Wednesday, March 31, 2010

if we only had a lousy little grand we could be a millionaire

How do you feel about meatloaf? I love it, but it was not always thus. Once my mom cooked it for Sunday dinner--I know it was Sunday because there was Kool-Aid, which will also feature in this story--and I thought to myself the mid-eighties equivalent of "No freaking way am I eating that." But freaking hadn't been invented yet. I think.

So they made me try it, I hated it, I sat caressing it in my mouth rather than swallow it because kids are stupid, I tried to wash it down with Kool-Aid, it created a monstrous hybrid of suck, and I threw up on my plate. Ta-da!

But then I grew up and got married and had a baby, and one of our neighbors brought us a meatloaf. And it was so good that I decided to give meatloaf another try. Now, I know that people like to give Ina Garten a hard time because she's so astoundingly out of touch with reality (no, Ina, I am not going to discard the five chickens after I use them to make stock). But her recipes have never failed me, including this one for meatloaf, which is a nice big one. And it's amazing. You can swap out the turkey with beef and pork, which is what I did last night, and it was as good as ever. Better, maybe? I don't know. I just know that I couldn't shovel it into my mouth fast enough.

(from Ina Garten, courtesy of the Food Network website, so it's not even stealing)
3 C chopped yellow onions
2 T olive oil
2 T kosher salt
1 t pepper
1 t fresh thyme leaves (1/2 t dried)
1/3 C Worcestershire sauce
3/4 C chicken stock
1 1/2 t tomato paste
5 lbs. ground meat (she uses turkey breast, last night I did 3 lbs. beef and 2 lbs. pork)
1 1/2 C plain dry bread crumbs
3 extra-large eggs, beaten
3/4 C ketchup

Preheat oven to 325*.

Cook the onions, olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme over medium-low heat until the onions are translucent but not browned, approx. 15 minutes. Add the Worcestershire sauce, chicken stock and tomato paste and mix well. Allow to cool to room temperature.

Combine the ground meat, bread crumbs, eggs and onion mixture in a large bowl. Mix well and form into loaves. Ina does one big free-form loaf, but I found that mine got too spready and flat for my liking, so now I spray the inside of two bread pans, smoosh the mixture into that, then unmold the loaves onto a foil-lined cookie sheet. Spread the tops with the ketchup.

Bake for 1 1/2 hours until the internal temperature is 160* and the meatloaf is cooked through (if you do 2 smaller loaves it may take a little less time). She says that a pan of hot water under the meatloaf will keep it from cracking, but . . . it's meatloaf. Who cares if it cracks? Silly Ina.


All8 said...

Not a fan of Meatloaf, but Ambrose is. I make Martha's Mother's loaf, it has tons of veg in it and it's not bad. I'm pretty sure that Ambrose would love to try any meatloaf recipe. That man really loves it.

Jill said...

I was planning on making meat loaf this very night. My recipe is for Mini-meatloafs that have cheese in them....good eats. Maybe I will try your instead. I am doing a "make-up" dinner for Mike since last night I made him eat Egg plant with capers and tomatoes on them..(I know, sounds good right? It was, but..well, you know Mike.)

What better way to say, "Sorry I tried to help you be more healthy", than some cheesy meatloaf and potatoes?

Layne said...

You mean Mike of the three-layer dip?

Try sauteed eggplant with onions. It might be less challenging, taste-wise.

All8 said...

The meatloaf was received well by (most) of the masses. I used all beef and beef stock, do you think that it would taste better with the chicken stock? Not that it was bad, just wondering.

Layne said...

Duh. I didn't even think of using beef stock, because I'm so used to chicken. I wonder . . .

Mike B said...

Why don't you have Sigourney Weaver make you a meatloaf!

kacy faulconer said...

I feel like Ina Garten doesn't have any real friends.