Sooo, I really should be working on posts with which to re-launch foodiePrints: something on Stephen Beckta opening his eponymous flagship restaurant anew; something on a challenge by foodiePages to re-make a classic dish (we chose turkey dinner); something on the two recipes we submitted to Dairy Farmers of Canada; and a long something on short ribs, mostly because New York chef David Chang really dislikes turkey and suggests people make his mom’s galbi jjim when the occasion calls for roasting the “big dumb bird.”
All this said, Jenn and I also spent the summer writing a book called Ottawa Food: A Hungry Capital (Amazon and Chapters). It was released this past October. The blog’s lack of activity is due to our working to promote said book. There will be a brief frequently asked something on the topic of our book as well. For those interested, please click here to check out free-lance journalist Paula Roy’s very thoughtful Q&A, which was published in the most recent issue of Kitchisippi Times, a local community newspaper.
With so many substantials in-draft, what could possibly cause us to take pause?
A call out by Ethan Adeland of Food Bloggers of Canada to contribute to the Food Banks of Canada’s Holiday Recipe Collection project this holiday season. The idea: share a recipe and a donation. As CBC’s Hallie Cotnam reminded us this morning, $1 in donations actually creates $5 in food buying power.
So, here’s our submission that employs sponsor Quaker’s quick oats.
Now, for the record, neither my editor nor I grew up with the meat loaf comfort food form. We embarked on this recipe after consulting a number of people, asking them what makes a good take. A summary follows:
- meat loaf is either all-beef or mostly beef (better if freshly ground)
- meat loaf requires some sort of binder or emulsifier, so egg yolks, bread crumbs (or a “panade” made by soaking bread in milk)
- meat loaf is an extremely adept delivery vehicle for hidden vegetables (onion, carrots, celery, red peppers)
- meat loaf should be glazed in something sweet and sticky (ketchup and brown sugar)
- meat loaf should always be served with mashed potatoes
Chipotle Oats Meat Loaf
[Modified technique from Alton Brown’s Good Eats Meatloaf]
What You’ll Need:
- 1 lb medium ground beef
- 1/2 lb medium ground pork
- 3/4 cup quick rolled oats
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup chopped onion (white, yellow, purple, it doesn’t matter!)
- 1/2 cup chopped red pepper (optional)
- 1/4 cup chopped mushrooms (optional)
- 1 tbsp + 1 tsp unsalted butter
- 2 chopped chipotle peppers and 1 tsp adobo sauce (optional)
- salt and black pepper
- sweet barbecue sauce to glaze
- Pre-heat an oven to 350F
- Add the butter to a stainless steel (or another otherwise non-reactive) pan and place the pan over medium heat.
- Heat the butter until it melts and stops bubbling.
- Sautee the chopped mushrooms in the butter until the pieces go golden.
- Transfer the mushrooms to a bowl and set them aside to cool.
- Sweat the onion and red pepper in the same pan, scraping any of the mushroom bits and cooking out any liquid.
- Evacuate the aromatics to another bowl and set aside to cool.
- To a large mixing bowl, add the beef, pork, oats, egg yolks, onion, red pepper, mushrooms, chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, and a heavy pinch of salt and black pepper. Mix everything together evenly.
- Place everything into a loaf pan to shape the loaf. Do not pack too firmly.
- Dump the loaf onto a sheet pan, lined with parchment paper. Re-shape the loaf as necessary.
- Bake the meat loaf in the pre-heated oven for 10 minutes.
- Afterward, remove the loaf from the oven and carefully glaze all over with barbecue sauce.
- Finally, bake the loaf for another 35 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160°F. Juices will run clear.
- Remove the loaf from the oven and let rest five minutes.
- Slice and serve hot.
The ground pork was included to add texture. If you choose to omit the pork, just add back another 1/2 lb of ground beef.
We chose quick oats to soak up juices released from the meat mixture as it cooks.
If you can, try using a smokey barbecue sauce to glaze. It and the chipotle peppers will contribute to a strong smokey flavour. No barbecue sauce? Use ketchup with a little brown sugar.
Want more umami? Add soy sauce, Worcestershire, or fish sauce to the mix.
Now, how do you like your meat loaf sandwiches?
Update: To continue my edification in the meat loaf arts, I tried my hand at sandwiches…
Because my only reference dish is an odd take on a meat ball sandwich from The Flying Banzini (1242 Wellington Street W.), my first attempt with my meat loaf leftovers went on a bagel.
[w/caramelized onions, smoked gouda, and apple jelly]
The thing is, just like for the sliced meatball sandwich, I found the amount of bread overwhelming. When it comes to burgers, I more prefer patty melts, beef sandwiched in between slices of toasted (preferably fried) bread.
So, sliced and seared meat loaf, provolone, mayonnaise, and lettuce.
Tags: #ottawaFood, comfort, featured, Food Bloggers of Canada, meatloaf, Ottawa Food Bank, The Flying Banzini