Meatload is not a typo. It’s a real thing, I swear. Well, it’s a real thing at my house, where I periodically have to unload the fridge and hide its contents in a meal that is tasty and that, itself, will make leftovers suitable for lunches at least two days into the future. It’s usually just meat, filler, and flavourings – I’ve used leftover mashed potatoes, stale bread soaked in milk, limp carrots and half a squishy zucchini grated. It’s always juicy, and it always makes excellent sandwiches. Wondering how to pass off the remnants of your fridge as quality food? Oh, so simple!

Meatload (an approximate recipe)

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 lb. ground pork
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese (if it’s all dried out and crappy because your Nick left it out on the counter overnight, all the better … you’re not going to use it for anything else anyway!)
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated carrot (about three carrots, or, whatever you have left over in the bag)
  • 1/2 cup grated zucchini (or however much you have – I’ve found that more never hurts)
  • 1 small finely chopped onion (if you’re using a food processor to grate the other things, use it here too)
  • 3 cloves finely minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp. barbecue sauce (plus 1/4 cup if barbecuing)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsbp. chili powder

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Dump all your ingredients into a single bowl. Mash together with your hands until it’s thoroughly mixed together. Form a loaf that’s of equal thickness the whole way around. Place on a baking sheet and bake it, covered, for 30 to 40 minutes. 3o minutes? Oh, yes. The thing about meatload is that you finish it on the barbecue. Don’t have a barbecue? Sucks to be you. Cook it for 60 minutes then, but leave it uncovered, and periodically baste it with the pan juices.

Have a barbecue? Yay! Your life has meaning. Once the oven buzzer screeches, pull the ‘load out and let it rest for a few minutes. Light the barbecue, and transfer the whole meatload to the barbecue rack. I like to do this slightly away from the heat, because I don’t want to burn it before the inside is totally cooked. Give it another ten minutes on the barbecue, with the lid on.

Go back inside and get some sliced bread or buns. Bring them outside and set them up on the top rack of the barbecue so that they can toast and get all smokey while your meat cooks. At this point, before the meatload is completely done, paint it lightly on all sides with barbecue sauce. Give it another few minutes per side with the sauce.

Serve the meatload sliced on your delicious toasty bread with a little mayonnaise, grainy mustard, sliced tomatoes, lettuce, or whatever you’ve got in your crisper. Voilà! Easy tasty dinner, and lunch for the next day, in about an hour and using stuff you already have on hand.

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