Heirloom Meals: Savoring Yesterday's Traditions Today

Friday November 05, 2010

Carole’s Concoctions:
Mystery Meat Revealed

aka Italian-style Meatloaf a la Nana/Mom/me.

In our family meatloaf is basically a giant meatball baked in the oven with a surprise in the middle. The surprise that my Nana put in the middle were a couple of hard-boiled eggs. This remains a great mystery to me.  As a kid, I would surgically remove the hard boiled eggs.  I found them completely unnecessary and their texture and taste not quite right.  I am BUMMED for never asking my Nana why she added the eggs. And my Mom doesn't really know why, she just knows "that's how it was done!"  Not quite the anwer I was expecting.  So, I have eliminated the eggs but added my own surprise.  Other than that, this is our meatloaf recipe:
2-3 onions, caramelized
4 Tbsp olive oil
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 lbs of a combo of ground veal, beef and pork in equal proportions (if you are lucky enough to have a good butcher they can do this for you!)
2 eggs
1 kaiser roll, or 2 slices of bread or in my case, 1 gluten-free roll
1 cup milk - whole, low-fat or skim - whatever you have on hand
2 Tbsp parsley, minced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup grated cheese - pecorino romano OR parmesan
1 jar or can tomatoes, pureed in blender
Surprise Ingredient - need to scroll through recipe!!

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Caramelize the onions in 2 Tbsp olive oil.  This takes about 20 + minutes.  Add the minced garlic at the end so it doesn't get burned but cooks enough to get aromatic and soft.

While the onions are caramelizing, soak the roll in the milk until is is mushy and breaks into pieces.
Mix the meat, eggs, salt, pepper, parsley, grated cheese and soaked roll together until well blended.
 And the add the caramelized onion and garlic mixture.  This is truly what makes this meatloaf so good!!
Put 2 Tbsp olive oil in your baking dish and place in your preheated oven to heat the oil.
Once the oil is hot, form the bottom layer of your meatloaf in the heated oil and add sliced CHEDDAR CHEESE before you put your top layer on.
Pour your pureed tomato sauce over the top and bake for about an hour until bubbling and slightly browned on top.
Serve with roasted regular and sweet potatoes or mashed and sauteed spinach.

And Enjoy!!
PS - Leftovers are O-U-T-R-A-G-E-O-U-S!!!