This is a recipe I originally wrote for the Syfy.com website that was inspired by my time as a staff writer for the television series, Z Nation (Season 3 episode 6 for anyone who is interested!). It’s a bit of a throwback, and I fully plan on revisiting it again in the future, but for now, here it is in all its original glory.
And to truly honor my amazing Z-Whacker fans…this one is for you!
Everyone knows about zombies. They’re mindless, shuffling eating machines hell bent on little more than the pursuit of their favorite treat – brains! Of course, most movies and television shows revolve around people running away from zombies…but we guarantee one bite of our zombie themed meatloaf and the only thing running away from your table will be people’s imaginations!
This meatloaf is not only disgusting, it’s delicious, and the addition of the caul fat membrane adds both a layer of creepiness as well as moisture and more flavor.
For this recipe you will need:
- 2 lbs Ground beef (or 1 lb ground beef/1 lb ground pork for more flavor)
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- ¼ Cup bread crumbs
- 2 Tablespoons Worcheshire sauce or A-1 sauce
- ¼ Cup barbeque sauce
- ¼ Cup pork caul fat
- ½ Cup milk
- 2 Parsnips
- Red food coloring
- Blue food coloring
- 1 Teaspoon salt
- 1 package of Meatloaf mix (I used McCormick)
- Roasting vegetables (optional)
You will also need:
- Bowl of warm water
- Large bowl for mixing your meatloaf
- Foil lined baking pan
- Large pot of boiling water
- Sharp knife
- Cutting board
- Basting brush
Before we dig into this recipe too far, let’s stop and take a moment to talk about caul fat. Caul fat, otherwise known as lace fat and sometimes as fat netting, is the layer of fat that lines the interior of the intestines. In cooking it’s used as a natural casing for sausages, meatballs, and meatloaf.
Because it’s a fat, as it cooks, it melts, providing moisture and flavor to your end product.
Although not often called for in most modern recipes, caul fat can be obtained from most butchers and is sold in pound blocks.
When you get your caul fat, gently unwrap only what you need and allow it to soak in a bowl of warm (but not hot) water before using.
Now that we have that out of the way, onward to the recipe!
Start by preheating your oven to 350F/176C.
Take your thawed caul fat and place it in a bowl of warm water mixed with blue dye and allow it to soak.
While the caul fat is soaking, take your parsnips and peel off the top layer of tough skin. Drop your peeled parsnips into your pot of boiling water and add your teaspoon of salt. Allow your parsnips to boil for approximately 15 minutes. You want them tender, but not so soft that they’re falling apart.
As your parsnips are cooking, prepare the rest of your meatloaf.
In your large mixing bowl, knead together your ground meat, milk, spices, beaten eggs, Worcheshire (or A-1) sauce and breadcrumbs.
Once your mixture is thoroughly blended, start making the base of your arm shape on your foil lined pan. Lay down a layer of meatloaf mix about a quarter of an inch thick in the shape of your arm.
By now your parsnips should be done. Remove them from the heat and give them a quick rinse in cold water to stop the cooking process and make them easier to handle.
Using a sharp knife and your cutting board, cut your parsnips into two long strips (your radius and ulna) and five smaller strips (your finger bones).
Use additional small pieces to serve as the smaller wrist bones. Feel free to get as anatomically correct as you’d like at this point. For the sake of this recipe, we kept it pretty basic, but feel free to do as much (or as little) detail work as you’d like.
Press your ‘bones’ into your meatloaf base and use the rest of your meatloaf mixture to form your arm.
Using a basting brush, give your formed arm a thick coat of barbeque sauce.
Take your soaked caul fat (which by now should be nice and blue) and gently wrap it around your meatloaf arm, refining the shaping as you go. The membrane will help to keep the entire thing in one piece as it cooks.
Once you’ve achieved a shape you are happy with, give it another good layer of bbq sauce, pile your roasting vegetables around your meatloaf and place the entire thing in the oven.
Bake at 350F/176C for 1 hour, pulling it out every 15 minutes to give a quick basting of barbeque sauce.
Remove from the oven after 1 hour and allow to sit undisturbed for 5 minutes before slicing and serving. Using the rest of your barbeque sauce, baste the end of your arm for an extra added dose of gory realism.
Serve with your roasted veggies and enjoy!
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