This recipe started as a challenge from one of my good friends. Every time that she visits, she always brings along a ‘special’ ingredient. As we were getting ready to enjoy a nice wine and cheese tasting, she mentioned that she had found a new cheese that I should take on: Limburger. Challenge accepted.
Let me start by saying that Limburger cheese is easily one of the nastiest, smelliest cheeses that I have ever tasted. On first impression, it seems like most washed rind cheeses (Port Salut,etc); then the barnyard steps in. As the aftertaste crept in, memories of cleaning my grandfather’s barn came back in a flash: the familiar stale hay and cow/horse piss aroma that would blow up my youthful nostrils as soon as shovel would hit floor. This was not a cheese, it was a weapon.
I was stumped as to what to do with such a strong flavour. Through the Internets research, I found out that German immigrants in the U.S. would eat Limburger sandwiches with onions, on dark rye bread smeared with mustard and/or horseradish, accompanied by lots of strong beer. I could handle the beer portion for sure, I wasn’t gonna take on an onion and barnyard piss cheese sangwich though. There was mention in one of the articles that some would add raw/rare sirloin steak to the mix. The answer was there for me. Meat,bread ,Limburger, onions and mustard: time to make a fuckin’ meatloaf!
Beef, bacon and Limburger Cheese Meat Loaf
1 lbs ground beef
½ lb of bacon strips
1 block of Limburger cheese
3 slices of Dark Rye Bread (you’re gonna grind up that fucker)
500ml (minus a few sips for the chef) of thick, dark full-flavoured Beer
1.5 Tbsp of Dijon Mustard
1 Tbsp of Horseradish
Half-ish of an Onion
3 cloves of Garlic
About a Tsp of Caraway Seed
A lil bit of Nutmeg
Salt & Pepper to taste
Butter or Lard to line Loaf Pan.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
While the oven is preheating, put the slices of rye bread in the oven and let them toast/dry out.
Grease up the loaf pan and line up the bacon perpendicularly to the long side of the pan. You’re making bacon ribs to hold it all together in a roll. Make sure that the strips are overhanging a bit.
Finely chop onion and garlic.
In a big bowl, chuck in the ground beef, garlic, onion, caraway, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
Remove the rye bread from the oven once the slices feel crispy. Cut into 1 inch strips and put into blender or food processor. Grind until smooth (think panko). You can also smash it in a mortar and pestle if you have time and some frustration issues. (not that us cooks ever get frustrated…)
Add rye crumbs into large bowl, mix and slowly incorporate the beer into the mixture. It should be spongy. If it seems too wet; don’t worry, the oven is gonna dry that bastard out anyways. Drink the rest of the beer that is left, you deserve it, chummy.
Add meat, crumb and spice mix into the bacon lined loaf pan.
Cut Linburger cheese into ¼ inch slices. Place them on top of the beef mixture. Fold in overhanging bacon strips towards the center of the loaf. If you have an extra strip, you might want to spread it along the middle of the loaf.
Put it in the oven for 30 mins. Turn down the oven to 350 and let that fucker sit in its’ own juices. Remove after another 30 mins or so. Use a meat thermometer, if ya gots one. Let it cool and cut up in slices and serve with mashed potatoes or enjoy in a sandwich. Your call, cowboy/girl.