baavgai: (Default)
( May. 26th, 2011 10:06 pm)
The other night I made meatloaf. It got good reviews and second helpings, so I figured I should write it down.

This recipe is entirely gluten free. That may sound strange, given it's meatloaf, but GF soy sauce is hard to find. Depending on your level of intolerance, oats prepared in the presence of wheat could also be an issue. I would have done the same recipe without a GF audience... Well, I probably would have used the cheaper soy sauce.

A quick note about measurements here; I'm just guessing. I never really measure anything, so quantities of liquid and oats are pretty subjective. They'll also vary with the type of meat and type of oats you're using.

Meat Loaf
2 lbs beef
1 lb pork
2 onions
2 eggs
3 tbs soy sauce
1/2 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup water ( aprox )
1 tsp salt ( optional )
2 tsp olive oil ( optional )

You can't do a whole lot about how meat loaf looks, so taste is all you've got. It should taste like meat (dammit!), not be dry, not be a brick. Meat flavor comes, of course, from meat. But just meat can get lost in the oven. The addition of browned onions and soy sauce will help to enhance meatiness. Oatmeal solves both bricking and drying dangers. It has texture and a hydroscopic quality that makes it an ideal filling.

Begin by rough chopping the onions and sweating them in a pan. Add a pinch of salt here. You don't need to fully caramelized them, but you do want some browning. When brown forms on the bottom, add a some water. You may have heard never add water when caramelizing onions; this only partially true. Onions in a pan of water aren't going to brown. However, if you let them stick a little and add water, the brown will come off the pan into the onions and you'll avoid burning. The trick is adding a little water and letting it steam off as you go. When your onions are cooked, you want about a cup of liquid in the pan.

Crush the rolled oats up a little. We want them to disappear into a batter that will carry all the other elements through the loaf. Turn off the heat and add the oats. Stir, add the soy sauce, stir a some more, then let this mixture sit.

In another container, break the eggs and whisk them together. We want to add the eggs to the oat mixture. If the mixture still too hot, we need to temper the eggs. That is, add some mixture to eggs, mix together, add more, mix, then add everything together. This avoids scrambled eggs. Our current product should be wet but batter like. We can adjust after we bring in the meat.

Meat! Unless your butcher ground it for you just so, it's hard achieve and maintain the ideal texture. Have no fear, that's what our oat batter is for. Combine meat and oat mixture together thoroughly. You should now have a rather disturbing looking meat batter. We want it a little wet, kind of oozing. If it's running, you can add some more oatmeal. Too dry, more water. Don't worry too much; it's meat loaf. Now, put it in the fridge for a half an hour, or as long as you like. ( Until is starts to smell funny, then you have to start over. )

When ready, remove cooled meat batter from fridge. You want to form it onto a pan, much like beefy sand castle, but more regular. You want are smooth lump of uniform size in the middle of your pan. Some shapes will cook faster than others; use common sense. I usually go with the pushing up daisies kind of shape.

You can optionally rub some olive oil on the outside and sprinkle a little salt. This will theoretically give it some yummy crust, depending on moisture and how your oven works. It may not. It doesn't hurt.

Now just cook until the juices run clear. As much as I like my steak bloody, there is no such thing medium rare meat loaf. We want it entirely cooked through. You can take all the juice and make a gravy, but the meat loaf shouldn't need it.

Let it rest a little before you cut into it. ( Given the structure, you probably don't have to rest it, but it doesn't hurt. ) Slice and serve.


baavgai: (Default)


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