MEATLOAF … the classic comfort food

 

Of all the reassuring comfort food  there is nothing better than a perfectly executed, divinely crusty- brown meatloaf.     Severed with a generous pitcher of rich gravy  and mounds of creamy mashed potatoes it takes comfort food to dazzling new heights.

In cooking as in most things in life the simple dishes  done well  we appreciate,  enjoy  and remember.  We are bombarded by  magazines, newspapers,  cooking shows and books touting” the latest shout” in food.  Recipes that require endless shopping trips searching for exotic ingredients.  We’re exhausted before we even begin to prepare the meal.

Serve this generous meatloaf  proudly to family and friends.  It is a treasure that garners raves and second helpings.   The combination of ground meat and pork, and sauteing the vegetables gives this meat loaf  its rich, depth of flavour.  Don’t be tempted to skip the sauteing  step.

MEATLOAF ... the classic comfort food
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This old favorite is even better the next day. Make lots of gravy and mounds of creamy mashed potatoes and you'll be in comfort food heaven. Meatloaf cold makes great sandwiches, too.
Ingredients
  • MEATLOAF ... serves 8 generously
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 fat cloves of garlic
  • l celery rib coarsely chopped
  • around 1 cup of fresh parsley leaves
  • A good splash of olive oil
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • l tablespoon chopped fresh thyme (do not use dried thyme, the flavour is too strong and bitter). Leave the thyme out if fresh is not available.
  • LOTS of freshly ground black pepper (1/2 tsp at least)
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp hot paprika
  • ½ cup chili sauce
  • 6 bacon slice
  • 1 carrot, onion and celery stalk, roughly cut for the roasting pan..
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Use your food processor to mince onion, garlic, celery, and parsley . Mince just until finely cut.
  3. Splash a generous amount of olive oil into your skillet, sprinkle the onion mixture with salt and red pepper flakes and saute until soft and any moisture has evaporated. About 5-7 minutes. Let cool.
  4. In a large bowl add the beef, pork eggs, milk, bread crumbs, coriander, paprika and chili sauce. Mix well.
  5. Now you have a choice. One big meat loaf or two small ones. You can always freeze one.
  6. Mound your meat mixture into a loaf shape and place in a shallow baking pan. Use a generous sized pan with lots of space around the meatloaf. cover the top with bacon slices.
  7. Scatter the vegetables around the meat loaf.
  8. Bake in a preheat oven for about l hour for the small loaves (instant read thermometer 165F) or about 1 hour and a half for the larger loaf. Again, use your instant read thermometer. Bast every so often with pan juices to keep your loaf moist. Your meat loaf should look nicely browned and the surrounding pan should have pan juices that caramelize and will end up making lovely gravy.
  9. Tent your meat loaf with tin foil and allow to set for about 15 minutes or so. Remove your meat loaf with a large spatula and place on a pan or platter that you can put in a just warm oven (still loosely covered with foil).
  10. MAKE YOUR GRAVY
  11. Place the meat loaf baking pan on a medium high heat stove element.
  12. Pour a little red wine into the pan and start scraping up the brown bits.
  13. Reduce the wine to almost nothing.
  14. Now add a couple of cups of beef stock and continue scraping. When all the bits have been loosened pour the liquid, THROUGH A STRAINER, into a medium sized saucepan.
  15. Discard the vegetables.
  16. Season with salt and pepper. TASTE. Adjust if necessary.
  17. Now thicken with a generous two tablespoons of flour shaken in ¾ cup of cold water in a jar. Whisk this into your beef liquid and cook until thick.
  18. If you feel your gravy has thickened too much add a little red wine and whisk again.
  19. Taste for seasons and serve VERY HOT with your meat loaf.

 

 

 

 

 

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5 Responses to MEATLOAF … the classic comfort food

  1. Joan Fisher says:

    How much milk?

    • admin says:

      Good call Joan. You need 2 tbsp milk. Thank you for drawing it to my attention. You’ll love the meat loaf. Lots of flavour.
      Cheers
      Virginia

  2. Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

    Hello Virginia, I’ve really been enjoying browsing your archives for a while now and this recipe looks just just as interesting. Thank you!: ). When making meatloaf I like to fill up the oven and throw in some Yukon Gold potatoes and halved winter squash to bake right alongside.
    *sigh* Such an awesome flavour combination (sounds like a plan: )

    • admin says:

      Yes oh my yes. Yukon Gold’s roasted crispy on the outside meltingly soft inside. Yukon Gold’s my absolute favorite potato. And any squash, especially butternut is so divine. A dinner fit for a king! Bon Appetit Deb so lovely hearing from you. Virginia

    • admin says:

      The day Yukon Gold potatoes arrived in the food markets was indeed a glorious day. Hard to believe potato growers were calling them “yellow potatoes” – a marketing ploy to sell them. And of course, winter squash is sublime. Bon Appetit Virginia

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