Eater Kevin Peterson is hot on the trail of an “awesome meat loaf recipe” and wrote to ask, “Do you have any favorites I can try?” In fact, I do, Kevin — though I’m obliged to tell you we ran a great-looking recipe for Classic Meat Loaf in our Food & Wine section today, along with meat loaf-making tips and techniques from Southern chef Scott Peacock. And I’d love to hear from anyone else who has a favorite recipe they’d like to share with me and Kevin. As for my “awesome” recipe, replicated below, it comes with a story:
About 25 years ago, I was at my friend Jane Sussman’s house in Anchorage, hanging out late one afternoon. She invited me to stay for dinner, and I said yes before I knew what we were having. Back then I was no fan of meat loaf, or so I thought. But beggars can’t be choosers and I watched as she prepared what turned out to be a truly awesome loaf of meat. I was so impressed I asked her for the recipe, and from that day to this one, “Jane’s Curry Meatloaf” (which is great hot from the oven, but even better cold as a sandwich) holds an honored place in my little black recipe book:
That says 2 pounds of ground beef — not 2 tablespoons!
And because I don’t expect you to understand my cryptic shorthand or my handwritten recipe-shortcuts. Nor do I want you to leave out the soaked bread (as my directions do) here’s the for-eyes-other-than-my-own version:
Jane’s Curry Meat Loaf
2 onions, chopped
1 apple, diced
2 tablespoon melted butter
2 pounds ground beef
2 slices (white) bread, soaked in milk
2 tablespoons Madras-style curry
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup raisins (I prefer golden raisins, but any kind will do)
2 eggs, beaten
1 lemon, cut into thin slices (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
1) Brown the onion and apple in the butter, let cool.
2) Mix the ground beef, incorporating the spices, sugar, raisins, soaked bread (schmoosed) and eggs.
3) Add the onions/apple to the beef/spice mixture.
4) Spoon into a loaf pan.
5) Garnish with lemon slices (you may omit this decorative step).
6) Bake for one hour.
Serve with chutney (Major Grey’s or Trader Joe’s Tomato Chutney are good options)