We bribed the waiter with cash at Bang!’s Restaurant in The Highlands, Denver, Colorado, for this recipe, which she brought on a card from the kitchen for me to copy, so I know it is the real deal.  The quantities were all massive restaurant proportions, so I divided the recipe into home proportions (1/4 of the original recipe).  My mother grew up on a farm and learned to make meatloaf as a staple of easy comfort food, serving it a couple of times a month, as I was growing up.

Consequently, I have to confess that I hate meatloaf, not because it was bad, in fact, in hindsight (after having it at many other places) it was probably the second best meatloaf I ever had, but I just got worn out on it because we had it so often.  So, upon seeing a fashionable restaurant offering “meatloaf” on the menu, I had to try it, and I am glad that I did.  Sorry Mom, but this Bang! meatloaf recipe is the better than yours.

Bang! is a trendy place in The Highlands neighborhood of Denver, Colorado, and the perfect place for embarking upon new culinary adventures.  They always have something new on the menu, equally as exciting as the tried and true offerings, such as this one.

p.s. My mom’s recipe is essentially the same except for the sauce.  Bang!’s is a kicked-up sauce, and they add a bacon garnish which Mom probably just didn’t think o,f but would surely approve.  Bang!”s terms their sauce Spicy Homemade Ketchup, but it is actually something  between a kicked-up Colorado-Texas BBQ sauce and true ketchup.  Whatever you decide to call it, we love the sauce—it makes the dish.  Mom–sorry, but I hope you take note of their special sauce, as it makes the dish come alive again, while still offering the comforts of country cooking.  And, don’t forget the bacon.  The Worcestershire sauce doesn’t hurt either to kick it up a notch.

INGREDIENTS

Finely dice and saute:

  • 3/4 c. onion
  • 1/2 c. carrot
  • 1/4 c. celery
  • 3 cloves garlic

Mix with:

  • 2 lb. ground beef
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 1 1/4 c. bread crumbs
  • 3 Tbsp. Worchestershire sauce
  • 1/2 Tbsp. salt
  • 1/2 Tbsp. pepper
  • Top with bacon

Bake until well browned and top with ketchup.  [We find that 350F for about 45 minutes is perfect to bring to a 155F internal temperature reading.]

Spicy Homemade Ketchup

  • 3 lbs. very ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 t. vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 c. light brown sugar
  • 1/2 t. ground mustard
  • 1/2 t. ground ginger
  • 1/4 t. crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 t. cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • Pinch ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • Salt

Puree the tomatoes in a blender until smooth. Strain puree through a medium-mesh sieve, pressing with a rubber spatula to get out all of the juices. Discard any solids. Set tomato puree aside.

In a non-reactive saucepan heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, 3 to 4 minutes; do not allow to color. Add the tomato puree and all remaining ingredients except the vinegar and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally at the beginning and more often towards the end of the cooking time, for about 1 hour or until thickened. Add the cider vinegar and salt and cook for 25 to 30 minutes more, until the consistency of ketchup. Adjust seasoning with salt if needed. Set aside to cool. Store in non-reactive airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Sometimes we like to kick up the Spicy Ketchup even a little further, with the addition of 1 finely chopped chipotle (a smoked jalapeno, available canned at most grocers and all Hispanic grocers) 1 T. adobo sauce reserved from the chiptole can.