Meatloaf

As promised, I thought I would give you some ideas that are my interpretations of the gracious hospitality of Tennessee. I am really enjoying the people here in Nashville. I know it is music city and probably not representative of the rest of the south, but when it comes to food it is hard to escape the ubiquitous prefix “mama’s”, no matter where you are or who you talk to.

My “mama” was not a great chef but she was a pretty good cook. She had some specialties that she stuck to and never cracked a Julia Child or “Joy of Cooking” in her life. In fact, she treated her recipes with distain, keeping them loose in drawers or in a tin box at the bottom of the cupboard that she never opened. Mainly, she did it from her head which became tricky when baking. Like most traditions, her mother was the same way. They both loved certain foods and stuck to those most of the time. I don’t think a day went by without my grandmother making bacon and her cast iron skillet was always half full of cornbread.

What makes these recipes that are passed down from generation to generation so great is that they are always made from fresh, available (in season) ingredients. I don’t care where your grandmother grew up, I can guarantee that she had no boxes in her freezer or cupboard. Food made from scratch was just called food. So my feeling is that if someone says that “This is from my mama’s recipe”, I’m gonna want me some.

This meatloaf is from someone’s mama’s recipe, lineage lost long ago. For sake of tradition, let’s just say it came from my wife’s side of the family.

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs ground Meat (your choice. We usually use 2 lbs ground turkey and 1 lb ground pork sausage)
  • 1 Onion
  • 2-3 Scallions, chopped
  • 1/2 Cup Carrots, chopped
  • 1 Red Pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 Yellow or Green Pepper, chopped
  • 2-3 Celery Stalks, chopped
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 1/2 Cup Ketchup
  • 1/2 Cup Half and Half
  • 3 Eggs, well beaten
  • 3/4 Cup Bread Crumbs
  • 2 Pats Butter
  • Salt and Pepper

Tools

  • Sauté Pan
  • Large Mixing Bowl
  • Loaf Pan
  • Large, ovenproof Baking Dish
  • Chef’s Knife
  • Aluminum Foil
  1. Melt the butter in the sauté pan. Sauté all of the vegetables for about 10-15 minutes, until the liquid starts to cook off.
  2. Remove from heat and let cool.
  3. Spray your meatloaf pan with non-stick stuff or thoroughly butter. I don’t have any problem with the spray.
  4. Pre heat your oven to 375.
  5. Wash your hands really good and take off all rings and things. Roll up your sleeves.
  6. in the large mixing bowl, add your meat, sautéed vegetables and the rest of the ingredients.
  7. Thoroughly mix, incorporating all of the ingredients into the meat.
  8. Put the mixture into the meatloaf pan.
  9. Cover with foil.
  10. Place the loaf pan inside the large baking dish. Fill halfway up with hot or boiling water, giving your loaf a water bath.
  11. After 30 minutes remove foil.
  12. Bake for another 30-40 minutes.
  13. Remove immediately from bath and let sit for at least 20 minutes.
  14. Serve with mashed potatoes and love.
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