Today is a nice spring Sunday, with weather suitable for spending the afternoon at our swimming pool. Pat made a big batch of Hawaiian Cold Slaw yesterday, and I'm cooking Boston Baked Beans which will be in the oven for about five hours while I also cook my nose in the sun at the pool.
To go with our slaw and baked beans, I'm cooking a re-run recipe that I posted back around Thanksgiving. I found it on the Food Network website. The recipe is called Emeril’s “Most Kicked Up Meatloaf Ever.”
I made some modifications based on having dried spices rather than fresh. I've cooked it several times and found it to produce excellent results. No Catsup Required...
The modified ingredient listing, making enough for four to six people, looks like this:
3 tablespoons butter (or bacon drippings)
1/2 large onion, chopped
1 rib celery, finely chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/3 cup ketchup, plus 1/4 cup
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup Heavy cream
1/2 cup Breadcrumbs
1-1/4 pound ground chuck (try 90% lean—I used 80% and it was too greasy)
1/3 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoons plus 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Three or four medium potatoes, quartered (I omitted the potatoes since we had beans & slaw)
1 6oz jar green giant button mushrooms
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
In a large heavy skillet, heat the bacon dripping over medium heat. Add all but about 4 tbsp of the chopped onion, the celery, and all but 2 tbsp of the bell pepper to the skillet and cook until they soften, about 5 minutes or so.
Add one tsp garlic, the thyme, rosemary, and the parsley and cook an additional 2 minutes. Set skillet aside to cool. Preheat your oven to 350 deg F.
Redneck Tip: Tilt your skillet slightly and spoon off any extra bacon grease that you can.
In a large mixing bowl, transfer the cooled vegetable mixture and add the eggs, the mustard, 1/3 cup of ketchup, the Worcestershire sauce, the cream, and mix well. Then add the breadcrumbs, ground chuck, salt, and pepper. Mix until everything is uniformly combined (no dry spots,) but don’t over mix.
Turn the whole blob out into a greased oval corningware casserole dish (I used an oval, 3” deep dish,) shape into a loaf with your hands. If you are using them, place your quartered red potatoes around the loaf in the dish.
In a small saucepan, combine the rest of the onion, garlic, the red bell pepper, ¼ cup ketchup, the red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, and canned tomatoes. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium high heat and simmer for a few minutes to reduce slightly. Pour the mixture over the top of the meatloaf, sprinkle the button mushrooms on top of that, smooth out with a spoon, and toss the whole thing in the oven for 60 to 75 minutes.
Redneck Tip: At the hour mark, start checking every five minutes or so because you don’t want to burn the top of the loaf.
When you think it is done, turn off the oven and take the meatloaf out and set on a rack to cool for ten minutes or so. Put your plates in the oven for a minute to warm.
When the loaf has cooled a bit, put your warmed plates on chargers, slice the loaf, spoon out some of everything onto your plates, and serve with your slaw and baked beans or other vegetable on the side. No ketchup required!
The Redneck Gourmet