Western folk have been known to be quite adventurous when it comes to trail cooking, just look at all the delicious recipes they’ve come up with!
Well, here’s one for the books.
Here in our little town of Rimrock Arizona our good neighbor and friend Jim holds a musical jamboree every third Saturday of the month on some land he bought by the dry creek bed that runs through the town. He built a steel ranch entrance gate with large welded letters on top saying “COWBOY CAMP”. It’s quite something for a little town like ours to have.
An adventurous and kind soul, Jim built a covered stage at his own cost for the bands to play on. Besides the stage, he built a well lit wooden pergola over a line of tables which display a cornucopia of pot luck dishes. The whole affair is a free one (donations are appreciated to help cover its cost but are not required). Jim just wants folks to enjoy themselves to great live music, a variety of delicious food and have an evening of meeting other neighbors. (kind of like a church social but without the Sunday go to meeting dress up attire but unlike a church social, dancing to the music IS encouraged!)
Last Saturday, over 100 people showed up, each bringing their favorite dish. Now with nearly a hundred dishes, them tables were sagging something fierce in the middle! As the evening wore on, the lightened up tables began to straighten up some. Great eating!!!
Which brings me to this, the barbecued meat loaf our good friend Bob grilled up that evening.
One taste and dang if my taste buds didn’t blow a flat! Delicious!!! (He made me take 3 slices, I should smile!)
You need to slow cook these tender loafs so keep the flames down and use your meat thermometer. The longer they cook, the more the mesquite smoke increases in flavor.
So, without further ado here’s Bob’s secret recipe for the best tasting meatloaf you’ll ever cook up.
Thanks Bob, see you next month at the Cowboy Camp!
1-1/4 lbs ground beef
1-1/4 lbs ground pork
1 cup fresh whole wheat bread crumbs (cut into 1/4 inch cubes)
1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
1 large egg
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. granulated garlic
1 tsp. dried tarragon
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup BBQ sauce
Soak a good handful of Mesquite wood chips in water for 15 minutes prior to adding them to the hot coals. This will slow the burning and cause a greater amount of delicious tasting smoke.
1. Combine all ingredients using your hands. Divide the meat loaf mixture in half and firm into 2 equal loaves (each about 4″x 6″). Prepare the grill for indirect cooking* over medium-low heat, about 350°.
2. In a small bowl mix the sauce ingredients. Set aside half of sauce to serve with the meat loaf. Top each meat loaf with 3 Tbls. of the remaining sauce and coat thoroughly.
3. Brush the cooking grates clean. Place each loaf directly on cooking grate using a metal spatula. Cook 50 to 60 minutes to internal temperature of 155° (Use a cooking thermometer in 3 different areas of the loaf for this step). Let rest 10 minutes to 160°. Serve with remaining sauce.
* Indirect cooking = placing a 9″ baking pan over the center of the coals and filled one third of the way with water. This allows for steam to form and prevents the meat from burning, similar to being cooked in an oven. Place Mesquite chips around the outside of the baking pan, replenish as necessary.