My Dear Brother Aire
recently bestowed upon me
the frequently requested recipe for
The Best Meatloaf in the World.
Here it is:
Now as you know, this and all my recipes are whatever that yiddish phrase is that sounds like " shit-a-rind ".......and therefore are unstructured and always sketchy or vague in terms of quantities or amounts, so you'll have to use your own imagination and native ingenuity.
You will NEED the following :
1) however much meat you want to loaf. I ALWAYS use "meatloaf mix" , which is 1/3 pork,1/3 veal,1/3 beef (ground) .I usually make 2 at a time cause I usually have 2 - 8 diners whenever I make meatloaf ( by POPULAR demand !) and who doesn't love a meatloaf sandwich from leftovers??? I'd rather make too much than too little. So I use between 3 and 6 lbs.
2) Dry onion soup mix. I usually use 1 1/2 - 2 packs for 3 - 5 lbs.
3) Eggs: 2-3 ? beaten
4) something cruchy....I like PLAIN croutons smushed up smaller. They're always like " Caeser Salad Croutons" or " Italian Garlic & Herbs". I like plain or as simple as I can find. Or you can toast Pepperidge Farm or Arnold's white bread, 2-3 slices, and cut it up into tiny little cubes. Or use something of you own devising....french bread or whatever. I hate just using breadcrumbs. Mom used to tear up little pieces of white bread. That's where I got using toast and graduated to croutons from. However much you think you need. I probably use like 2 or 3 hand scoops.
5) KETCHUP , WORSTERSHIRE SAUCE , ( must have ) and optional but recommended: Peter Luger's Sauce , Pickapeppa , Heinz 57 , Tiger Sauce .......etc. I recently used Kech & Worst and added Luger's and Pkpa...... very good...BUT use way more kech & wors than others. I always use alot of everything. BUT remember this has to be firm enough to make into a loaf and you're using eggs in this too, so remember not to get it too goopy.
6) optional.....chopped parsely , paprika , pepper ( I use these ) or as I like to refer to them " The 3 Ps".
I think that's everything .........
Mix all this together and hopefully come out with a mixture that will be firm enough to form into loafs.....and will not dry out while baking but come out moist...BUT that also won't fall totally apart when you slice it. It's a delicate balance. Achieved only through trial & error , sheer genius or just plain old dumb luck.......but achieve it you must if your meatloaf must be firm yet MOIST !!!
Form into loaf or loaves. I'm very precise with mine. I like them to be more brickesque than domed. Mine can vary from 1 1/2 to 3 lbs per loaf. Put them in something that has sides. Not like a flat something . As they will create lots of liquids and goos. I like to use one baking dish per loaf but you can use 1 big one for 2.
Ice with lots of Ketch. I also sprinkle on alotta the 3 Ps.
Pop them into the oven @ 350 and bake for 55 minutes. I don't mean an hour. I mean 55 minutes. For some reason this is the correct time for almost all meatloaves except very large ones. Remove after 55 min. Hopefully you can hoist them out of there goo and put them on a platter. This can get tricky if they're not real firm and will probably require 2 spatulas. Either way...in goo or on platter, let sit for 7 - 30 min before slicing. A few extra min is good. But if your guests are very late it doesn't matter cause it's still good even at room tempish , especially in the summer if you're also serving Aire's Famous Potato Salad.
And there you have it . Use it wisely. The Power of the Loaf should only be used for Good. Never take it for granted. Too round out the meal I suggest a simple lettuce and tomato salad and of course Aire's World Famous Strawberry Shortcakes.
Bon appetit !!!