So... I was CASUALLY thinking about looking for another horse... or donkey or mule.
There was a potential donkey... but that fell through due to some very sketchy circumstances.
Then I spied a mule on a Facebook group. The list before me was a mile long. I threw my hat into the ring. Alas... he was snapped up.
A few days later I was messaged by a gal who runs a rescue/rehab for horses suggesting that a mare that she had might be a good fit for me after a friend of mine mentioned it to her. We chatted some about her and then decided to go see her.
So on Saturday - that same friend of mine dragged her trailer down to Alix Alberta with me to see this mare.
Montana is a 10 year old Percheron cross. Crossed with what - I have no clue. She is green broke but has the fundamentals and the right attitude and a willingness to please. She is friendly and well mannered... except when we went to load her. Haha. Had a little bareback ride on her in the round pen. She was a bit hesitant and I was a bit clueless... and nervous having 2 riding instructors watching me. But in all fairness - we were new to each other and the trust will take time.
SO.... needless to say the trailer didn't come back empty! Meet Montana! Looking forward to learning and growing with this girl!
I have done this one before and it is a popular one with the male population.
It's a miracle if you eat it without having chest pains. So if you are a health nut, this is NOT a meat for you!
Wanna know how I make mine? Keep reading!
Here is what you'll need:
Approximately 1lb lean or regular ground beef
Approximately 1lb lean ground pork
1 package of bacon
1 cup bread crumbs
A few handfuls of grated cheese of your choice - I use marble
6-8 good sized mushrooms - I prefer crimini - coarsely chopped
1 shallot - or you can use onion - finely chopped
4-5 cloves of garlic minced
1 package of powdered grave - I used a mushroom one
Salt and pepper to your liking
Sprinkle of basil
Smoked paprika - if you smoky flavor
Water or milk. I used water
Line a casserole dish with bacon. I use a round one because that's what I have.
Use whatever is big enough to hold everything, but I wouldn't go too shallow.
Heat up some olive oil on the stove in a pan. Sautee the garlic, shallots and mushrooms and season with a little S&P, until they look done. Remove from heat.
In a large bowl, mix the meat, eggs, bread crumbs, basil, sprinkle of the paprika, handful of cheese, powdered gravy, a bit of salt and pepper and your sautéed mushrooms and whatnots.
Mix together either with your hands or a wooden spoon. I use a wooden spoon because it's cleaner.
Dump meat mixture into the bacon lined casserole dish and sprinkle the top of the meatloaf with some more grated cheese if you'd like and then fold the bacon over top.
Bake on 350*F for about an hour and a half. If you are using a thermometer, it should read 155*F when done. As you can see - I had to cut into mine - BEFORE I took the picture - as I don't have a meat thermometer. I am going to buy one. Haha!
Now - for sides - one thing I like to do is make mashed potatoes.
So make your favorite mashed potatoes. Mine are usually with white or Yukon golds - but last night I used red... Because I am cheap. Haha!
I boil the potatoes to the point of being ready to mash.
Drain them and leave them in the colander in the sink.
Take a good heap of butter - as much as you and melt it in the potato pot.
Add a ton of minced garlic and cook it down.
One thing I like to do sometimes is get the butter to the brown point. That one you have to watch like a hawk. The second that butter turns brown you have to remove it from the heat.
I didn't do I that way last night though.
When the garlic is cooked - add your potatoes back in and mash them.
I like to add sour cream, but I forgot to get some yesterday.
Because why should the potatoes be any less unhealthy than the meatloaf?
NOW - the gravy.... At some point during cooking - maybe more than once, pull the meatloaf out of the oven. As it is cooking, it is releasing juices and fat and shrinking in the dish. Use a turkey baster to suck out all of those juices.
Put them in a pot.... add some water if you'd like - and a package of powdered gravy. Yes - I cheat.
Gravy - again - make it to your liking. Add some pepper or herbs. I added a bit of starch to thicken it because I wanted more gravy than what the package would allow. Buy two packages if you want. You can use flour... I added more of the meatloaf juice as I went along. Really - just make your gravy. There's no right and wrong way!
Finally - pick your favorite veggie to serve with it as well so you don't feel too guilty about all that bacon and meat and cheese and butter... and VOILA! Bacon wrapped meatloaf just happened.
The beauty of meatloaf is that is - just like my pasta sauce - is a blank canvas. Don't be afraid to tweak it... don't be worried if you aren't accurate with measurement... I rarely am unless I am baking.
Cooking is like art. You can express your creativity through food.
I am 32 years old, currently living back in central Alberta after spending 7 years being a fish out of water on Vancouver Island. I am insanely happy to be living the Alberta dream and making my dreams come true... one at a time.