Monday, January 19, 2009

Meatloaf Snob

I think I'm a meatloaf snob. I'm not comparing myself to self acclaimed 'food snobs', but I really am particular about my meatloaf.

When I was growing up, my mother would take 1 lb of ground beef, and make it a meal for five. She did this by adding oats along with whatever other seasonings she normally used and made this incredible meatloaf. It was always moist and tasted great, and it didn't fall apart when you sliced it. So I guess that is what I compare all meatloaves to.

There are three criteria for my meatloaf.
1. Taste - of course
2. Must be moist, but sliceable
3. How hard it is to make(time)

Unfortunately I didn't get her recipe(if she had one) so I have been in search of the perfect meatloaf ever since. I have a friend named Charlene who makes a good meatloaf, and on the meatloaf scale, I'd probably give it a seven. It has a good taste and is pretty easy to make except it calls for slices of bacon to be placed on it, and I've never decided why that is necessary, and the slice of bread you soak in liquid and then wring out. How do you wring out a piece of bread without making a ball out of it? And I always thought the bread/oats/crackers were put in the meatloaf to soak up some of the liquid generated by the cooking of the meat anyway.

My friend Sara has a good meatloaf recipe, and I would probably give it an eight. I've made it a couple of times. It has a good flavor, holds together and is pretty easy to make.

Last week, I ran across a recipe for SouthWest Meatloaf. It sounded good so I printed a copy and gathered the ingredients. The first thing I noticed was the difficulty in getting all the ingredients. It called for both red and green bell pepper. It also called for Chipolte peppers in adobo sauce. Not easy to find in some supermarkets. And it used a lot of garlic which I thought I'd be able to taste in the finished product but didn't.

But the kicker was that you had to make Chipolte BBQ sause to not only go on top of the meatloaf, but in it. This lovely sauce was made up of a cup of vinegar, a cup of catsup, 1/2 cup honey, worshestershire sauce, and dry mustard along with red and green bell pepper, onion and garlic which then had to be cooked until it had reduced in volume and gotten thicker.

This took some time, and my house smelled of vinegar. I finally had to light a candle to get rid of the smell.

I got the meatloaf made and in the oven. The recipe said to make two meatloaves, but since I am by myself, I decided to make 6 small meatloaves so I could freeze some of them. I took them out of the oven and let them rest for a bit. Then I transferred them to a plate. When I thought it was the perfect time to eat one, I did.

I gave it a four on my meatloaf scale. It was ok, no better than any others I'd made, the texture wasn't the greatest, and the amount of work to make it was seriously not worth the time. I had taken some pictures of the sauce, and of the finished meatloaves, but didn't want to post anything I didn't think was worth making again.

I did find a recipe in a Taste of Home magazine that I'm going to try. It has onions rolled up in the middle of it. Sounds interesting.

So there you have it, I'm still on a quest. What is something you are out there hunting?

Hope it's a great Monday for you. Pray for our country. Love one another.


Will said...

I won't get started on the things I "snob" Oh my am I ever a food snob. I agree on finding the "right" taste, texture, smell, and feel in getting that full memory trigger, tripped.

I'm not saying this meatloaf will trip that memory trigger, but it is a really good meatloaf and one that I've served for huge catering parties with great results. I bake them in muffin tins and they are delicious.

* 6 ounces ground sausage
* 6 ounces ground beef
* 1/2 cup finely crushed corn chips (Fritos)
* 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions (I used yellow onion)
* 1/2 cup bottled chili sauce
* 1 egg
* 1 1/4 teaspoons chili powder
* 3/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper


Combine pork, beef, corn chips, green onions, 1/4 cup chili sauce, egg, chili powder, salt and pepper in medium bowl. Mix to blend well. Divide mixture in half. Shape each half into 3/4-inch-high oval and place side by side in 8x8x2-inch baking pan. Spread remaining 1/4 cup chili sauce over meat loaves, dividing equally. (Can be prepared 2 hours ahead. Cover; refrigerate.)

Preheat oven to 450°F. Bake meat loaves uncovered until juices run clear when centers are pierced with small sharp knife, about 20 minutes.

Lisa said...

I am not a meatloaf eater. Don't know why, just am not. My husband and my dad LOVE meatloaf. I will check around and see if I have a recipe that my sil uses that everyone raves about! good luck on your quest.

Laura ~Peach~ said...

9 guys at my husbands work swear that I make the best meatloaf they have ever put their lips on... I will email you the recipie such that it is if you want... I have been called a toss and go cook...but this I have some pretty close measurements.

Laura ~Peach~ said...

Ohhh yeah I was gonna say too that this makes ALOT so what I do alot of the
time is make the loaf i want for the dinner the rest of the meat i put into a freezer bag and freeze it until I am ready to make another one and some
times I think that after freezing the taste is even better.

#1daughter said...

Any recipes you get as a result of this post you have to make to send to my house. I'll let you know if they are good or not. I just want to be of assistance.

Flea said...

We love my meatloaf, and it's simple, though probably not in your criteria range.

Ground beef
can of diced, Italian season tomatoes
Seasoned bread crumbs

Mix them. Spread them.

box of chopped, frozen spinach, thawed & drained

Spread this on meat. Sprinkle with mozarella. Cover with a second batch of the meat mix. Bake.

My kids eat spinach this way. Sometimes I'll sprinkle another can of the seasoned diced tomatoes on the top before baking. Mmm. Simple and yummy and moist. Just not very sliceable.

tipper said...

The problem with meatloaf at my house-everyone likes something different in it!

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