Friday, August 18, 2006

Perfect Meatloaf

In 2000, I moved into a little basement on Capital Hill. At that house, I met DM. After moving from the basement to a group house a few blocks and a little later another room opened in the house, DM moved from the house I was previously staying in, to our new group house. J-lo, DM, KS and I formed a happy little household. With all our varying schedules, we would occasionally be home at the same time and have a yummy dinner together. Usually it was DM or I making dinner with J-lo and KS cleaning up. Those were some good times!

DM introduced us to one of the most perfect meatloaf dinner I've ever had! Seriously, that good. Now I know and understand the difficulty in proving this statment, as there are as many meatloaf recipes as there are delays on the Red Line. My mom's recipe used meat, eggs, crackers, bacon and ketchup. Really good stuff. A friend of ours adds a bottle of beer to whole thing--tasty! Ray Ray has a pretty good recipe as well. What's your favorite?

All that is to say, a few years ago I sat down and copied DM's recipe. I never made it; I lost the recipe!!! A travesty, I know. Well, guess what I finally got again this week!!!!

A tasty treat I first had a few years ago and actually brings around a lot of great memories of some great times!!

Before I start though; can we change the name of Meatloaf. Loaf should really only be attributed to bread and bread-like products and not meat. OK, soap box over.

72 Market Street Meat Loaf with Meat Loaf Gravy
(Click Here & Here)
Serves 6-8
This recipe is by 72's first chef, Leonard Schwartz, remains the restaurant's most popular dish. After you try it we are certain it will become one of your favorites at home as well. It's also great for sandwiches too!
1 TB butter
¾ cup minced green onion
¾ cup mined white onion
½ cup minced carrot
½ cup minced celery
¼ cup minced red bell pepper
¼ cup minced green bell pepper
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground pepper
½ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp cumin
3 eggs, beaten
½ cup ketchup
½ cup half & half
1 ½ lbs lean ground beef
½ lb lean ground pork sausage (with no herbs or seasoning)
¾ cup prepared bread crumbs
Meat Loaf Gravy (recipe follows)

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Heat the butter in a heavy bottom skillet and add the green onions, white onions, carrots, celery, red & green bell peppers and garlic. Cook, stirring often, for 10 minutes, or until the moisture has evaporated. Remove mixture from the skillet to a plate and allow to cool.

Pretty vegetables

All stirred together and coated with butter. Mmmm!

And cooked down and getting ready to cool.

3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, nutmeg, cumin and eggs and mix well. Add the ketchup and half and half. Blend thoroughly.

4. Add the ground beef, ground pork, bread crumbs and the vegetable mixture. It will be easier to mix this with your hands.

5. Gread a loaf pan and add the meat mixture, press it into the corners. Put the loaf pan in a larger pan filled 1 inch high with boiling water. Cook at 350 for 45 to 60 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving. Serve with Meat Loaf Gravy.

Resting. I used a smaller baking dish instead of a loaf pan, about 9 x 5. And it's sitting in a 9 x 13 pan with water. My meatloaf cooked for 50 minutes.

And serve with mashed potatoes!
Look, more new dishes that I snagged at the outlets last weekend!!! These are oval bowls that I loved; they'll be great for serving side dishes from, someday.

Meat Loaf Gravy

2 TB butter
4 shallotts, minced
1 sprig thyme
1 bay leaf
Dash of crushed peppercorns
¼ cup chopped red bell pepper
¼ cup chopped yellow bell pepper
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup veal or beef stock
1 cup chicken stock
2 Roma tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
Salt & Pepper

1. In a heavy pan, melt 1 TB of the butter and saute the shallots, thyme, bay leaf, peppercorns and bell peppers over medium-heat for 3 minutes.

2. Add the wine and simmer over high heat until reduced by three-fourths, until it makes a glaze.

3. Add the stocks, and simmer, uncovered, over high heat until reduced by one-fourth.

4. Add the tomatoes and bring to a slow simmer. Cook, covered, for 20 minutes.

5. Stir in the remaining 1 TB of butter and season with salt & pepper to taste.

6. Strain and serve.

Delicious 1

Delicious 2

Notes: This is kind of a time intensive dinner. The chopping and sauteing can take up a good amount of time if you chop slowly...I do. One thing that DM mentioned about when he makes this, saute up double or triple the veg and then freeze for future use. A great tip and next time I actually will do that.

I didn't realize until it was just too late that I didn't actually have the full quantity of ground beef, so when I added it to the egg mixture it was extra schluppy, so I increased the breadcrumbs to one full cup. It seemed to help.

As for the gravy. The gravy is tasty, but it's a bit of extra work, so it's totally up to you if you make it. I was pretty good about following the recipe, but altered a few little bits. 1) I didn't have beef broth, so I went with two cups of chicken broth, a reason it's so pale and 2) the full instructions, I didn't reduce after I added the broth and jumped to the tomatoes and covered it. I questioned it, but did what I thought it said. Well, sure enough the gravy was very thin and watery. I fixed it by adding a little cornstarch/water slurry to thicken it to the right consistency. Perfect. Oh and I didn't peel the tomatoes, since the dish was going to be strained, I didn't see the point. And I didn't see the yellow pepper on the recipe until I was home, so I only used red bell pepper. Again, tasted great, just a bit of work.


Stef said...

Yeah, "loaf" was definitely one of those words we all agreed sounded icky. What was that long string we had going for a while? Something like "steaming, piping hot muffin loaf" or even worse!

I think my Mom used the onion soup recipe, which was always tasty.

Dancer in DC said...

I enjoy meat loaf and the many recipes you can try. My grandmother's version is more the traditional crackers-and-tomatoes variety.

Barbara (Biscuit Girl) said...

Yum! Meat loaf and mashed taters are one of my favorite comfort foods. Your pictures made my stomach growl.

Anonymous said...

I found this link from going into and adored seeing pix of the how to's along the way.
Making it tonight.
Must get to the market as I need bell peppers and want to do it pretty much exact. Thanks for going to the trouble of posting pix, they really do make my job easier.

ScottE. said...

Anon: Thanks for the comment. Hope you enjoy the dinner! It really is one of the best meatloafs I've ever had! Glad you like the pictures.