Thursday, December 1, 2011

Meatloaf 101

This recipe is modified from Martha Stewart's Meatloaf recipe.  It's almost exactly the same except that I leave out a few of the fussy things that take extra time that don't really improve the taste at all.  

I also always make and bake two at a time.  I don't buy my ground meat at the meat counter so I am almost always buying a pound of each at a time anyway.  Also, it freezes really well.  I usually pop the fully cooked meatloaf in the freezer on a plate overnight and then put it in a freezer bag the next morning, That way, more of the glaze stays put.

Another trick is that I buy the larger packages of  ground meat and mix them all together, remove the three pounds I need for the meat loaf (I have a kitchen scale...a great investment) and use the rest to make a meat sauce.  You might as well while you have your hands in the meat...not my favourite thing to do.  I also freeze either the mix of meat in a freezer bag or make the sauce the same day and freeze it as well.

(makes 2 loafs)

6 slices white bread
2 large carrot, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
2 celery, strings peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves, loosely packed
1 cup ketchup
1 Tbsp dry mustard
16 (1 lb) ounces ground pork
16 (1 lb) ounces ground veal
16 (l lb) ounces ground round
4 large eggs, beaten
1 Tbsp salt
2 tsp freshly ground pepper
2 tsp Tabasco Sauce, or to taste
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup dark-brown sugar
1 Tbsp dry mustard


1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove crusts from bread, and place slices in the bowl of a food processor (I use a blender because I don't have a food processor). Process until fine. Transfer breadcrumbs to a large mixing bowl. Do not substitute dried breadcrumbs in this step, as they will make your meatloaf rubbery. 

2.  Place carrots, celery, onions, garlic, and parsley in the bowl of the food processor (or blender). Process until vegetables have been minced.  Chopping vegetables this way saves lots of time.  Add vegetables to bowl with the breadcrumbs and toss together lightly. 

3.  Add 1 cup of ketchup, dry mustard, pork, veal, beef, eggs, salt, pepper, and Tabasco. Using two forks, toss the ingredients until thoroughly combined.  Use the forks to fold, cut and toss together.  Don't over do it or the loaf will be tough. Now add the breadcrumb mixture and fold and cut with the forks again.  The texture should be wet, but tight enough to hold a free-form shape. 


4.  Set a wire baking rack into an 11-by-17-inch baking pan. Cut a 5-by-11-inch piece of parchment paper, and place over center of rack to prevent meat loaf from falling through. (Also cover the baking pan with foil for easy clean up)  Divide the mixture in half and using your hands, form an elongated loaf covering the parchment.   I also use my fingers to make a few grooves down the centre of the loafs to keep a little extra glaze on top but it's not necessary.

5.  Place the remaining 1/2 cup of ketchup, remaining 1 Tbsp of dry mustard, and brown sugar in a bowl. Mix until smooth. Divide evenly over the two loafs and spread with the back of a spoon. 

6.  Bake loaf until an instant-read thermometer (best investment EVER) inserted into the center of the loaf registers 160 degrees about 1 hour. Let meatloaf cool on rack, 15 minutes.


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