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meatloaf anyone...

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
I was thinkin meatloaf anyone have any ideas?
post #2 of 28
Tyler Florence has a great one with sweet red bell pepper relish. Cooking light had a couple of good ones also- Asian and Italian. I'll copy the recipes here if you want them.
post #3 of 28
Paula Deen has a really good one too, very simple with oatmeal and tomatoes..lord it's good! :smiles:
post #4 of 28
CL also had Santa Fe style ml, Iberian, a few others. Got more ideas than you wanted?:lol:
post #5 of 28

Meatloaf is about technique, not ingredients.

The only bad meatloaf I ever had was one that "Broke". Meat loaf is an emulsion. In other words, 2 ingredients that are put together that don't normally go together. In the case of Meatloaf it is the fat in the meat and the water in the meat. Whatever recipe you are using. Make sure all your ingredients are cold. When you mix or shape your meatload with your hands, do it quickly so the heat from your hands won't heat your meatloaf, breaking the emulsion.

A broken meatloaf is dry and crumbly.
post #6 of 28

italian meatloaf pie

I recently created an italian meatloaf pie which i could share the recipe with privately. Basically you prepare a meatloaf, season italian style and place in a 9-10 inch glass pie plate. Place half filling on bottom, then sauted zucchine, yellow squash, onions, a little cheese then cover with remaining meatloaf mixture. Melt mozz last ten minutes and instead of a traditional ketchup glaze I serve mine with homemade marinara.
post #7 of 28
No, it's not.

Neither the fat, nor the water in the meat is in suspension in the other. Neither is a continuous phase to hold the other in suspension.

Many emulsions are more technically a colloidal suspension (whipped cream, beaten egg whites, milk). Even that would not be accurate in the case of meatloaf.

If the heat from your hands was enough to break the emulsion, cooking the meatloaf would destroy the emulsion every time.

Phil
post #8 of 28
OMG this sounds so good, and I have some chopped meat in the fridge now!! yum..

I'd love for you to share that!! I'm starving!..lol
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post #9 of 28
We agree that meat contains both fat and water.
We also agree that fat and water do not normally mix together (They separate)

Explain to me how, in a meatloaf, the fat and water stay together.

I believe that it is the job of the moistenned bread (Called a panade) which aids in the emulsion, and keeping the food cold aids as well.

You can add a small amout of liquid to butter if it is softenned. Now melt that butter and try adding a small amount of liquid. Can't do it.

If the "Emulsion" in a meatloaf breaks before it is cooked, most of the moisture escapes, because it has separated from the protein and fat in the meat. If the "emulsion" is in tact, much less escapes.

I would be interested in your theory of how fat and moisture stay together in meat. I do believe cooking is a science and it is somewhat important to know how food works.
post #10 of 28
They don't very much.

The water and fat is BOUND in the meat in CELLS and similar TISSUES. The fat is so saturated it's solid. Grinding doesn't change that siginificantly. It mixes only at the most gross level, and only physically. Body heat doesn't change that for the amount time that it's mixed. Think of hamburger, that's not an emulsion and the water and fat are in the same place as when you make meatloaf.

An emulsion has a continuous phase. This is one of the unmixable items. It has a dispersed phase, the other unmixable item. The continuous phase completely surrounds the dispersed phase keeping the dispersed elements from contacting each other, usually by breaking the dispersed phase up very small and using electrical forces between the different phases molecules to keep the dispersed phase molecules from coalescing together again ie break.

Ground meat is a phsyical structure (cell walls for example) that holds the water and fat where it is; neither water nor fat is dispersed nor continuous. It can't break because it isn't an emulsion.

The high heat of cooking breaks up some cellular structures physically and chemically allowing water and fat to escape. A good chunk of moisture steams away, lots of fat renders out.

A panade has a limited ability to capture some amount of water and fat, but this is not a function of there being an emulsion but of available starches to absorb water and fat. It is not itself an emulsifying ingredient, because it doesn't do what an emulsifier does which is to help suspend a dispersed phase.

Dry and crumbly is representative of bad technique or a flawed recipe not of emulsion science.

Phil
post #11 of 28

Phil . . .

Well Done, Nicely explained.

I guess I just associated it with an emulsion because of the presence of a fat and a liquid.

Today you taught me something. Thanks.

Chef Dan
Kitchen University
post #12 of 28
Bruce Aidells' describes hot dogs and similar homogeneous forcemeats as an emulsion as I recall. I don't know if it technically is or isn't, but it's an interesting proposition at the least.

