Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Meatloaf Extravaganza -- It's all about technique

So I'm in love with Cuisine At Home magazine. I loved it more when it was Cuisine Magazine maybe, but they still do a great job putting together detailed explanations of classic recipes. Meatloaf is an especially thorny issue in our house, because I love flavour, but hate meat bricks. Thud.

Here's the meatloaf we made this weekend -- Eric's comment was, "Mmmm... umm mm mmmmmmmmm-hmmm.. mmm..."

3 slices of white bread, torn into pieces
1 cup whole milk
3 eggs beaten

3 Tbsp butter
1 1/2 cups minced onion
1 cup pureed roma tomatoes (I used canned Marzanos)
1/2 cup minced celery

1/2 cup minced parsley (we had cilantro leftover, so I used that)
2 Tbsp Worcestershire suace
1 Tbsp kosher salt
2 tsp. black pepper

2 lb. ground chuck (80% lean)
3/4 lb. ground pork

Plus (for the topping)

2 strips diced bacon (I didn't have any on hand, so I just used bacon fat to cook with)

1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced bell pepper (red or green)
1 Tbsp minced garlic

1 cup diced Roma tomatoes (Marzanos again)
1/4 cup Dijon msutard
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp brown sugar
salt to taste
1 tsp Tabasco sauce

In a large bowl, beat the eggs and combine them with milk and bread and set aside to soak.

Preheat the oven to 375 F. and prepare two 8 x 3 3/4 disposable aluminum loaf pans by poking two 1-inch holes in the bottom of the sides with a pair of scissors. This will be the way that the excess grease drains out when the meatloaf bakes. Place them on a rack set in a roasting pan (you may want to line the pan for easy cleanup) to catch the grease.

For the onion, celery, tomatoes and garlic, I basically processed them in a handy-chop till they were pracitically puree. Saute them in the butter over a medium heat for about 5 minutes. Let the mixture cool while you mash the bread mixture into a paste. Add to this the tomato-onion mixture along with the parsley, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper and mix well.

With two forks, toss and stir the meat into the mixture (This makes for a lighter meatloaf overall if you don't handle it with your hands.) until it's combined.

Spoon the meat into two loaf pans, leaving at least an inch from the rim of the pan for the topping.

To make the topping, saute the bacon over a skillet over a medium high heat. Add the onion, pepper and garlic and saute for 3 minutes.Stir int he remaining topping ingredients and simmer for 3 minutes.

Spread the topping over the meatloaves, and bake for 1 1/4 hours, or until the internal temperature is 160F. Remove them from the oven and let them rest for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.


No comments: