From Too Many Chefs -

January 5, 2006
Meatloaf is Not Pretty

Meatloaf is one of the ultimate comfort foods. And as such, it's not pretty. I took a dozen photos, but really I don't want to kill your appetite. It wouldn't convert vegetarians to meat-eating. And it wouldn't give the rest of you a reason to continue eating meat. Meatloaf is not pretty.

But it is pretty comforting. And it does taste lovely on a cold winter night. And after all the wine, rich Christmas pudding, shellfish, cream, turkey, stuffing and assorted chocolates it has a definite appeal. Meat, a few condiments, a little oatmeal and some nice fluffy mashed potatoes on the side. What's not to like?

Most families have their own recipe. But of course MY mom's is the best. After going through meatloaf-deprivation for some 20 years, I finally asked her for the recipe when she visited in December. I figured (rightly) that it would appeal to the boy and would make a nice transition step between baby food and steack frites. He had is first taste of Grandma's meatloaf tonight and gobbled it right up.

Grandma Liebezeit's Meatloaf

1 lb/450 grams ground beef
1 egg
1 heaping Tbs horseradish
1 cup/90 grams grated cheddar cheese
3 Tbs ketchup
3 Tbs yellow mustard
1 cup/85 grams oatmeal
salt, pepper
1 onion, grated
3-4 Tbs milk

Mix all the ingredients except the milk in a deep bowl. You can start out with a wooden spoon, but if you want to do it properly you'll want to wash your hands thoroughly and dig in and mix it with you hands. Mix in enough milk to make it ever so slightly moist, like thick cement. (Sorry, but it's the best metaphor I can come up with!) Form it in a thick loaf in the bottom of a roasting pan. Unless your meat is extremely lean, you shouldn't need any fat in the pan to keep it from sticking.

Bake at 180C/350F for 45 minutes or until cooked through. The meat will feel springy to the touch and the kitchen will smell meaty and comforting. Serve with heaps of fluffy buttery mashed potatoes and lashings of ketchup or A1 sauce as your fancy dictates.

And sit in front of the television with a tray on your knees while you eat it, feeling like you are 10 again and being spoiled by your mom.

Posted by Meg in Sussex at January 5, 2006 1:54 PM | TrackBack

Yeah, I've tried photographing meatloaf, too, and it was really just hideous. Your recipe sounds good, though.

Posted by Luisa on January 6, 2006 at 9:26 AM

Check out the image of the toasted mashed potato crust!

Posted by Dr. Biggles on January 6, 2006 at 10:49 AM

Dr. Biggles, I stand corrected. And I am ashamed to say that I had actually SEEN your photograph a few months ago when I was trawling through your archives, shame on me!

Posted by Meg in Paris on January 6, 2006 at 10:59 AM

Some good foods are just not lovely.

So what? They taste good anyway.

Posted by Barbara on January 6, 2006 at 12:05 PM

Oh Barbara,

It's all about the gravy. If it hadn't been for the gravy and the mashed potatoes, that shot would not have been possible.
Never leave out the gravy. It's as though you leave the love behind you.


Posted by Dr. Biggles on January 7, 2006 at 6:35 PM

it may not be pretty...but it does in fact taste great

Posted by Lindsay Bracy on January 8, 2006 at 10:33 PM