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 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
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. I cut the uncooked loaf in half to better fit the pan I was using.
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.
As always thanks for taking a moment to stop and say hello. I appreciate your time and your wonderful comments!
It has been my pleasure to be able to contribute to Our Krazy Kitchen, thanks to everyone for letting me be a part of this great group!
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