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.
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…..