Sunday, August 2, 2009

Meat Loaf By Any Other Name...

My pal Annie calls meat loaf, "Meat Lump," which seemed appropriate since this time my loaf was more of a mound. My elder brother and his lovely wife have christened this dish, "Woodchuck" and that name also seemed particularly appropriate this time, as the recipe I was following added fresh ground pork (ground hog=woodchuck, right?) to the ground beef, chopped onion, panko crumbs, egg, Worcestershire sauce and celery. But, like a rose that would smell as sweet by any other name, meat loaf tastes good, no matter what you call it.

I tried two new ideas with this lump and, sadly, in my view neither was a total success. Ground pork didn't add much to the flavor; next time, I'll return to my half-and-half mixture of ground beef and bulk sausage - or I might try Italian sausage. And cooking the groundhog on the barbecue didn't add as much smoky flavor as I had hoped it might - next time, I'd either plank it on a cedar shake or add smoking chips to the coals to multiply the smoke.

Still, it was good in that homey, hearty way that meat loaf always is and grilling it with just a thin layer of foil between it and the grate over the coals resulted in a nicely caramelized, crusty edge all around the outside that added texture to the slices.

It's a work in progress, inventing the perfect meatloaf. Ain't life grand when it offers such lovely challenges?

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6 Comments:

Blogger Anna Haight said...

I can practically smell this off the page! I'm sure you'll perfect it in the near future!

Sunday, August 02, 2009  
Anonymous jananvan said...

I watched Tyler Florence make his Dad's meatloaf one time. It sure looked and sounded good. You might want to look that up for additional inspiration. Meatloaf...so basic, but still tastes so good!

Sunday, August 02, 2009  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

A work in progress is the most fun.
I pity the restaurant chef who has to replicate recipes, day in and day out.
Live and learn.

Sunday, August 02, 2009  
Blogger dancingmorganmouse said...

One of the many good things about winter, we can eat meatloaf! Sometimes it's just a meat lump (we use pork&veal mince) and sometimes I get fancy, roll it flat, layer on extras like sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, pine nuts, then roll it up like a big, meaty jam roll! Messy but YUM.

Sunday, August 02, 2009  
Blogger namastenancy said...

It's easy to see that you are capable of rising to the challenge of creating the perfect meat loaf - one "meat lump" at a time. Ah life - so short and so many meat loaves to eat.
However, your version sounds utterly delicious. I wait until I have left over tabouli and put that into the meat loaf, instead of bread crumbs. It gives it the most delicious moist taste.

Sunday, August 02, 2009  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Anna, I'm game to the challenge!

Jananvan, okay, I watched him make an incredible-looking beef Wellington the other day so maybe I'll tune in on his meatloaf, too.

Cookiecrumb, I agree - how boring to make the same dish day in and day out.

Morgan, those are some dynamite ideas - thanks!

Nancy, the tabouli would be a great enhancement - far more interesting than bread crumbs, for sure! This recipe called for panko crumbs but I have to say I actually prefer the cubes of bread in my traditional woodchuck.

Monday, August 03, 2009  

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