Those who endured the pre-game “entertainment” at the 2011 AFL Grand Final will understand that a meatloaf represents a lot more than a mushed-up mix of meat and spices; on that day it also represented a mushed-up mix of songs made famous by Michael Lee Aday, aka “Meat Loaf”.
Safe to say the 100,000 who crammed the MCG that day were wishing Mr Loaf had left the arena like a bat outta hell, such was the abject failure of his show. Some time later, AFL chief Gillon McLachlan, who had negotiated the Loaf’s appearance at the match expressed the views of those who endured the cacophony: “When you look at the money he got paid for what he produced I think we’re (the AFL) the most generous group in the world. He probably got, I don’t know, half a million bucks or something, and it was probably about $499,000 too much.”
Fortunately, the cost of creating your own succulent meatloaf is closer to what McLachlan thought the singer was worth than what he was paid. A meatloaf is truly an old-fashioned dish, but, in this case, given a new life via the pounding blades of the Thermomix.
Our recipe is yet another example of the wonderful texture that comes from grinding quality cuts of beef and pork and veal after freezing, to create a superior mince, of both flavour and texture.
The concept of this recipe came from a southwestern meatloaf, by Janet Hummel of South Orange, New Jersey, one of the entrants who made it into the pages of The Great American Meatloaf Contest Cookbook, (Peter ‘Meatloaf’ Kaufman and T.K. Woods, Hearst Books, NY, 1994).
In his intro to the book, the non-singing “Meatloaf” describes how the contest, and then the book, began as
a regional cook-off in Hartford, Connecticut in 1991. He and his co-convenor, T.K (not the famous Tiger) tasted more than 600 meatloaves, which is enough for the pair to win a Medal Of Honour.
“Meatloaf’s” thinking on “why men love meatloaf” is almost worth the purchase of the book alone:
“I have several theories,” he wrote.
- Men grew up eating meatloaf.
- Meatloaf is simple to make.
- Men love it because they can toss it in the refrigerator and then eat it whenever they want it without having to heat it up or even use a plate.
- There are very few dishes to clean.
“As a matter of fact, the first meal I ever cooked for a date in college was meatloaf. I chose it because:
- I love meatloaf (thankfully, she did too).
- With the cost of dating, I couldn’t afford to take her out to dinner very often.
- I could make it without having to worry about complicated cooking directions.
- Women appreciate it when men take the time to cook dinner for them.
“I’m 34 now, and these reasons still apply.”
Fortunately, the book is still available from Amazon, with prices ranging from $0.01 to $6.93. It’s a steal.
- Chop each of the meats into rough walnut size pieces, and freeze.
- When ready to prepare the loaf, whizz each of the meats separately 10 seconds/speed 10, or until the right texture is reached. You don’t wish to create a fine mince, but one that is neither fine, nor crumby. (You can use mince from the local butcher, but we have discovered in many instances and tests, that the results from freezing and mincing provides a superior result.)
- In a large bowl, bring together each of the meats, and add the breadcrumbs.
- Blend the tomatoes, onion, chilli, garlic and lemon juice in the Thermomix bowl 10 seconds/speed 10. Scrape down the sides.
- Add the meats, breadcrumbs, eggs, coriander, and tomato salsa (from step 4, above) to the Thermomix bowl, season with salt and black pepper and whizz 10 seconds/speed 5 or until the mix is well blended. It should have the consistency of hamburger mince.
- Line a terrine or bread tin or similar (30 centimetres x 12 centimetres x 9 centimetres or similar) with moistened baking paper, and add the mince, allowing room for expansion.
- Cover with silver foil, (or a lid if you have a terrine), and bake at 180C for one hour. Insert a knife and check if cooked. Remove and pour off any excess fat, and unmould to a baking tray.
- Cover with the grated melting cheese, and return to the oven on the baking tray until the cheese is melted (about 5 minutes).
- Allow to cool for a few minutes, sprinkle with chopped parsley, and serve sliced with your favourite tomato ketchup, and mashed potatoes. The meatloaf is very moist.
- As Mr “Meatloaf” himself says, it’s also delicious from the fridge, or warmed through in the microwave and made into a classic sandwich, with a little mustard or relish, between crusty slices of your best bread.