Saturday, November 13, 2010

Meatloaf Donizetti

My beloved Havanese Hootie

I really don't think meatloaf and bel canto opera are a perfect match, but today they were.  My friends George and Alice and I had tickets to see Donizetti's "Don Pasquale" at the Beacon Theatre in Pittsfield, so I brought over slices of a fabu meatloaf for sandwiches.  I didn't have time to bake a loaf of the bread I'm making several times a week now, so I had to share my stash of Zingerman's Jewish rye bread with them for the sandwiches.  Luckily, they are very appreciative of good food so I got a full quota of compliments.

I don't remember what website listed this recipe, but whichever it is, thank you!  "It's a saucy meatloaf," said George, noting that good sauce is not what he typically thinks of when he thinks of meatloaf (which isn't often, I'd guess).  It was delicious as a sandwich, and just by itself.  The Zingerman's rye bread is a splendid match for it, but I'm guessing my delicious white bread would stand up to it, too.

I made the meatloaf last night, and found it kind of crumbly when I tasted it right out of the oven.  I refrigerated it overnight, which made it much easier to slice today.  I'm guessing it freezes beautifully. 

George started to put ketchup on his slice of meatloaf, but Alice stopped him, saying there was already a nice sauce glaze.  He listened to her, and after tasting, agreed.

The recipe calls for 1/2 cup roasted red peppers.  I used Ajvar roasted red pepper spread, which is otherwise very tasty with chevre.  The ingredients list on the label tells you that it includes not just roasted red peppers but roasted eggplant, salt, vinegar, safflower oil, and spices.  Try it.

So here's the recipe and I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Delicious Meatloaf

3/4 c packed fresh, plain, torn bread pieces, crusts removed
1/3 c whole milk
4 t vegetable oil
2 medium celery ribs, finely chopped
2/3 c finely chopped yellow onion
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 (6-oz) can tomato paste (3/4 c)
1/2 c finely chopped roasted red peppers
1/3 c finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 large eggs, whisked until smooth
2 tablespoons Worchestershire sauce
1 T salt
2 t dry mustard
1/2 t freshly ground pepper
3 lbs meatloaf mix (typically equal parts ground beef, ground veal, ground pork)
1/4 c ketchup

Heat oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Combine torn bread and milk in a small bowl; set aside. Heat oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat. When oil shimmers, add celery, onion, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook until no longer raw tasting, about 4 minutes more. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside to cool slightly, about 5 to 10 minutes.

Add soaked bread, half of the roasted red peppers, parsley, eggs, Worcestershire, salt, mustard, and pepper to the vegetables and stir together until evenly combined. Add pork and turkey and using clean hands mix until combined (don’t squeeze or overwork).

Form meat into a loose loaf and transfer into a 9-by-5 1/4-by-2 3/4-inch metal loaf pan (don’t press down).

Mix together the remaining roasted red pepper and ketchup and brush it over the top. Place meatloaf in oven and bake until internal temperature is 150°F, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Remove from oven and let sit about 15 to 20 minutes, before slicing.


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