This post is for my brother and his buddies in the Pro Shop at the Chevy Chase Club. Tomorrow we return to our regularly scheduled programming. I apologize in advance if this artery clogging, heart-attack inducing recipe offends.
Hello, my name is Wes; Baked Bree is my (much) better half. After some gentle insinuation, slight cajoling, and finally the use of strong arm tactics, Bree has allowed me one opportunity to guest post on her blog. As excited as I am to do this, I am also a little fearful. This is Bree’s blog, and it is fantastic. I am generally sarcastic and irreverent, but not today. I do not dare bite the hand that quite literally feeds me. I am so proud of Bree and her blog; I hope I can do it justice….man log style.
One thing I have learned from reading Bree’s blog is that food has much more meaning when it has a story behind it. Man log most definitely has a story….and it begins about 1,000 miles off the Pacific Coast of Central America. After about the 6th hour of every flight, conversation always turns to food. One of our crew members casually mentioned a bacon-wrapped concoction that sounded delicious. When we pressed him for details, his response was “It was my birthday, I was too drunk to remember how we made it.” We only had three clues…there was sausage, cheese, and a blanket of bacon. Just how the blanket was made or how the ingredients fit together we were not sure.
Our crew spent the next three days figuring out 1) how this thing was made, 2) how we could get all the ingredients in the country we were deployed, and 3) how we could cook it. #2 was easy….we have a guy in-country who can get anything. We gave him cash, and that was that. #3 brought up a bit of a discussion. I suggested cooking it in the oven on the airplane. The flight engineer immediately shut that down….something about a grease fire on an airplane. I guess he had a point. #1 would have to wait until we had what we needed. Speaking of, here is what you need for 1 man log (will feed about 4 people easily):
1 package of bacon
1 good sized sausage, or one pack of ground sausage
Cheese of your choice
The great thing about man log is that you can church it up any way you like. Ham? Go for it. Chorizo? NICE! Good cheese? Why not?
Once back at our lodging establishment, we got our hands on a grill, some hardwood for a fire, and an outdoor tile floor for our prep area. I do not recommend making yours on the ground. We made three man logs that night; refining our tactics as we went along. Brahma beer, a little ingenuity and some burnt arm hairs provided us all a meal that we still talk about. Without further ado, here is the man log, made in an actual kitchen, using (semi) sanitary procedures.
Remove the sausage from the casing and brown in a small pan.
While the sausage is browning, start working on your blanket-o-bacon. I like a 7 x 7 lattice. The tighter it is woven, the better.
Place your filling in the bacon blanket. Be careful not to overfill the blanket; you won’t get a good roll but you will get a HUGE mess. I marked off the fill area for my helper with toothpicks (remove these before rolling).
Here is where it gets tricky…roll the log as tightly as you can and seal the ends with toothpicks. I use a wide spatula to get started, then use my hands after that.
Place your man log on a rack over a cookie sheet, and bake in a 400 degree oven for 25 minutes or until the bacon is crispy. I went with the oven over the grill because 1) you don’t have to turn it in the oven and 2) I didn’t feel like using the grill tonight. Make sure that you put your log on some sort of cookie sheet that has raised sides. The last thing you want is to burn your kitchen down with bacon grease…and this CAN happen!
When the bacon is crispy, remove from the oven and let stand for a couple of minutes…just long enough for the cheese to stop being runny.
Slice into pinwheels, get your napkins, and enjoy!
Man log is like the opening of A Tale of Two Cities in many ways. It is the best of food, and it is the worst of food. It is a treat born of genius and ridiculous at the same time. It is both beautiful and gross. All I can ask is that you try it. I guarantee the man log will be a topic of conversation wherever you serve it!