Have Yourself a Meaty Little Christmas
The holiday season is a time to come together. A time to honour traditions with family and friends. And for me that tradition involves meat. A lot of meat.
I’m talking about Season’s Meatings – an annual, all-meat potluck that celebrates the Christmas carnivore is all of us. Well, maybe not all of us. My vegetarian wife, for one, is a conscientious objector (but God love her for taking the kids to her folks’ house). It’s really just a group of 4 or 5 of my male friends who gather for a night of conversation, the occasional cigar, the more-than-occasional drink and lots of meat.
My friends and I aren’t the most traditional male archetypes, so it’s fun to embrace some of the stereotypical “male” trappings with a certain sense of irony. While the conversation draws more inspiration from Applied Arts than the locker room, the protein and camaraderie are enough to buoy our testosterone well into the New Year. If you can stomach the meat hangover, it’s an awesome way to celebrate the season.
Think you’d like to get your meat on this Holiday season? Hear are some tips I have learned from experience:
- You can never have enough tin foil.
- Consider having people bring one meat-based course to build a meal (appetizer, side, main, dessert). Or stagger the meat, with people serving their dish at different times throughout the night. The full-on meat feast buffet at once can take the fight right out of you.
- Set your buffet table close to an outlet to accommodate crock pots.
- If you’re switching between beer and vodka, you don’t really need to add schnapps to the mix (you really never need to have schnapps at all).
This year I decided to go Huxtable with my Cosby Show-inspired Bacon Burger Dogs. The recipe is below. I kind of made it up as I went along, so feel free to take liberties with the cooking times and measurements (I know I did).
Wishing you a Meaty Christmas season,
Brodie’s Boozy Bacon Burger Dog Sliders
Makes about 24 oversized sliders
- 150 g diced pancetta
- 500g peppercorn bacon
- 3lb ground chuck/sirloin (80/20 mix)
- 2 heads of garlic, roasted
- 2 eggs
- ¾ cup fresh breadcrumbs
- brick of aged cheddar (2 – 5 years)
- 2 large white onions
- 1 large yellow onion
- stone ground mustard
- yellow mustard (for cooking)
- jalapeño tabasco Sauce
- worcestershire sauce
- salt & pepper
- 2oz of whiskey
- 1 coil of good kielbasa (in Regina? go to the Ukrainian Co-op)
- 2 dozen tray buns
1. Roast garlic – preheat oven to 400; cut tops off garlic heads; place in muffin pan, drizzle with olive oil and cover each with foil; bake for 35 minutes or until cloves are brown and soft
2. On the stovetop, put bacon, pancetta and half a white onion (diced) in a frying pan. Add few dashes of Worcestershire sauce and a tsp of ground mustard, and cook until done. Spread on a baking sheet and place paper towel on top. Add mixture to food processor. Add roasted garlic, tsp of fat from frying pan and whiskey. Pulse until a smooth-ish chunky consistency.
3. Add mixture to beef. Add eggs, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, tbsp of ground mustard and hot sauce. Mix together, then form into slider-sized balls. Add a chunk of cheddar to each burger and wrap burger around it. Push flat.
4. Preheat electric griddle to 350 – 400. Add a squirt of yellow mustard on griddle and place burger on top (forms a really nice crust) push sliced yellow and white onions into top of burger. Flip after a few minutes and cook until juice comes out clear. (Tip: I found adding a little water and covering with a lid made them juicy, but kept the nice crust.)
5. BBQ kielbasa and slice into dill pickle-sized pieces. Garnish burgers with kielbasa.