Don’t let your meat loaf
Meatloaf, in one form or another has been around since ancient times. A form of roasted minced meat is mentioned in Apicius, the famed ancient Roman cookery book.
Just about every cuisine has a form of meatloaf. Some are roasted, steamed, braised, wrapped and boiled, or cooked on a spit.
Meatloaf first showed up in American cookbooks in the late 19th Century. The Great Depression made meatloaf popular as it was a method to stretch food budgets. Some of the best American home cookery came out of the Great Depression, as people used creative means to make cheap food palatable.
While you make this recipe, enjoy this Meat Loaf.
1- medium sized onion (1/2 large onion) diced
3- medium sized carots diced
3- stalks celery diced
3-4- cloves garlic minced (Optional)
2.5 pounds ground beef
3/4 pound ground pork
1- cup bread crumbs or corn meal.
Hefty pinch of Quatre Epices* (Optional)
Fresh ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F)
Saute carrots, celery, onions and garlic with a pinch of salt and ground black pepper.
Place ground pork and beef in a mixing bowl. Add cooled vegetables, two tsp. salt, fresh ground black pepper, bread crumbs, eggs, spices if using. Mix thoroughly with your hands.
The vegetables, eggs, and bread crumbs should be evenly incorporated in the meat. The mixture should have a stiff consistency. (To check for the right consistency, make a 1-2 inch patty and fry it like a burger. If it falls apart or feels mushy you need to add more crumbs or meal. If it is too dry, some liquid or another egg may be added.)
Form the mixture into a loaf shape. Place on a rack in a pan.
Roast for one and one half hours or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees (F).
About halfway through cooking spread ketchup, barbecue sauce, or Sauce Diable** over the top.
Let meatloaf sit for 20 minutes under a foil tent.
Serve with leftover sauce, mashed potatoes or vegetables.
*Quatre Epices is a French mixture of four spices, white pepper, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg. The ratio is two parts white pepper to one part each of the other three. There are other ratio combinations or substitutions for some of the spices. Some use cinnamon or mace instead of nutmeg.
**Sauce Diable: This recipe is adapted from famed chef Daniel Boulud. It uses common condiments and is quick and easy to make.
2 tbls Dijon or whole grain mustard
1 tbls ketchup or bottled chili sauce
1 tbls A-1 Steak sauce
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
3 drops Tabasco sauce or to your heat taste
If you want more sauce to use later, double the ingredients.
Whisk all ingredients together. Keep covered in the refrigerator.