My children love meatloaf. It involves meat, and it is shaped like a loaf. These are two things that please small Sterns. It would be helpful if it was also covered in chocolate, or spontaneously sang a Glee song – but I haven’t managed to swing that just yet. Give me time. Despite the absence of chocolate and the depressing dearth of Glee music the small Sterns embrace all forms of meatloaf, whether it be beef, turkey, sausage or lamb. I’m an excellent meatloaf maker. For me the ingredient ratios are intuitive, and the variations are endless. I haven’t yet tried including foam or powdered flowers – I leave that to the folks who sell meatloaf for $33 bucks alongside grilled radicchio and quinoa. Give this a try. It will serve a family of four for under $22 dollars. I promise.
Lamb Meatloaf (8 servings)
- 2 teaspoons grapeseed or olive oil
- ½ cup carrots, finely diced
- ½ cup pearl onions, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, finely diced
- ½ cup English Peas (fresh or frozen)
- 2 lbs ground lamb
- 1 lb ground beef
- ½ cup cilantro finely diced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon white pepper
- 2 teaspooons caraway seeds
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- two eggs lightly beaten
- ¾ cup grated parmesan cheese
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons ketchup
Heat the two teaspoons of oil in a medium sized skillet. Sauté the carrots, pearl onions and peas on medium for ten minutes. Allow to cool slightly.
Mix all of the ingredients together EXCEPT the last two tablespoons of ketchup. Cover the meatloaf and put in the fridge for an hour, or overnight. One piece of advice – it is important to really blend everything together. I do it by hand, blending the meat as if I’m kneading dough. If the meat is too cold this will be harder to do, and your hands will freeze, which is painful and slightly annoying. Take the meat out of the fridge a good 30 minutes before you plan to blend everything together. The process will be easier and your hands will thank you.
When you are ready to bake the meatloaf preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Form the meat into TWO 9- by 5-inch oval loaves and bake on a lightly oiled 13- by 9- by 2-inch metal baking pan. Just before putting it in the oven brush the meatloaf evenly with your last 2 tablespoons of ketchup. Bake in middle of your oven until a meat thermometer inserted into the meatloaf registers 170°F, which should take 70 minutes, give or take. If you don’t have a meat thermometer slice the meatloaf in half right in the middle. The meat should be totally cooked through with no pink left in it. The juices should be clear. If it isn’t quite done, put it back in the oven. If you don’t want to bake both loaves at once, bake one and freeze the other. Or bake them both, allow them to cool and freeze one. I have had success freezing them both ways (though not at the same time).
Let meatloaf stand 5 minutes before serving.