Meatloaf – Because it’s Cold Outside!
Some said that meteorologists, by just uttering such an outrageous prediction, would jinx the possibility. Maybe so, because it didn’t snow in my San Francisco neighborhood this Saturday.
While we are disappointed that we didn’t witness an historic weather event, we are still feeling cold – for us, that is. And we, too, like the rest of this winter-weary country, are craving comfort foods.
Despite my Asian-Hawaiian culinary roots, for me, the ultimate comfort food is the combo of meatloaf and mashed potatoes. Steve, more reflective of that same Hawaiian culture, would have his meatloaf with rice. Either way, meatloaf needs a homey, retro vegetable accompaniment: buttered peas or carrots.
In our family, meatloaf means Edie’s Meatloaf. Edie McConnell was a remarkably talented writer, craftsperson and cook, and one of my dearest friends. We worked together in New York City at Forecast, a Scholastic magazine, where she became its editor.
While Edie sadly passed away some years ago in Tucson, I think of her when I make her meatloaf. She had a generous nature, so I feel certain she would be happy to have me share her recipe with you.
This is definitely a recipe of its time. You could substitute finely minced fresh garlic or pressed garlic for the powder. But I like the recipe just the way she gave it to me.
2 pounds ground beef
2 cups coarsely chopped onions
1 1/2 cups Italian-seasoned bread crumbs
¼ cup milk
½ cup ketchup plus more ketchup for the glaze
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
1 teaspoon sage
1 ½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon garlic powder
Preheat oven to 400°F. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Do not knead or over-mix, which will toughen the meat mixture. Shape into a loaf on a rimmed cookie sheet or shallow baking pan. (I make mine about 12 inches long and 5 inches wide and about 2 inches thick.) Spread with additional ketchup over the top. Bake about 50 minutes, depending upon the thickness of the loaf. Meat thermometer inserted in the center should register 160°F. Serve hot or cold.
Makes 8 servings. Leftovers are excellent for meatloaf sandwiches.
Recipe by Edie McConnell (slightly adapted)