As Harper’s Other Dad noted in a recent post in his blog, I made meatloaf. It is not something I make often. But, once in a blue moon, it calls to me from the ether when I have ground beef and all the usual ways of using it seem too…usual.
Somehow, exactly how is lost in the mists of time, I came into possession of Edith Bunker’s All In The Family Cookbook. I think a college roommate may have moved out and left it behind. It cost $.95 when published in 1971 which an online calculator tells me would be $5.55 adjusted for inflation. It is the kind of book I might buy now but I wouldn’t pay that much.
In the section titled; “Chopped Meats” one finds a recipe called “Meat ‘N Potato Load with Spicy Peach Sauce”. Apparently ‘N was considered folksier than an ampersand for cookbook writers of the time. The recipe has an introduction that reads; “Archie sure ain’t the poetic type. The thing – or at least one thing – I will never hear him sighing is, “A jug of wine, a loaf of bread and thou”. But this is one thing I can hear him ordering: “A hunk of meat, a dose of spuds, and some peaches.” Here I got ’em all thrown together in one loaf. Oh’ ain’t I the clever one.” How can you not love that! Ain’t she the clever one, indeed!
What I find interesting in this recipe is, instead of using bread crumbs or oatmeal as a binder, it uses grated potato.
2.5 cups of grated potatoes
1 onion, grated
3 slices of cooked bacon, chopped
3 eggs, beaten
1 pound of ground beef
2 teaspoons salt (I use less)
1/8 teaspoon pepper (I use more)
1 29 oz. can of cling peach slices (in heavy syrup)
1/2 cup of catsup
1 tablespoon horseradish (I use more)
I remember, in olden times when the Lord was a boy and dirt was new, grating onion and raw potatoes was not much fun. Enter Dame Cuisinart, however, and all is swell. Now I use well-washed baby potatoes without peeling them.
Combine the potatoes, onion, and bacon and beaten eggs. Add the ground meat, salt and pepper and mix well. the recipe instructs; “Now mix it all up very good, using your hands like I do because no matter how hard I try to do it with a spoon or even two spoons at once, there’s nothing like hands for mixing chopped meat.” Press it all down into a loaf pan and bake at 350*F for 90 minutes. Turn it out on a platter and keep warm while making the sauce.
Drain the peaches, retaining 1/4 cup of the syrup in a sauce pan. Add the catsup and horseradish and heat to boiling. Add the drained peaches and simmer for 5 minutes. Spoon some of the sauce over the meatloaf and put the rest in a dish to pass at the table.
I usually serve it with a salad or a green vegetable and corn muffins.
The dish in very easy to make and is easy to customize. Add extra ingredients to the loaf. Use additional herbs and spices or substitute barbecue or other tomato-based sauces for the catsup. I’ve made meatloaf from other recipes that called for a combination of beef and pork but, since this one includes bacon, I only use beef in this version.
As to the question Harper’s Other Dad’s poses about hiding boiled eggs inside a meatloaf as a
horrifying shock whimsical surprise when it is sliced and served…..
If you really want rocking meat loaf you have to use ground beef AND ground pork. And keep the bacon on it too. Yum!
You just solved my dinner choice…….
Well that looks good, just as it is! But 4 strips of bacon, please, and definitely reduce the salt and add pepper.
Mom used to make meatloaf, meat, bread crumbs, egg, ketchup on top as it cooked. So good!
adding the extra bacon would be no hardship but cutting back the pepper would be a deal breaker. Pepper is a food group in Casa de Harper
What’s the difference between “heavy syrup” and “jam”?
For somebody who did not grow up eating meatloaf, I am awfully nostalgic for it.
Heavy syrup is a sweet as jam but more liquid.
spouse will make meatloaf for himself; I refuse to eat it.
AM, you haven’t had my meatloaf.
I very much enjoyed this meatloaf. I will sneak an egg into the future ones, you just watch !!
This looks yummy. Not sure about the horseradish though..can’t abide it. The thing I like with this is that it seems to be free of the deadly wheat.
A good point I had not considered. This recipe pre-dates a lot of the knowledge/awareness of gluten but substituting potato for a bread product would help with that.. My mother always made meatballs, meatloaf, etc using oats rather than breadcrumbs but I’ve read most of the major commericial brands of oatmeal cannot be certified as gluten-free because of cross-contamination with wheat products in the manufacturing process.