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tommy

Meatloaf

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since 9/11 or so, i've been on a comfort foot bender. fried chicken, hamburgers, jellyfish :blink:, meatball parm heros. you get the idea.

last night something on TVFN sparked off a meatloaf hankering. there hasn't been much discussion on meatloaf here. i'm looking to make meatloaf either tonite, or tomorrow for our pre-sopranos meal.

any thoughts?

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Equipmentwise, it really helps to have a loaf pan with a rack insert that allows the fat to drain off.

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I like to cover the top and the sides of the meatloaf with bacon. Some of the fat drips into the meat and then at the end I get to eat the bacon.

I like meatloaf sandwiches with potato bread.

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And cold meatloaf sandwiches w/ ketchup, mayo and sliced pickles are sooo good the next day.

Does the best recipe include a combo of ground beef, pork and veal? ...or just beef and pork? And in what percentages? And which is better... to add chopped sauted onions, or raw?

(I sometimes put chopped spinach in mine).

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I start with ground beef, and add sausage meat (e.g., a 12-oz roll of Jones or Parks) and dry stuffing (usually Pepperidge Farm). Together they pretty much take care of the seasonings. And lots of chopped veg -- raw if I want the texture, sweated if I want the moisture. An egg or 2 (not entirely necessary, but that's what my mother used to do, so I do, too). Wine or stock or whatever liquid I have in the fridge. The juices that come out, degreased, can form the basis of a very tasty gravy.

Have you tried frying the slices, giving them a nice crisp crust? Very nice in a sandwich, or on their own. Clarification: I mean frying slices of leftover meatloaf.

Although my mother used to make individual mini-loaves of meatloaf mixture and fry them, then add mushrooms and whatever to the pan and thicken the juices for gravy, I don't think of that as MEATLOAF. Gotta be baked in a loaf pan or free-form like Rachel's. Otherwise it's just adulterated hamburgers.

As an aside: thank you, Tommy, for starting this thread. I'll bet every member has his/her own recipe, and I want to see them all!

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Call your mother. You're not going to get something that satisfies a comfort food craving if it isn't like the way it was when you were a kid. I've made Alton Brown's recipe - don't like the coating. Sauces (ketchup, steak sauce) should be on the side, not baked onto the loaf, IMHO. Also, my mom made them in a loaf pan and I've made them in the loaf pan with the raised rack to drain the grease, but if you like crust, the best way is to go with the sheet pan, forming the loaf either freehand or unmolding the loaf onto the sheet.

I also like a mixture of beef, pork & veal and sweated veggies.

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right on a pan rachel? like close encounters of the third kind? that makes sense actually.

intersting about the glaze. most recipes i've seen recently have a glaze. i wouldn't think to use a glaze. thoughts?

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right on a pan rachel?  like close encounters of the third kind?  that makes sense actually.

Yes, right on the pan. I suppose you could use aluminum foil to reduce cleanup. There's enough fat in a meatloaf you shouldn't need to grease it, but I suppose a quick spray of Pam wouldn't hurt.

intersting about the glaze.  most recipes i've seen recently have a glaze.  i wouldn't think to use a glaze.  thoughts?
Sauces (ketchup, steak sauce) should be on the side, not baked onto the loaf, IMHO.

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We like good ole' Heinz ketchup as a "glaze" with a couple of bacon strips on top. The "close encounters" method is definitly the best method especially if you don't have a rack-type loaf pan device. I also add a couple of handfuls of med. diced cheddar cheese. The kids used to love it that way and it also helps keep it moist. As for fried meatloaf, I never had meatloaf cooked in a pan until I was married. My mom always made the mixture, then made patties and fried them. Kinda weird....

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sometimes i add a pound or so of andouille chopped in as food processor; learn it from Aidells' Meat cookbook

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This is what I feel is important for a good meatloaf:

- Even amounts of ground beef, sausage, and veal.

- Always real bread crumbs, not the canned stuffed.

- Don't mix too much. It will make the loaf too dense.

- Ketchup, dried mustard, brown sugar, a little minced garlic, diced onion, and rosemary for coating.

The Man, The Myth

TapItorScrapIt.com

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The best meatloaf I ever had was a cobbled together affair. We were up visiting a farm and there was a ton of frozen, ground, wild venison in the freezer. We mixed this stuff with diced onions, tons of fresh herbs that were growing on the farm (especially sage and rosemary), and eggs. We cooked it two ways: Little sausage-like patties on the hot part of a wood-fired grill, and a big meat loaf on a cast-iron griddle laid over the cooler part of the grill. It took an hour or so to cook and it developed an amazing smoky, crisp crust and was juicy and gamy inside.

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When I make meat loaf I use 2/3 ground chuck and 1/3 ground pork butt.

Then I saute a fine dice of carrots,celery,leek and onion (season with S&P ) let cool.

Then I add this to the meat with an egg or two (depending upon volume)some ketchup, A1 and lea & perrins. A bit of garlic powder and S&P.

Then a little bit of breadcrumbs just enough to bind with the eggs, like said in another post, take care not to over work the meat.

