Saturday, April 11, 2009

Oh No! Meat Loaf Again!

Rocky Horror Picture Show lipsMention meat loaf to anyone born after 1984 and chances are they'll quote "Wedding Crasher" lines from a certain no-talent actor who would rather chew up scenery than work on his craft. But all the kids who weren't cool in high school hearken back to the banquet scene from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" where Eddie (the singer Meatloaf) was quite literally on the menu. Right on cue, cries of "Meat loaf again?" would bounce of the walls of the theater. It was a great way to spend a Friday night. Meatloaf, the artist, cultivated a respected if quirky body of work, most of it having nothing to do with cannibalism; like this blog entry! This is a pork and veal loaf adapted from a NY Times recipe.
Mushroom meat loaf with glazed carrots
Mushroom and Meat Loaf
  • ½ lb mushrooms
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • ½ cup yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 lb ground veal
  • ⅛ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ cup oats
  • ⅛ tsp red pepper flake
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp dill
  • ½ cup chopped tomatoes
  • Salt & pepper
Ground veal and pork, chopped onions and mushroomsA meat loaf still life
Soften onions in butter over medium heat is a sauté pan. Slice mushrooms while onions sweat. Add mushrooms to the pan and cook until their liquid evaporates. Put ground meat and the mushroom & onion mixture in a large mixing bowl. Add the nutmeg, oats, pepper flakes, beaten egg, heavy cream, dill and freshly ground black pepper. Blend well with hands. Pack the mixture into a loaf pan and smooth down the top. Spread chopped tomatoes on top. Place loaf pan in a large baking dish and fill the dish half way up the sides with boiling water. Place in a 400° pre-heated oven. Bake for 60-90 minutes, or until a meat thermometer stuck into the center of the loaf registers 160 degrees.
Soften chopped onionsAdd sliced mushrooms
Mushrooms with give up some liquidCook until liquid evaporates
Combine ground meat and mushroom mixturePress into a loaf pan and smooth down topTop with chopped tomatoes
Peel and trip carrotsReduce a butter and brown sugar glazeToss carrots in glaze and roast
I thought mashed potatoes seemed passé, so went with glazed carrots instead. While I washed and peeled a bunch of carrots, I reduced a glaze of a couple tablespoons each of butter, brown sugar and a little water. The carrots and glaze went into the oven the last 20 minutes of cooking for the meat loaf. I tossed them once or twice to keep coated and moist.
The ubiquitous meat loaf is frequently taken for granted. But it's reliable, easy stand-bys like this that round out a weekly menu. There is almost nothing you can do to screw up a meat loaf. Just like a frittata, almost anything goes. So keep meat loaf in heavy rotation, whatever your cultural signposts.
A cooling meat loaf
Thanks for taking the time - Blog O. Food

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