A Meatloaf Even Your Kids Will Eat
As a kid, I was never fond of the rectangular brown brick that my mom served us. It was always mysterious-looking and to me a big waste of perfectly good hamburger meat. I remember it as always being dry no matter how much instant gravy was poured over it. And because my family belonged to the “clean plate” club, there wasn’t even the opportunity to hide pieces under the lumpy mashed potatoes.
But I now have a new opinion of this classic dish. We were having some friends over for dinner and my wife wanted to serve “Diner” fare. When she suggested meat loaf, memories flooded my brain and I tried to resist but we ended up serving it with garlic mashed potatoes, gravy, cole slaw, and beets.
This recipe comes from a restaurant in Venice, California called 72 Market Street and has been described as the “ultimate meat loaf”. Of course I was skeptical to say the least, but after my first bite I converted from a lifelong meat loaf hater to a satiated meat loaf lover and wanted to share this other All-American recipe with you.
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup onion, finely chopped
3/4 cup scallions, finely chopped
1/2 cup carrots, finely chopped
1/4 cup celery, finely chopped
1/4 cup red bell pepper, minced
1/4 cup green bell pepper, minced
2 teaspoons of minced garlic
Salt, to taste
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 eggs, well beaten
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup half-and-half
2 pounds lean ground beef chuck
12 ounces sausage meat (not fennel-flavored Italian sausage)
3/4 cup fine fresh bread crumbs, toasted
How To Prepare At Home
1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Melt the butter in a heavy skillet, and add the onion, scallions, carrots, celery, bell peppers, and garlic. Cook until the moisture from the vegetables has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool; then refrigerate, covered, until chilled, about 1 hour.
3. Combine the salt, black pepper, white pepper, cayenne, cumin, nutmeg, and eggs in a mixing bowl, and beat well. Add the ketchup and half-and-half. Blend thoroughly.
4. Add the ground beef, sausage, and bread crumbs to the egg mixture. Then add the chilled vegetables and mix thoroughly with your hands, kneading for 5 minutes.
5. With damp hands to keep the mixture from sticking, form the mixture into an oval approximately 17 x 4 1/2 x 1 1/2 inches.
6. Place the meat in a baking dish, and place the dish inside a larger pan. Pour boiling water into the larger pan until it reaches halfway up the sides of the baking dish.
7. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes.
8. Remove the baking dish from the water bath, and let the meat loaf rest for 20 minutes before slicing and serving.
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