Sunday, May 14, 2006

Running Food: Good Eats Meat Loaf

What could be better on a cool, dreary day than some good comfort food? Not much! And after a couple of good, long runs this weekend, I thought I would treat myself. So today I made meat loaf. This is one of the ultimate ”Blue Plate specials” from the diners of yesteryear.

My favorite recipe is that of Alton Brown on the Food Network. I follow most of the amounts pretty closely, but as with many recipes, I don’t do everything exactly as written!

-For one, I make my meat loaf with 2 parts beef and 1 part pork, so I ground up some fresh beef chuck roast and some pork shoulder this morning.

-Also, I mince the vegetables by hand and like to cook them first before adding them to the meat mixture, just sweating them in a skillet for a few minutes. This way, it softens them up a little, and it makes for a more complex flavor, I think.

-I add a little squirt of ketchup (a few tablespoons?) and a splash of Worchestershire sauce to the meat mixture.

-I use two eggs instead of one.

-I bake it right in the loaf pan (I don’t care, I like it that way!). And no need for a fancy probe thermometer. Increase the temperature to 350 and bake for 1 hour (adding the glaze after 40-45 minutes) and your meat loaf will be right in the 150 - 155 degree wheelhouse.

OK, maybe I don’t follow the recipe that closely. But hey, Alton always says, “play with your food,” so I will! Whatever the case, this stuff is delicious. But what I am really look forward to is tomorrow, because leftover meat loaf is almost better than freshly baked. Can you say cold meat loaf sandwiches for lunch this week? :)


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