Meatloaf

 

dsc00319Meatloaf became a staple meal during the 1920s as households tried to stretch their food sources as far as they could.  By adding day old bread chunks, bread crumbs, applesauce, barley grains, rolled oats, or rice grains, a pound of ground meat could be stretched into two or three meals instead of just one.  Cooks would throw in almost any variant of bland thickeners they could and by bulking it further with tomatoes and any number of spices, you add a good deal of flavour.

Everyone has their own favourite meatloaf, usually their mom’s.  I am no different.  Meatloaf was my first hand’s on experience in my mom’s kitchen, and as those experiences didn’t happen often, I relished it.  I can still remember the squish between my fingers as I kneaded the meat fondly.  It was gross and disgusting, yes, but it was the very first time I had been able to actually get my hands dirty and still to this day it is something I enjoy.  And the kneading process is what really makes the meatloaf better.  The more you knead it, the less air pockets and the better the texture.

And is there anything quite as tasty as leftover meatloaf on a few slices of bread for a sandwich the next day?  I don’t think there is.  Meatloaf is one of those few meals that I actually enjoy having as leftovers.

Ingredients

1 lb ground beef

1 16 ounce can pureed tomatoes

1 stalk celery, minced

1/2 cup bread crumbs

1 small sweet onion, chopped

1 egg

1 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon thyme

1 teaspoon nutmeg

Directions

  • In a large mixing bowl, add all ingredients.
  • Knead well, for at least five minutes, until well blended.
  • Pack firmly into a loaf pan, pushing firmly to reduce air pockets, building side walls up slightly.
  • Cover tightly with aluminium foil.
  • Cook for thirty minutes at 350 degrees Farenheit.
  • Uncover and cook for a remaining fifteen minutes.
  • Drain grease from pan and return to oven for five minutes more.
  • Slice and serve.

kneadmeat

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