MeatloafSubmitted by ilikesteak at 2013-04-18 07:34:07 EDT
Rating: 1.2 on 5 ratings (13 reviews) (Review this item) (V)
I hate meatloaf's name. It reminds me of those morbidly obese people that need someone else to wash them with a rag on a stick. It's one of the things that let you realize that most people suck at cooking, and one that I've improved on greatly by using better ingredients, and not sucking at cooking it, and here's how you can too.
Use good beef. If you're at the store, don't go with any meat percentage lower than 93. If you can still get it from a good butcher, ask about it. If you get it fresh from a butcher, no ponies will be harmed in the making of your meatloaf. I use one pound at a time.
Season your meat to taste with whatever you want, but don't just use unseasoned beef or you're wasting your time. I like adding salt, pepper, sriracha, and garlic powder. I use powdered garlic here because it gives a more consistent spread instead of pockets of diced garlic. McCormick makes a seasoning called Montreal Chicken that is magical on seemingly everything, and works nicely here.
Dice a carrot and a stalk of celery and cook them before they are included. Anything I put celery into somehow manages to also get a carrot. It's just magic.
Caramelize the onions, sometimes until they approach being a jelly. If you don't, they'll taste oppressive, and the people you feed this to will hate you forever.
Oats instead of using bread crumbs or cereal. I've been crushing them with a mortar lately, but I'm not sure that it's worth the extra step. Bread crumbs can be used if you're actually a pigeon in disguise and are hiding among the humans as part of the slow takeover of the planet and need mild dose of nostalgia. Cereal is acceptable for overly camp villains who need something to eat before a long day of tying people to train tracks and mustache twirling.
You can crack in an egg here if you'd like. It's probably a good idea.
Mix together by hand. It avoids over mixing, and it's so much more fun than using a spatula or an electric mixer. Form it into a consistent brick/rectangle. Use a press if you have one. Those people who form it into a generally roundish poo-shaped lump know nothing of how/why food needs to be cooked evenly.
Give the top a decent coat of barbecue sauce, and reapply when you check on it if it looks a little light. You could make it yourself but it takes forever and there are a number of perfectly good commercial options. You only put katsup/ketchup on if you don't love the people you feed it to.
Chop a large onion into fairly large pieces, and rest the meat brick on top of them. You aren't pressing the onion into the meat, just elevating it from your baking pan. They go nicely with/on the finished product when you're done.
I like to have it bake at 350F and check the internal temperature periodically, then turn it up to 400F for the last few minutes. Thickness determines cook time, not some arbitrary magic number. My recommended internal temperature is about 170F, but it's up to you to determine whether you want mad cow disease or not. 170F internal usually covers most bias errors in measurement or oven thermometers.
Once you master the basic brick, it's time to get creative. Throw in chopped bacon. Add spinach. Mix different kinds of meat. Inject cheese into it. Wrap it with deli meats Replace the barbecue with something else, possibly a gravy. Kill a homeless person with it by clogging their windpipe until local hypoxia changes to total anoxia. The possibilities are endless.
I was thinking of going with the cheap pun here, but this guy is way better..jpg