Wednesday, August 20, 2008

03. Meat Loaf with Brown Sugar-Ketchup Glaze - What Is That A Ham?

Date Cooked: August 20, 2008
Recipe: 3
Page: 451

I’ve been wanting to cook this long before I even considered this blog (and since this blog is only a few days old that statement carries very little significance). Everywhere I looked I found a story of someone despising the meat loaf of their youth. I can’t say I had these same childhood experiences… actually if there was something I truly hated it was potatoes… so much so in fact that by the time I was in university I probably ate potatoes once or twice a year. Obviously this didn’t include fries, I mean how would one survive in university without fries… actually I wasn’t a big fry fan either… onion rings… mmmm…. Wait where was I going with all this? Oh yeah, meat loaf. I love ground meat. Take an animal, put them through a meat grinder and cook them up and I will devour with enthusiasm. So I really wanted to try my hand at this meat loaf thing.

The first obstacle was locating the ground veal for the meat mixture. Every grocery store around me that I thought would have it didn’t. So I started looking for butchers in my area that could fulfill this request. Had a short list ready when I was swinging through the local discount grocery store and what did they have… a rather fine selection of ground meats. I was surprised because this is that last place I would have thought to find ground veal… maybe prepackaged veal cardboard cutlets or something but not fresh ground veal. Local farms must have been overstocked on young cows or something for this to end up here. Anyway I am rambling again. I noticed the veal, grabbed it and said tonight I am making meat loaf! Actually I thought that, I didn’t say it out loud, that would have been odd and slightly crazy.

Putting the meat loaf together was simple enough. Even I can measure liquids and throw them all together in a bowl and mix. The fun part was taking this amalgam of meat and spices and molding it into a free-form loaf, no loaf pan in this recipe! I resisted the artistic urge to sculpt it into a masterpiece and went with a traditional rectangular loaf… except it was more like a square. Then it gets covered in bacon. Bacon-wrapped ground meat. I think I know why I selected this recipe.

There is a glaze for this meat loaf consisting of ketchup, brown sugar and vinegar. I am not someone who traditionally likes ketchup. In fact the only reason it is even in our house is for the kids. But since the recipe did call for it I’ll put my personal preferences aside (I’m sure eating ketchup will be the least of my concerns as I dive into some of these recipes).

By the time the meat loaf had finished cooking and reached the recommended internal temperature my mother-in-law had stopped in for a quick visit. As she stepped into the kitchen and looked at my wonderfully crafted meat loaf, glistening with a red-hue imparted by the glaze and bacon fat, she turned to me and said, “What is that a ham?” I can understand the question, after all my house did smell of bacon.

I enjoyed this recipe greatly. It was fun to put together and was moist and flavorful. If I was to do this again (which I can say I most likely will), I would probably put a little more hot sauce in the meat mixture and use a glaze with a little more bite. It had a nice flavor but that flavor was mild.

The Next Day

Re-heated pretty well and didn’t lose too much moisture. I only had a small piece since we ate a good portion of it the night before… I actually looked forward to eating this and had to resist the urge to eat lunch too early.

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