Did you know that the traditional meatloaf recipe actually originated from Europe? Mentions of said recipe can be found in Roman cookery collections dating back as far as the 5th century, however, many of us now think of the dish as an all-American classic.
None have taken their passion for creating original recipes to such levels as Cynthia Kallile, founder of The Meatloaf Bakery in Chicago. In The Meatloaf Bakery Cookbook, Cynthia takes inspiration from all over the world to bring you flavourful twists on this popular comfort food.
For those of you who’ve never tried meatloaf before, here is The Mother Loaf (classic meatloaf recipe) featured in the book, along with the Yukon Smashers (mashed potato topping):
The Mother Loaf
“This is where it all started—my mom’s ‘recipe,’ although she claims she never had a formal recipe. And I believe it because that’s how she cooked. I recalled how delicious her meatloaf was, so I created this version from memory. I’ve included a little green pepper, but that’s optional. Top it with Yukon Smashers. You’ll definitely please everyone with The Mother Loaf, including your mother.”
For the Meatloaf
1 cup finely diced yellow onion
½ cup finely diced celery
¼ cup finely diced red bell pepper
¼ cup finely diced green bell pepper (optional)
¼ cup plus 2 tbsp. ketchup
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. prepared yellow mustard
2⁄3 cup chopped fresh curly or Italian parsley,
plus extra for topping (optional)
1 tsp. finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
½ tsp. dried marjoram
1 tsp. paprika
½ tsp. seasoned salt
½ tsp. coarse sea salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 cup 100% whole grain rolled oats
1 cup butter cracker crumbs
2⁄3 cup 2% milk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2⁄3 lb./300 g ground chuck beef
2⁄3 lb./300 g ground pork
2⁄3 lb./300 g ground veal
canola or vegetable oil spray,
Preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C.
In a bowl, combine the onion, celery, bell peppers, condiments, herbs, paprika, and seasonings. In a separate bowl, combine
the oats, butter cracker crumbs, milk, and eggs with the ground meats. Add the vegetable mixture and mix well with your hands.
Place the meatloaf mixture in a greased nonstick 10-inch x 5-inch/25-cm x 13-cm loaf pan and smooth the top with your hands or a cake spatula. Bake in the oven for about 45 to
50 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 160°F/71°C and the top is browned. Remove from the oven and let cool for
a few minutes.
While the meatloaf is baking and cooling slightly, prepare the Yukon Smashers.
When cool enough to handle, unmold the meatloaf carefully and set aside as you prepare for the crowning touch. Insert any pastry tip into a 12 to 14-inch/30 to 35-cm pastry bag and fill with the hot Yukon Smashers (use caution, because the bag can be hot to the touch). Be creative and make any design you’d like on top of the loaf. If you’re going for a more traditional look, just spread your potatoes on top of the loaf and sprinkle with fresh parsley.
Servings: 4 to 6
The classic mashed potato gets a little added oomph from the natural buttery quality of Yukon Gold potatoes. I prefer to leave a little skin on the spuds for visual appeal. Looking good on top of The Mother Loaf or piled in a dish, they always please.
8 Yukon Gold potatoes (about 2 lb./900 g)
2 tbsp. 2% milk
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
heaping 1 tbsp. sour cream
coarse sea salt and freshly ground
white pepper, to taste
Partly peel the potatoes, leaving some of the skin on so they look almost striped—this adds texture, color, and nutrient value. Cut the potatoes into 2-inch/5-cm cubes. Place in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil on high heat, then reduce the heat and continue cooking for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender. In the meantime, warm the
milk in a microwave.
Drain the potatoes in a colander and return to the saucepan.
Add the warm milk, softened butter, and sour cream and season to taste with salt and pepper, then mash with a potato masher—a few lumps are perfectly fine, but if you intend to try your hand at piping, it’s easier if the mixture is smooth.