempting. Hell, I’d do it.
Use half the rendered bacon fat as your ‘sauce’. Spread it evenly over the base.
Toss your spinach into the remaining bacon fat on high. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook until just wilted. Baby spinach would be perfect for this, but the adult kind is all I had.
Spread your wilted, bacon infused spinach over the base of your meatzza. Add your chopped tomatoes, and crumble that bacon on top. Salt and pepper.
This now goes into your smoking hot oven.
Don’t step away for too long.
Use your nose! If it smells good. it’s DONE. The edges of your meatzza will be dark and crusty, the tips of tomatoes barely singed.
Slide this badass mother onto a cutting board. Wait a few minutes.
If you can.
Cut it up.