Meatloaf: The All-American Beefcake

August 29, 2009 at 2:56 pm 5 comments

Gimme a piece of that beefcake

Gimme a piece of that juicy beefcake

I like a lot of things about America … jazz, democracy, barbecues, amber waves of grain, you name it.  But today, I’m feeling extra American because I made my very first meatloaf.

Interestingly enough, the meatloaf actually has European origins, but it became the quintessential American dish during the Great Depression as a way for families to stretch their food budgets by utilizing leftovers.

And maybe that’s why there are so many ways to make a meatloaf.  My meatloaf was definitely more Jersey Italian-inspired, with fresh tomatoes, parsley, and basil.  I also used grass-fed ground beef and bread crumbs leftover from the challah (that part’s not so Italian I guess).  But as it turns out, there’s really no right or wrong.

For example, Jon was telling me that his ideal meatloaf would be half pork, half beef (topped with ketchup, of course).  But my friend Amy always makes hers with a leaner ground turkey.  And that doesn’t even address the variety in seasonings.  My one other experience with meatloaf growing up was when my mom’s friend made one with Indian seasoning … cumin, turmeric, and chili powder.  Yum.

As for my meatloaf, well, as you may have noticed, I didn’t exactly have a loaf pan.  So I used a small glass baking dish instead.  It also wasn’t very photogenic — although really, how many meatloaves are? The results were still delicious, and the fresh tomatoes on top helped seal in the moisture, but I definitely ended up with more of a beefcake than a meatloaf, per se…  I also wish that I had minced the onions and parsley to be a bit finer so they blended more into the texture of the loaf.

What’s especially exciting is that I was able to come home at 6:30, start cooking at 7, and have dinner on the table a little after 8.  There are a number of reasons for this — my cooking skills are improving, I’m planning better, and I’m forced to get creative (for me, a meatloaf is creative).  My hope is that even once these 30 days are over, cooking will become demystified for me and I’ll feel encouraged make a meal from scratch … even after a long day at work.

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Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

No Point Having Cake If You Can’t Eat It, Too Amazing Things You Can Do With Yogurt

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Tamara  |  August 29, 2009 at 6:08 pm

    That looks great! I love meatloaf & it’s easy to make. Leftovers are great for sandwiches. Keep on Cookin’! 🙂

    Reply
  • 2. Lauren  |  August 30, 2009 at 7:42 pm

    Good to know your beefcake love is still going strong.

    Reply
  • 3. Kellie Holzer  |  August 30, 2009 at 9:53 pm

    For a second, I was very afraid that you’d decided to slaughter a cow and grind your own beef. So glad you stopped at grass-fed.

    Reply
  • 4. kuang  |  September 2, 2009 at 11:15 am

    aww damn. i could each A LOT OF MEATLOAF RIGHT NOW

    Reply
  • 5. amy  |  September 9, 2009 at 4:23 pm

    I forgot to tell you this when we were talking meatloaf before: I started using this cookinglight method of meatloaf that you don’t put in a pan, but rather work into a shape of a loaf on a broiler pan. That allows the extra fat to drip into the pan under the broiler rack and gives you more a firm, diner-style texture. I always use the ground turkey, but the beef/pork would be great with that too. It’s just a texture variation, but thought you’d be interested!

    Reply

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