Monday, March 28, 2011

Braised Meatloaf, or how to make friends with meatloaf

 This is so good, catsup is not required!

I know, what on earth could I be talking about? How can anyone not be friends with meatloaf? Well, uhmm, that would of been me. But hold on, I can explain, you see.......

Meatloaf is so, well it's solid, and thick and big. You know a big loaf of meat. That's why we did not get along. When there are only a couple of folks eating, a standard sized meatloaf lasts forever! Most meatloaf recipes are usually 2 pounds of ground meat, which will yield about a 3 pound loaf when you factor in the filler, eggs, milk, etc. That my friends is a lot of, yep you guessed it, meatloaf. We (OK, me especially) are tired of it, before it is gone.

I can and do get creative. I have made spaghetti sauce with leftover meatloaf, I have sliced it and used it in a rice casserole in place of any thing else called for. I have sliced it, covered it with a sauce/gravy and baked it again to re-present it as a new dinner. Leftover meatloaf has been turned into lasagna, hash with eggs, and sandwiches.

There are probably a few more creations, but I think you get the general idea. I myself do enjoy a sandwich of warm meatloaf on buttered bread with mustard. Add some pickles and a celery stick or two and you have a great lunch. A delicious sandwich, but one, maybe two in a week are plenty.

Then I found this recipe, for a stove-top braised meatloaf at Olla Podrida and what a great find it was! One pound of ground beef, braised on top of the stove, a richly flavored pan reduction. Yep, meatloaf heaven! And it is just the right size for small families. Pattie's recipe is dinner guest special. When I got past the wow factor (and wiped my chin!), I concentrated on the technique and the yield. Introducing........

Everyday Braised Meatloaf
adapted from:  Olla Podrida

1 slice bread
2-4 T milk
1 pound lean ground beef
1 egg
1 T finely minced onion
1 T catsup (this touch of sweet will carry the rest of the flavors, you won't taste it separately)
1/2 t garlic salt
fresh pepper to taste ( 4-6 "grinds")
2 T dry bread crumbs
1/3 c Parmesean cheese
2 T finely chopped, ham or salami or  prosciutto or mortadella

1/2 - 3/4 c dry (fine) bread crumbs, plain or Italian flavored

1 T olive oil
1T butter

1/2 c dry white wine
1/2 c beef stock or water
1 small tomato, finely diced
1 small carrot grated ( if desired)
1 T minced onion (if desired)

Place slice of bread and 2 tablespoons of the milk in a skillet, warm gently, stirring until mixture is a creamy mass. You may need up to the full 4 tablespoons of milk, however do not use more. Let cool.

Combine the cooled bread mixture and remaining ingredients for the meatloaf. Mix together gently. On a large sheet of plastic wrap, turn meat mixture out and begin forming a log, approximately 2 1/2 inches thick. Wrap and chill for an hour or place in the freezer for 15 minutes.

In a shallow bowl, add dry bread crumbs. For ease I cut the log in half to make the process of coating and browning easier. Coat the meat mixture in bread crumbs, taking care to maintain the meat loaf shape.

Heat butter and oil in large shallow pan, saute meat loaf piece(s) until golden brown, turning to brown all sides. Take care to not break the loaf apart.

The added vegetables during the braising will add body and additional flavor to the pan sauce reduction.

Add wine, stock and diced tomato, carrot and onion if using, braise covered on low/simmer 1 hour. Remove from pan, set aside. Sieve pan drippings to remove skin and seeds from tomato and another other solids that you do not want in your reduced pan sauce. Skim fat, return to pan and boil down to concentrate and thicken. Serve the reduced pan sauce over the meatloaf or with mashed potatoes.
Serves 4-5

Recipe rating:  Oh Yes! (will make again)

And now an update and open invitation!
Cookbook Sundays has moved, from Toronto Canada to Vancouver Washington U.S.A. Please join me on April 3, 2011 for the first cookbook Sunday, right here at Mom's Sunday Cafe. Cookbook Sundays will run for 8 days each month, the first Sunday through Sunday of the week after. It is fun and so easy to participate, all you have to do is:
1. choose your cookbook
2. select your recipe
3. cook and have a good time
4. share it at Cookbook Sundays!
See you there! 

This post will be shared with:
hearth n soul @ a moderate life
Tuesday Night Supper Club @ fudge ripple

key words: small families, meatloaf, braising


Brenda said...

When I was growing up, I hated meat loaf. Hated it. I didn't learn to like it until I found a couple of really good recipes a while back. My favourite way to eat it though is meat loaf sandwiches. Yum! Just sitting here thinking about what cookbook to use for Cookbook Sundays!

Candace said...

I have always loved meatloaf; but, yours looks better than any that I've ever had before. I'm going to give this a try. My husband will thank you because it's not "tomato-ey".

Bo said...

This is not the meatloaf I am used to...but change is good...It sounds great.

kitchen flavours said...

This looks good! I have never tried meatloaf before, now it's on my list to try! I think my family will like this. Thank you for sharing! And I'm looking forward to Cookbook Sundays!

Sage Trifle said...

I love a good meatloaf and have experimented with a number of recipes. I'm intrigued by this one and I think I'll give it a try.

Beverly@Beverly's Back Porch said...

I'm so happy to get this recipe. I rarely need a huge meatloaf. Plus I love the ingredients in this one.

Donnie said...

Another one to try. You are on a roll and I love it.

Kankana said...

Sounds like an excellent recipe to me. Thanks for sharing it with Hearth and Soul Hop.

April @ The 21st Century Housewife said...

There are only three of us in our family so this is the perfect meatloaf recipe for us! I have never braised meatloaf before, only baked it, so I am interested to try your recipe. The flavours in it sure sound yummy. Thank you for sharing it with The Hearth and Soul Blog Hop!