Phil
post #13 of 28
I think I figured out why mom mom's meatloaf wasn't as tender as some other people's: they added milk and Mom didn't. (She learned to cook in her mother's kosher kitchen, therefore no dairy and meat were mixed.) I will mix dairy and meat, so I add up to a quarter of a cup of milk to two pounds of ground beef. I think this is a panade, right?
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post #14 of 28
I'll be the first to admit that I don't know much about food science, so please take my question in the spirit in which it is intented. I'd just like to learn a little more about what you're saying.

I thought an emulsion had to do with liquid. When you mix meat, wet bread, and other ingredients, the fat in the meat is a solid. Unless the mixture got warm enough to melt fat, and I'm not so certain handling it for the short time it takes to mix it would make it that warm, , the fat would remain a solid.

It wouldn't be a liquid until the meat reached melting temp in the oven.

Is the fat emulsified or is it absorbed? That which isn't absorbed leaks out into the pan.

Just asking...
post #15 of 28
I didn't see phatch's post until after I finished mine. I guess that explains things a little better for me.

So, tell us the best technique for making meatloaf.
post #16 of 28

Once upon a time

One time I was fooling around with some leftover chopmeat and made a meatloaf with simply chopmeat (beef) sauteed shallots, garlic and a load of fresh parsley and thyme.
The result was a great tasting meatloaf that you could use as a shrpenning stone. It was that hard. But then I had an idea. Using my electric knife, I sliced the mestloaf 1/8th inch thick and made sandwiches out of it. It was wonderful. Now I make that wierd meatloaf often, just for sandwiches. I am making it for my superbowl party a 3 footer. Fantastic.

Chef Dan
Kitchen University
post #17 of 28
chefzell, that's really cool ingenuity.

Sometimes I'll shape a round loaf and bake it on a broiling pan, when I want more of the "crust".
post #18 of 28

Crusts rules

Yeah, the crust is the best part.
getting off the subject just a bit. In long island NY everyone love the crust on bagels, so now bagel shops make a flat bagel which has like twice as much crust as an ordinary bagel. Crust rules.

chef Dan
Kitchen University
post #19 of 28
Any takers on the good vs poor methods of making ML?
post #20 of 28

Wet Bread

Two words. Wet Bread. I've been guarding my secret to moist, tender meatballs and meatloafs for 15 years but i'll give you that much.

Wet Bread.

And BTW.....Meatloaf is more of a CUSTARD than emulsion. Eggs, cream....bake in the oven. Just because it's got a bunch of meat suspended in it....
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post #21 of 28
I waited patiently, until the groans from my tummy drove me into the kitchen to make hamburgers..lol
Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
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Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
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post #22 of 28
Thanks, Gladyce. I'll guard your secret with my life.
post #23 of 28
This is how I learned to make them in the Italian Deli on E 106 Street in NYC in the '70!

So, they were onto something then..lol

They had a little hole in the wall triving Deli!
Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
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Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
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post #24 of 28

Yum

Not sure if this is a conventional way, but its how my mom use to make it and is fantastic.

Use 1/2 ground beef, 1/2 ground sausage.
Sautee celery, shallots, onions & garlic.
Wet torn pieces of white bread in heavy cream.
Mix everything together along w/ alittle cheddar cheese, ketchup, soy sauce, alittle ground pepper and 1 egg.
Line your roasting pan with uncooked bacon strips and place your loaf.
Top off the loaf with bread crumbs.
Cook.

I'll make this for myself often, so that there are plenty of leftovers for meatloaf sandwiches. Call me selfish.
post #25 of 28
The bacon does it every time lol
post #26 of 28
Take any meatloaf you make and spice it up with some cayenne. Now that's some good eating!!

:chef:
post #27 of 28

Meatloaf

I always soak the bread....sometimes with milk and sometimes with just water. One thing I learned from my son, who cooks his own meals....Have you ever tried mixing the meatloaf (or meatballs) with your stand mixer, using the paddle attachment?

I hate the feel of mixing the meat and ingredients with my hands, so I use my KitchenAid with paddle attachment. I find that mixing by hand does something to make the finished product dense and packed down and tough! So, I use my stand mixer....No matter what your particular recipe is, mixing with the stand mixer and paddle makes for a lighter, more tasty end result. Also, when forming your loaf, don't be heavy-handed and pack down too firmly. :lips:
post #28 of 28
We had meatloaf last night. Added some extra onions. It was really good!
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