Tuesday, February 01, 2005

My Favorite Meat...loaf

I don't usually eat a lot of meat. This is not because I don't like meat - I really do! The reason I don't eat a whole lot is that various dishes are often only just adequate and that just isn't good enough for me. When meat is bad, it's inedible or not worth it. When meat is good, though, it's really good. Maybe it makes it better because I don't have it as often, I don't know. What I do know is that I love meatloaf.

Meatloaf was the first meat dish that I learned to cook. Chicken and other actual whole and "cuts" of meat seemed far too intimidating to me working alone in the kitchen (you have to admit that raw chicken is not the most appetising thing). Ground beef seemed easy and it was not wholly recognisable as part of any particular animal. Yada, yada, yada... it was easy and it was delicious.
Friends talk about it.
Meatloaf! Unbelieveable? Not when you've had this one.
I don't know if I want to be known for my meatloaf, but I'll take what I can get.

Nicole's Meatloaf Recipe
1 1/4 lbs lean ground beef
1 cup fresh bread crumbs (1 or 1 1/2 slices)
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1/2 medium onion, minced
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp dried mustard (optional)
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
Preheat oven to 375F. Line a baking sheet with foil
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix briefly, but throughly, with your hands.
Form meat mixture into a loaf shape on baking sheet.
Bake for 45-50 minutes.

Serves 4-6, depending on appetites and side dishes.
I usually top it with a swirl of ketchup or chili sauce for the last 5 minutes of baking.

Note: The advantage of baking this on a sheet pan instead of in a loaf pan is that this way the fat can run off from the meat, instead of puddling in the bottom of your pan. Be careful when moving the baking sheet so the juices don't run into your oven!