Thursday, December 27, 2012

My Favorite Meatloaf by Heather



Meatloaf gets a bad rap.  Always has and I don’t know why!  It’s like a big hamburger patty in a pan and everyone loves a juicy hamburger, right?  Personally, I prefer the meatloaf because I am not a huge fan of hamburger buns.  And I can take a bite of mashed potatoes with every bite of meatloaf.  Try that with a burger.  My best meatloaf recipe comes from my mother-in-law and, like her, it will never do you wrong.  I don’t know where she got the recipe, but my copy is splattered from years of use, in my recipe binder, in her handwriting.  A true treasure.

This year has been a difficult one for my mother-in-law as she cares at home for my father-in-law who has become almost completely bedridden.  For a while hospice was coming in three days a week, such was his state of ill health, but hospice will only continue coming if the patient continues to decline.  So the very good news is that he has stabilized.  And the bad news is that he is no longer entitled to the care they give.  So lately, she has had to hire nurses to help her a couple of times a week.  She’ll turn 79 in a little more than a month, so all of this is hard on her alone and she does much that would exhaust even a younger person.   I am so proud of her and the good grace she demonstrates.  My mother-in-law has always called me daughter, not daughter-in-law, and that makes a world of difference.  Another thing I can say about her is that she is an adventurous cook and eater.  She regularly cuts recipes out of her local newspaper or magazines and gives them a try, just for something new.  She claims not to be a good cook, but she produces some amazing meals.  Like this meatloaf.  She is also beautiful and funny and loving.  I want to be her when I grow up.

I made and photographed this when we had just moved and I didn’t have a loaf pan, so you will see how I improvised.  By all means, use a normal loaf pan if you have one.

Ingredients
 2 slices white bread (I use brown sandwich bread when we have no white, which is most of time.)
1/4 cup or 60ml milk
1 small onion
2 eggs
1 1/2 lbs or 680g ground beef
1/2 lb or 230g ground pork
2 tablespoons horseradish (Or omit if you can’t find any and increase the mustard powder to 2 teaspoons – story of my life)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup or 60ml ketchup
1 teaspoon dry mustard powder (like Coleman’s)

Method
Preheat your oven to 400°F or 200°C.

Rip the bread into rough pieces and, in a small bowl, pour the milk over it, pushing the pieces down into the milk.  Soak until all the milk is absorbed.



Chop your onion finely.


Mash the soggy bread with a fork and then add to a large bowl with all of the other ingredients.  Mix well.




Tip the lot into a loaf pan or into a piece of foil that you will form into the shape of a loaf pan, inside a larger pan.




Bake for about an hour or until the meatloaf is browned nicely.


Serve along with some rich mashed potatoes, gravy and the vegetable of your choice.   I am telling you what, this meatloaf is GOOD!


Enjoy!

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6 comments:

  1. The meatloaf looks wonderful! Your mother-in-law sounds like a dream! I hope she doesn't get down herself in trying to take care of your father-in-law.....I was 30 when taking care of my bedridden father and it nearly did me in. She's tougher than me!

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  2. I knew you would be the first to understand and to comment, Kelli! I tried to help this summer but I am just so far away right now. Along with my own mother, she has been a great blessing in my life!

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  3. Hardest and saddest part of expat life - not being there. Your mother-in-law sounds like a lovely person. I'm glad to hear good news about your FIL, just hope they'll be able to figure out a way to get her some more help. And meatloaf- comfort food!!! That photo looks so familiar - it was always served at our house with mashed potatoes and peas - my dad always said the potatoes were to keep the peas from rolling away. ; )

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  4. I know, I know, Carolyne! I hate that part! Fortunately, my younger sister is nearby and she has been an enormous help with organizing the nurses, etc.


    Your father was absolutely correct. Both the potatoes and the gravy make the peas easier to corral. I didn't do it for the photo but usually we have way more gravy and it is poured all over the peas as well. I didn't want to turn anyone off though. :)

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  5. I agree with you about the meatloaf. I have my own meat grinder and have gotten some stunning results with it (and some advice from my butcher). This recipe looks superb. I wish you well with your in-laws.

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  6. I have a Kenwood meat grinder attachment but I must admit I have only used it for ground pork and chicken when I couldn't get them. (Some countries are like that.) You, friend, are a meatloaf specialist and I would love to hear your butcher's advice. Thanks for your good wishes!

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