Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Recipe: (Don't Let Your) Meatloaf

MEATLOAF! MEEEEEEATLOAF! Meatloaf, one of the pillars of the church of American comfort foods. Meatloaf! Utter that word in a roomful of men and eyebrows will raise, heads will cock and attention will be gathered as if you just threw a bait fish on a beach full of seagulls.

Say it with me: MEATLOAF.

Doesn't that create warm images of comfort and home?

Do you think I'm kidding, or making too much about it? Well I'm not. Meatloaf is to the American middle class what corned beef and cabbage is to the Irish! It's what the taco is to the Mexicans! Spam musubi to Hawaii! It's what haggis is to the Scottish. Well no, okay, not haggis. I don't think there are a lot of things anyone can relate to haggis. Anyway, I just mean to say it is a much loved dish by those familiar with it. As evidence I offer a few comments on the dish from some friends I contacted regarding it:

"Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm meatloaf, I don't know what to say beyond that. What else can you say about meatloaf? Meatloaf is the best." -Andy F.

"Meatloaf? Yeah, I love meatloaf." -Dave L.

"I've had some pretty damn good meatloaf!" -Dave Z.

Like any popular dish the variations are as numerous as the assortment of ingredients available and the various regions in which it is prepared. I won't try to spark a debate or encourage any angry communiques by expressing a preference or preaching superiority. Hell, the gravy alone will raise the ire and spark a rabid debate among true connoisseurs who express a preference! Instead I will offer you ONE of my favorite recipes for a great meatloaf that is as female friendly as it is male friendly.

If you want to do this middle class and old school serve it up with INSTANT mashed potatoes and canned kernel corn for sides! Always, always, always make far more than you need for meatloaf sandwiches for days afterward!

(Don't Let Your) Meatloaf

2 lbs of ground beef (Sometimes I use ground turkey, sue me!)
1 cup of canned tomato sauce
2 slices of wheat bread (cut into cubes, about 1-1/2 cups)
1 medium onion (chopped)
1 roasted red pepper (diced)
1 large egg
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper


2 cups of canned tomato sauce
1 cup of water
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup yellow mustard
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce

Preheat the oven to 350° F.

In a large bowl beat the egg and then combine the ground meat, 1 cup of tomato sauce, onion, bread cubes, roasted red pepper, Worcestershire sauce, salt and black pepper. Blend with your hands until everything is just evenly combined and distributed. Don't over do it!

In a 5" x 9" roasting pan (or similar) form the mixture into a slightly domed loaf and place in the center of the oven.

While the meatloaf begins to bake, place a saucepan over a medium flame and in it whisk together the water, vinegar, brown sugar, mustard and the tomato sauce. Bring the sauce to a boil and reduce to a simmer and continue to simmer whisking frequently, until thickened. Remove from heat.

After the meatloaf has been baking for 10-15 minutes, spoon some of the gravy over the top of it and continue baking the meatloaf. Around the half hour mark, spoon a little more gravy over the meatloaf again. Depending on your tastes you can do this several more times. Reserve most of the gravy to top your meatloaf when you serve it.

The meatloaf is finished when a thermometer placed in the middle of the thickest part registers at least 160°F. Remove it from the oven and let it stand 10 minutes. During this time reheat the gravy. Serve the meatloaf topped with gravy.

1 comment:

  1. The Scotts can have the best of both worlds actually as there are a few recipes out there for Haggis Meatloaf, believe it or not. (I checked)
    But yeah, a slab of cold meatloaf slathered with tomato ketchup and enveloped between two slices of bread is better than sex on Sunday! ®