I then line a loaf pan with saran leaving enough to come over the edges and fill with the blend. I then tap the pan a few times to release the air pockets and settle the mix. Then I invert it onto a sheet pan removing the saran. This gives you a nice shape to work with. I don't glaze mine but my mom used to shmear ketchup over it. Tamerind paste thinned out a bit also works.

I bake for about an hour at 350f until the internal temp is 165 degree's

With this I serve generally a mushroom or onion gravy and country style mashed potatoes

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caped chef brings up another point that i was going to get to: red, or brown "sauce." growing up, i think i mostly had brown. but it does seem like you might be able to do some exciting things with a tomato-based sauce. what those "exciting" things are, well i'll defer to someone else for the answer.

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Tommy,

Try oven roasting some plum tomatoes until they start to carmalize.

Peel off the skin and squeeze out the seeds and dice them, sweat a couple shallots in butter, add the tomatoes a bayleaf and a spring of thyme.

Reduce this slowly for about 10 minutes (add S&P ) then deglaze with some sherry,maderia or marsala (either works well) reduce this by half and then add a few cups of beef stock,season and reduce, remove the thyme and bayleaf and you have a nice combo sauce.

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Call your mother. You're not going to get something that satisfies a comfort food craving if it isn't like the way it was when you were a kid.

Bingo. Case closed.

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There are quite a few good meatloaf recipe collections. A basic Google search yields a ton of them. The first hit is an index of recipes from Better Homes & Gardens, several of which look appetizing.

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Ah, meatloaf -- the paté of the plains.

My dad did most of the good cooking in our house, and on weekends he often made meatloaf. Instead of bread or cracker crumbs, he always used rolled oats, and so do I. He cooked in it loaf pans, but his meatloaf, although moist and delicious, was a little too greasy for today's tastes. So, I make mine on a sheet pan.

Our family never liked brown sauce with meatloaf. If we got it that way in a restaurant, we felt cheated, although it wasn't so bad if there was a big mound of mashed potatoes alongside that you could put the brown gravy over.

If my Dad had time, he'd make a typical Creole Sauce to serve over the finished meatloaf: onions, celery, bell peppers sauteed in EVOO, then add about 2 C tomatoes, either fresh or canned, some Cajun Spice (I can't remember exactly what and neither can he, so I just use a prepared blend), S&P and some Louisiana hot sauce.

He always put bacon over his loaves. So did his mother and so do I. If he didn't have time to make his Creole Sauce, he'd glaze the loaf with red sauce first and then put the bacon slices over.

Meatloaf Glaze:

1/3 C catsup

1 tsp Worsty

1 T dark brown sugar

1 T yellow mustard

1 tsp (or more to taste) horseradish

To each his own; I've found my own -- and it ain't brown sauce.

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Call your mother. You're not going to get something that satisfies a comfort food craving if it isn't like the way it was when you were a kid.

My mother never made meatloaf.... :sad:

I am partial to a Pierre Franey recipe for individual meat loaves (4 large servings). Here it is:

1/2 lb. each of finely ground lean beef, veal and pork

1 tablespoon oil

1 cup finely chopped onion

1/2 teaspoon finely minced garlic

1 cup fine fresh bread crumbs

1 egg, lightly beaten

1/2 cup finely chopped parsely

1/4 cup milk

Salt & Pepper to taste

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon ground allspice

1/8 teaspoon ground cumin

3 Tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2. Heat oil in pan. Add onion and garlic. Cook until wilted.

3. Place meat in bowl and add onion and garlic along with all other ingredients except cheese. Blend well.

4. Divide mixture into 4 equal portions. Pack each portion into 1-1/2 cup molds such as individual souffle dishes. Sprinkle tops with cheese.

5. Bake for 30 minutes. Run briefly under broiler until browned and glazed.

Let stand for about 5 minutes before unmolding.

I prefer to form them into individual loaves and place them side-by-side in one baking dish. I suppose you also could pack the whole mixture into one loaf pan, and then increase the baking time to about an hour.

As good as these are hot, they are really terrific when cold and sliced for sandwiches. :smile:

Edit (following FG's suggestion): My adaptation of PF's recipe

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Roz, is that verbatim from one of his cookbooks? If so we shouldn't reproduce it here without permission. Perhaps a citation would be better.

Are recipes protected by copyright, or is it just the use of the specific words from the book?

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we have two versions of meatloaf -- the American version and the Filipino version:

the American version is simply

ground beef, chopped onions, bread soaked in milk, a couple of eggs (the bread to add some body, the egg as a binder), and a ketchup-based glaze.

the Filipino version has ground beef and pork, chopped onions, raisins, entire peeled hard-boiled eggs, carrots and chickpeas (no glaze on top). Its also called embutido. When you slice into it, you'll frequently have a bit of everything in your slice.

SA

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Roz, is that verbatim from one of his cookbooks? If so we shouldn't reproduce it here without permission. Perhaps a citation would be better.

Are recipes protected by copyright, or is it just the use of the specific words from the book?

Copyright does not protect ideas, only the expression of those ideas. We're not copyright lawyers here, but the rule of thumb we follow is that verbatim reprints of recipes without permission are no good but restatements in your own words -- especially if you have made improvements -- are okay.

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