Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Meatloaf--with Frosting!

Sometimes I think the only reason I make meatloaf
is for the sandwich . . . 

Making a meatloaf is an endeavor into which one should not enter lightly. It is much like making a cake and requires much measuring and chopping and adding and mixing. In other words, it has a lot of steps. 

Meatloaf is to Americans what sausages are to Europeans. And the "art" is all about the spices. One seeks a perfect blend so that no one single spice is overpowering. Nor do you want a meatloaf that is dry and dense, which is why I use half ground pork and why I always bake it in a glass loaf dish. 

Now. About that frosting . . . When I lived in Michigan I had a friend who loved my meatloaf. She was having guests who had children and a "meatloaf contest" ensued with the children as the ultimate judges. Long story short, this recipe won because, as she said, "It had that frosting!" By frosting, she meant sauce. Since then, I, too, refer to it as "frosting." And why not? As I've said, making a meatloaf is kind of like making a cake, so why not frost it? You may, of course, omit the frosting; but I've never had anyone who didn't like it.

I don't like a "crunchy" meatloaf nor do I appreciate one littered with orange confetti from carrots. Green bell peppers can be overpowering. I do no use them.

A food processor makes quick work of finely dicing the veggies.

UPDATE: I still love this meatloaf recipe! But now here is what I do ... I no longer bake it in a loaf pan; instead, I mold the meat mixture into a loaf pan and turn it out onto a tin-foil lined baking sheet.

To the "frosting," I add a bit of heat ...  to taste ... and then brush it all over the meatloaf ...

 During the baking time ... I brush on more to create a kind of "crust." Fantastic!

  • 1 lb. ground chuck
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1/2 cup FRESH bread crumbs, not dried
  • 1/4 cup oatmeal
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped (about 4 oz.)
  • 1-2 celery stalks, roughly chopped (about 3 oz.)
  • 3/4 - 1 cup loosely packed, curly parsley leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon caraway seeds, crushed in a mortar and pestle
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons dried mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice or just a few shakes (don't omit)
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon horseradish, blotted of liquid on a paper towel
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1-2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 eggs yolks, slightly beaten

  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup packed, dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried mustard
  • cider vinegar
  • Hot sauce of your choice (I use A.1. Sweet Chili Garlic Sauce. Use your favorite ... maybe just a bit of Tabasco Sauce) to taste.

Place a few pieces of torn bread into the food processor and pulse until you have light, airy bread crumbs.( Freeze what you don't use.)

Chop the following in the food processor until a fine dice is achieved: onion, celery, parsley and garlic.

Place the ground chuck and pork into a large bowl. Add the breadcrumbs, oatmeal, thyme, crushed caraway, ketchup, allspice, salt and pepper, dried mustard, horseradish and chopped vegetables. Using the flat end of a table knife, begin to incorporate ingredients being careful not to "squeeze" the mixture together. Remove a good teaspoon of the mixture and place on a plate. Microwave for about 15 seconds. Taste for seasonings and re-season as necessary.

Mix the egg yolks with the Worcestershire and add to meat mixture. Continue to mix until thoroughly incorporated. Place mixture in a large glass loaf pan and carefully pat into shape.

In a small bowl, mix together the 1/2 cup ketchup, brown sugar and dried mustard. Taste. If too sweet (it will depend on your ketchup) add a bit of cider vinegar. Pour over meatloaf.

Bake in a 350 F degree oven for about one hour or until it reaches a temperature of 160 degrees. Remove. DO NOT CUT. Allow to rest at least 20 minutes or so to re-absorb some of the juices. Most of the juice in the pan is not fat but water that has escaped from the meat. 

Cold meatloaf slices beautifully.

Will never ever bake meatloaf in a pan or dish. Free-form is the way to go.

1 comment:

Ciss B said...

I do so love meatloaf!