Still continuing on with my “comfort food” theme in January, today’s dinner consists of old-fashioned meatloaf with fluffy riced potatoes and veggies. Meatloaf is a great way to extend ground meat and also to give it a boost of flavour.
Meatloaf is usually made with ground beef although other ground meats, such as poultry, pork, or lamb, may also be used. What gives it its name is obvious – it is meat that is shaped into a loaf pan. The loaf shape makes it easy to get really nice, neat slices of the loaf for plating. While meatloaf is generally baked in the regular oven, there are recipes for meatloaf prepared in slow cookers.
The ingredients in meatloaf can be very basic and simple or they can be relatively sophisticated. My recipe is somewhere in between. In addition to the meat, meatloaf will have one or more binding agents such as eggs, breadcrumbs, rolled oats, and/or graham wafer crumbs. The trick to making a meatloaf really tasty is to add some good seasonings and a tasty sauce on top.
Traditionally, meatloaf is served with mashed potatoes and a favorite vegetable or two. I find various ways of presenting potatoes work well with meatloaf — baked potatoes or scalloped potatoes, for example. In the photos in this posting you will see that I used riced potatoes. Are you familiar with a potato ricer? It looks like this:
Seriously, this makes the fluffiest potatoes. The potato ricer operates on the same premise as a garlic press. Simply place hot cooked potatoes into the perforated basket of the ricer. The top handle of the ricer is fitted with a flat metal plate. Pressing the two handles of the ricer together forces the flat metal plate to put pressure on the potatoes, forcing the potatoes through the tiny holes in the ricer. When the potatoes are pressed through a potato ricer, this is what they look like:
Oh, and of course, we can’t leave out the mustard pickles! The sharpness of the pickle flavour compliments meatloaf particularly well.
Here is the recipe for my meatloaf. My featured Island product in today’s recipe is Island beef from KJL Select Meats butcher shop co-located with Riverview Country Market in Charlottetown, PEI.
1½ lb lean or extra-lean ground beef
2-3 tbsp grated onion
2 tsp prepared mustard
½ can tomato soup
⅓ cup milk
2 tbsp dry onion soup mix
½ cup graham wafer crumbs
½ cup fine bread crumbs
¼ tsp garlic powder
Salt and pepper, to taste
½ can tomato soup
1½ tbsp prepared mustard
1½ tbsp brown sugar
½ tbsp molasses
1½ tbsp balsamic vinegar
Preheat oven to 350º.
Line 9”x5” loaf pan with tin foil. Grease or spray with cooking oil. Lining the pan with foil makes it easier to remove the meatloaf and slice it. It also makes clean up a breeze.
In large bowl, combine the first 12 ingredients and mix well.
Press meat mixture into prepared loaf pan.
Bake for one-half hour before adding sauce to top of meatloaf.
Meanwhile, prepare the sauce by mixing all 5 ingredients together. Stir until well-combined.
After one-half hour, remove meatloaf from oven and spread sauce over meatloaf. (I am not sure why the sauce differs in color in each of the photographs below but the color of it spread over the entire loaf in the bottom right-hand photo is the true color.)
Return loaf to oven and bake for 1 additional hour.
Let meatloaf rest in pan on cooling rack for at least 15-20 minutes or more before removing and slicing. If you slice it when it is too hot, the slices tend to break apart.
Serve warm with your favorite potatoes and side vegetable(s).
This meatloaf freezes very well and is a staple in my freezer. To reheat, remove meatloaf slices from freezer and allow to thaw. Re-heat in covered casserole in microwave for a few seconds per slice.
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