I had meatloaf for the very first time when I went to culinary school. I had always thought that it was something to be feared. I believed it was some type of mystery meat mash, most often with a hard-boiled egg lurking inside. Not good.
But upon the first forced mouthful by a fellow student and friend of mine, I was a convert. Meatloaf is one of those totally underrated foods, unfairly grouped with cream of mushroom casserole, and hostess snowballs. It is like a blank canvas for flavor. Every person has their own ideas about what meats should be included, what seasoning, and what other ingredients should be added.
Interestingly, as I have started to come out of this pregnancy induced nausea fog, I have been craving it…. Badly. Enough so, that when my mom told us a few weeks ago that she had made meatloaf, (what!? Never made it once when I was growing up!!), I went into a panic. I actually asked the woman to put a plate in a taxicab, and have them drive it to me- that is a problem.
With visions of meatloaf still dancing in my head, my husband Pete and I were recently invited to dinner at our friend’s house. I had no idea what to expect, and being extremely picky lately, I was nervous about what they would be cooking up. To my complete joy, I heard the words “meat loaf and blue cheese mashed potatoes.” I mean, are you kidding? Does it get any better than that? Dinner was just as good as it sounds, and no, there was no hard-boiled egg in the center.
If you haven’t had meatloaf in a while, (like since you were a kid), think about giving it another try. I included a recipe below, obviously best paired with mashed potatoes, but can be a much lighter dinner when paired with a simple green salad.
-1 lb ground pork
-1 lb ground beef
-1/2 lb ground sirloin
-3/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
-1 small yellow onion, minced
-2 garlic cloves, minced
-2 large eggs
-2 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
-1/2 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
-1 Tbs kosher salt
-2 tsp black pepper
-1/4 cup ketchup
-2 Tbs brown sugar
-2 Tbs grainy Dijon mustard
-1 tsp rice wine vinegar
1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2) Place all of the ground meats in a bowl, and mix in the onions and garlic.
3) Add the eggs, ketchup, Worcestershire, parsley, salt and pepper. Gently mix together with your hands, and place in a loaf pan.
4) In a small bowl mix together the ketchup, brown sugar, mustard and rice wine vinegar and mix until smooth.
5) Brush the mixture onto the top of the loaf, and place in the oven. (You may want to place a sheet pan underneath the loaf to catch drippings).
6) Bake until the center of the loaf reaches about 160 degrees, and then remove from the oven. If the top of the loaf gets to dark, then cover it with foil and continue to bake.
7) Let the loaf rest for 10 minutes before slicing.