O.K., so as of today, the countdown to Spring is 13 days – yahoo! But here’s the glitch, a big part of our country is stuck in snow and slush right now – and more is on it’s way to New England – boo (as in boo-hoo)!
So, for today – for (hopefully) our final blast of Winter – what better way to deal than to go with the flow and hunker down with a ‘Farewell to Winter’ dinner featuring one of the top contenders for comfort food – Meatloaf. Not just any Meatloaf – but a mighty one. My very favorite recipe for this bad boy originated from Julia Child, but over time I have added my own personality to it. I guess I’m always monkeying with a good thing. It’s such a favorite around here that I now double the recipe below to ensure our gang of terrific leftovers for the rest of the week.
It’s kind of a conundrum. I have to ask the question: Is meatloaf best fresh and sizzling hot out of the oven or served cold or warmed up on a crusty hard roll with plenty of fixings as a hearty and most satisfying sandwich (and don’t forget the chips on the side)?
And then a bigger conundrum is this, when it comes down to the battle of the ultimate protein for comfort food – does the title go to this here hearty and mighty Meatloaf or the powerful, yet unassuming, Roast Chicken (see recipe in February archive)?
Which one of these powerhouse contenders best brings you the culinary comfort you seek on such a cold, dank, and snowy day? I’ld love to find out.
Please write a comment and cast your vote!
A Mighty Comforting Meatloaf
(Yield’s a 2-quart loaf pan)
2 pounds ground beef chuck
1 pound ground pork
2 cups minced onion (1 large onion)
1 cup diced bread
1/2 cup dried seasoned breadcrumbs
1/2 cup beef broth
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
4 – 5 pureed garlic cloves
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 – 3 bay leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil
Butter to coat pan
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat with butter the inside of a 2-quart loaf pan.
In a sauté pan, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sauté minced onion until translucent and golden. Take off heat and set aside.
Using a large mixing bowl, add ground meats. Cut about 4 slices of bread into 1/2 inch cubes (cut off crusts) – should make one cup and add to mixing bowl. Add sauteed onions, eggs, beef broth, grated cheddar and parmesan, breadcrumbs, pureed garlic, thyme, paprika, allspice, oregano, salt and pepper.
Roll up your sleeves and with your hands mix until all ingredients are well incorporated. Form roughly into a big ball, and place into buttered loaf pan. Evenly distribute in pan by tamping down the mixture with your fingers (make sure mixture fills in the edges of the pan). Place 2-3 bay leaves on top of loaf and press lightly in place so they don’t curl.
Bake for about 1 1/2 hours – juices should be flowing and bubbly.
Enjoy and stay warm!
(P.S. Just a reminder to send in your heirloom or family recipe to share with our readers. Please tell us why the recipe is so special to you. I will select a handful – make, style, and shoot – and feature in an upcoming posting. Thank you!)