Posted by: nekojita | December 10, 2007

“Comfort” Food

Meatloaf sandwiches

Meatloaf sandwiches, made with leftovers

I have to say it. Growing up, I hated meatloaf. It struck me as a dry, tasteless wad of yuck, which I barely choked down with the aid of ketchup. I still don’t really like my mom’s meatloaf, whose only meat is beef and often includes significant quantities of tofu. But I had a drastic change of heart while in college. I had my meatloaf revelation at a natural foods stall at the Berkeley farmers’ market (not the most auspicious place to rediscover such a carnivorous-sounding food). The meatloaf had a marvelous succulent and moist texture and it tasted wonderfully savory and well…meaty. I have striven to achieve that heights of that well-remembered meatloaf. I think that I may be nearing the summit with the recipe below. The leftovers make excellent sandwiches–possibly even better than the first round.

In any case, I don’t know if I can justly call meatloaf “comfort food” for me since I disliked it so much growing up. Yet it’s such an earthy, unpretentious dish (in spite of its close kinship to paté and terrines) that I can’t help but *feel* comforted by it.

Suzanne’s Meatloaf

2 slices dry whole wheat bread

1/2 cup half-and-half

2 onions, grated (1 1/3 cups)

1 cup grated parmiggiano (or whatever hard flavorful cheese you have, such as grana or peccorino)

3 cloves of garlic, crushed in a garlic press or minced

3 roasted poblano peppers, peeled, seeded and diced

2 eggs

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce or 2 tbsp Tonkatsu sauce

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1 1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1 1/2 lb. ground beef (on the lean side–90% or up, because the pork and veal both have a substantial amount of fat)

1 1/2 lb. ground veal

1 lb. ground pork

4 slices bacon

1. Soak the bread in the half-and-half for 10 minutes. Mash it up with your hands until it is all broken up. Add the onions, cheese, garlic, peppers, eggs and seasonings. Mix well.

2. Add the beef, veal and pork. Combine gingerly but thoroughly with the egg and bread mixture. There shouldn’t be any streaks of bread or any clumps of one type of meat. Turn the mixture into a large loaf pan and pat it to even out the shape. Place the slices of bacon on top.

3. Bake in a 350 F oven for about 1 1/2 hours, until the internal temperature comes to 160 F. Let it rest in the pan for 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving.



  1. this sounds yum 🙂

  2. You may actually get me to try meatloaf. This is a startling accomplishment.

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