Comfort food for my husband and I can mean a bowl of homemade soup, a dish of pasta or meatloaf. I normally make an all-beef meatloaf, but recently Kay Chun from The New York Times had a recipe that used, what else, a meatloaf blend.
When I was shopping the meat case at my local food stores I noticed one store’s meatloaf blend was a combination of ground beef and ground pork; the other used beef, pork and veal. What are the pros and cons of using just one type of ground meat versus a blend of either two or three. I visited the “Serious Eats” website and read an article by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, “The Food Lab's All-American Meatloaf Recipe,” with the following takeaway:
Kenji made his own breadcrumbs with fresh bread. In Ms. Chun’s recipe she used white sandwich bread torn into small pieces then mixed with milk to form a paste, otherwise known as a panade. The bread starches create a gel that coats the meat keeping it loose, moist and tender during cooking.
For Ms. Chun’s recipe you’ll need extra virgin olive oil, a large yellow onion, fresh garlic, tomato paste, white sandwich bread, milk, eggs, fresh parsley, kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, dried thyme and meatloaf mix. There’s also a tomato glaze for the meatloaf made using ketchup and Worcestershire sauce. When I prepared the recipe I used half the ingredients as it was just for my husband and I. As this was the first time making this recipe, I used the beef/pork/veal blend
The onions and garlic are sautéed until soft then bit of tomato paste is added. Once done, it’s set aside to cool. The meatloaf mix starts by creating a bread paste then incorporating eggs, chopped parsley, salt, pepper, thyme and, finally, the ground meat. I used a fork to make sure I didn’t over mix the meat. The meat will be placed on rimmed baking sheet and shaped into a loaf. The tomato glaze is spread on top of the meatloaf and baked. A quick mention, this recipe calls for 2 tablespoons of Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt. After reading some of the other cook’s comments I eyeballed the salt without measuring and it was perfect. Some cooks suggested using 2 teaspoons and not tablespoons, use your judgment.
The meatloaf came out wonderfully. It was moist, tender and had a great flavor. I served it with smashed potatoes and green beans. My husband enjoyed it, however, due to ethical reasons prefers that I not use veal. The next time I’ll try adding gelatin to my beef/pork blend. Overall, it was a delicious, comforting meal.
By Kay Chun
The New York Times, “Here to Help” column
January 6, 2023
Time: 1-1/2 hours
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
For the Meatloaf
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped (about 2 cups)
5 large garlic cloves, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 (½-inch-thick) slices white sandwich bread (about 3 ounces), torn into small pieces
⅔ cup whole milk
3 large eggs
¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf or curly parsley
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3 pounds meatloaf mix (or any combination of ground beef, pork and/or veal)
For the Tomato Glaze
½ cup ketchup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
A former teacher, shop-a-holic, empty-nester redefining quick, family approved dinners.