Savory Meat Dishes

Properly prepared, the meat loaf provides an appetizing substitute for the more expensive roast


Savory Meat Dishes

Properly prepared, the meat loaf provides an appetizing substitute for the more expensive roast


Savory Meat Dishes

Properly prepared, the meat loaf provides an appetizing substitute for the more expensive roast


DO YOU know how really good a meat loaf can be? And how very different one style of loaf may be from another? If one realizes exactly what type of loaf is desired and how, in a general way, it is to be achieved, a whole new world of dishes belonging to the “Roast” family is opened up.

Leaving for the moment all question of ingredients and of flavor, let us give a thought to the texture of the meat loaf. For the loaf that is to be served hot, it is hard to beat one that is open in grain—the result of the generous use of fresh bread crumbs. If a mixture of the crumbs, meat, and other ingredients is bound together with just sufficient liquid, perhaps including an egg, and is not pressed too tightly, it will retain a rather open texture which I, for one, like very much.

A more condensed type of loaf can be achieved by having the bread crumbs very fine, and by pressing the mixture into quite a close mass.

Potatoes used instead of bread crumbs will, of course, result in a close-grained loaf. It is amazing how very different the loaf which has a potato “filler” will be from that in which bread is used.

Cooked cereals, such as rice or macaroni, can also be used to give variety to the meat loaf.

A very close-pressed loaf, fine in grain and particularly good to serve cold, is rather better if pressed into a pan, moulded quite firmly and baked or steamed in the mould. It can be loosened with a knife and turned out to serve.

A Substitute for the Roast

AS TO the meat used, while quite the most savory loaf results from the use of raw meat, cooked meat

may also be used; it should be well seasoned, to make quite sure that it will not be insipid in flavor. Beef or a mixture of beef and pork is most used for loaf purposes. Chicken will, of course, make a very delicate loaf and veal will approximate it fairly closely.

Of course, any of the meat loaf mixtures may be formed into small individual cakes, and fried or broiled as the case may be. If you are in the habit of using just the chopped beef, seasoned with salt and pepper and perhaps onion—the regulation hamburg steak—you will enjoy cakes made in this less concentrated form for a change. My favorite is the ordinary chopped beef, mixed with about an equal quantity of bread crumbs and seasoned with salt, pepper and a little very finely chopped onion.

A beef loaf gains interest if whole, hard-cooked eggs are moulded in it. Cook the eggs hard and remove their shells. Pack half of the meat loaf mixture into a loaf-shaped pan; into the surface press the hard-cooked eggs, placing them end to end; then pack more meat mixture closely around them and finish filling the mould.

This is particularly worth while for the steamed or oven-cooked loaf which is to be served cold.

Let the type of loaf you want govern your method of cooking. For the savory loaf with the well-browned, rather crusty outside surface, a loaf to serve with a good brown gravy which will have much the effect of any good roast, place on a trivet to keep it off the bottom of the pan and bake it, using plenty of bacon or beef dripping for

basting. Baste frequently, unless you are using a covered self-basting roaster. Put this type of loaf into quite a hot oven at first, just as you would a joint, to sear and brown the surface nicely; then reduce the heat to moderate for the rest of the roasting period. For a loaf in which the meat has been already cooked, half an hour will suffice for baking. For an average sized loaf using uncooked beef, allow about three-quarters of an hour. For a mixture which includes some pork, the cooking period must be lengthened. For an all pork or largely pork loaf, allow a couple of hours.

I shall give you a number of recipes to demonstrate the variety which I have said can be achieved in meat loaf mixtures.

Plain Beef Loaf

1 pound fresh chopped beef

2 capfuls fresh bread crumbs

1 small onion Salt Pepper 1 tablespoonful chopped parsley 1 egg, if liked

Mix the beef, crumbs and seasonings well. If the beef is really juicy, this mixture may mould without the addition of any liquid; although an egg, slightly beaten, may always be used, or an extra spoonful or two of liquid may be added—stock, water or milk.

Press together just sufficiently to make it hold its shape. Put on a trivet in a roasting pan with plenty of bacon fat, and set in a very hot oven to sear and partially brown the outside; then reduce the heat to moderate — 350 degrees Fahrenheit—to finish cooking. About three-quarters of an hour in all does the average beef loaf—half an hour if cooked meat is used.

Beef and Pork Loaf

) 2 pound fresh chopped beef L2 pound chopped lean pork

1 cupful bread crumbs

2 tablespoonfuls finely chopped onion Juice of one lemon

Id teaspoonful salt

Ps teaspoonful pepper Few gratings nutmeg A little stock or milk if needed

Mix and mould as usual and bake as directed for plain beef loaf.

Close-grained Beef Loaf

1 pound fresh chopped beef

Y2 cupful cracker crumbs

Y teaspoonful salt

Ps teaspoonful pepper Yi to 1 egg

1 teaspoonful powdered sage

Mix the ingredients and pack quite closely. Bake as directed in first recipe.

Beef and. Potato Loaf

1 pound fresh chopped

beef (part pork if desired)

2 cupfuls mashed potato

Y teaspoonful salt

ps teaspoonful pepper

2 tablespoonfuls minced onion

A little sage or parsley

1 egg

The potatoes should be mashed when freshly boiled and still hot, if they are to have the best texture. If cold boiled potatoes are to be

used up in this way, put them through the ricer, as the best means of avoiding lumps.

Mix all ingredients thoroughly, using an egg to bind when potato is used. Mould and bake as directed in first recipe.

Cold Meat and Rice Loaf

2 cupfuls diced cold meat 1 cupful cooked rice 1 egg

34 teaspoonful salt

Grated rind 2 lemons

Fine cracker crumbs for coating

Blend the ingredients well and mould with the hands; cover the surface with

fine cracker crumbs that have been 1 seasoned with salt and pepper. Bake as directed in first recipe for about half an hour, basting frequently with bacon dripping; or use sweet milk and butter for basting.

Veal Loaf

2 pounds minced veal 4 soda crackers

34 pound chopped fat salt pork 34 teaspoonful salt 34 teaspoonful white pepper 4 teaspoonfuls lemon juice Few drops onion juice 1 egg, or }4 CUP cream

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Continued from page 52

Mix all ingredients well and pack into a mould. If this loaf is to be served cold, it will be very good if cooked in the steamer over boiling water. Allow it about two hours.

Here is a particularly good loaf in which to mould the hard-cooked eggs, as recommended in the general foreword. Pack your mould to half its depth, then press the whole, shelled, hard-cooked eggs, placing them end to end; fill around them with the meat mixture, then fill up the mould, pressing tightly.

Fresh Pork and Ham Loaf

1 pound chopped lean pork

1 pound chopped ham

1 cupful breadcrumbs

teaspoonful salt Yi teaspoonful paprika

2 eggs

cupful milk, if needed

1 cupful strained tomato juice

Mould in a loaf and cover the surface

with half a cupful of fine cracker crumbs seasoned with salt and pepper. Pour one cupful of hot, strained tomato juice into the pan and use it for frequent basting, after surface has been seared. Set this pan into another, containing some hot water and bake three hours in a rather slow oven.

Delicate Chicken Loaf

Cut chicken meat from bones and dice it fairly fine. Season with salt, celery salt, white pepper and paprika. Combine with about one-half its measure of bread crumbs. Moisten with slightly beaten egg yolk diluted with milk; about three eggs should be used for a four-pound chicken. Mix these ingredients well; beat the whites of the eggs stiff, fold them into the mixture, pack it rather lightly into a well-buttered mould and steam over boiling water for two and a half hours. Or set the mould in a pan containing hot water and cook in the oven for the same length of time.