October 27, 2011
The term meat loaf has some interesting connotations. First of all, there's that singer from the 70s who resurfaced in the 90s with "I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)." Before we get distracted by pondering what exactly it is that he won't do, let's talk about meat loaf the food. It seems that it's a dish that people have strong feelings toward - they either love it or hate it. We suspect that in both cases it has to do with meat loaf they ate as a child (delicious homemade comfort food or frozen TV dinner horror). We didn't really swing either way until we made this recipe from The New Basics, but now it has become one of our favorites. This recipe makes about five servings, so we like to have it the first night with mashed potatoes and some veggie, and the second night with pasta and some other veggie. The big question then is - who gets to have the last serving in a sandwich for lunch the next day?
Adapted from The New Basics
- 1 tbsp butter
- Half of a medium yellow onion, chopped
- 4 scallions, chopped
- 1 small carrot, chopped
- 1/2 of a small red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 small rib celery, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 1/4 cup half and half
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/3 pound spicy Italian sausage meat
- 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs, toasted
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and spray a 9" x 5" loaf pan with nonstick spray.
Melt the butter in a medium skillet, then add the onion, celery, scallion, carrot, bell pepper, and garlic. Cook until the vegetables are soft (8-10 minutes), then set aside.
If you haven't done so, this would be a good time to get your breadcrumbs toasted. Wipe out your skillet, turn the heat on to medium high, and add just a small drizzle of olive oil. Add the breadcrumbs and cook, stirring frequently, until they are golden brown. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk the egg, then add in the salt, pepper, cayenne, and cumin and combine. Stir in the ketchup and half and half and, when that's well combined, add the ground beef, sausage, breadcrumbs, and vegetables. Knead the mixture with your hands until everything is very well blended.
Put the mixture into your loaf pan and pat it gently into place, forming an even loaf shape. Put the pan in the oven and bake for 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it rest about 5 minutes before serving.