While I was away (on a beautiful fall road trip across the northern US with my parents), the season changed again, the clocks rolled back, and I have heard the word Christmas a few times (way too early)! I believe we have begun the season of comfort food. Tradition starts to seep into our psyche almost without notice, and this is most obviously rooted in food in my home.

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Have you ever heard of a Meatloaf Pan?  OMG I hadn’t either, but I found this beautiful thing when browsing recently, and it is the best!  It’s designed to drain away the fat from your meatloaf as it cooks, and I find this very, well, comforting (no pun intended!).  Using high quality proteins, like grassfed and pasture raised ground beef and pork, combined with the benefit of this meatloaf pan insures you can relax and enjoy this satisfying comfort food.

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I am pretty sure this is a brilliant addition to the kitchen cabinet. A great meatloaf starts with good ingredients.  It has veggies in it, and just the right amount of seasoning.

When you are ready to put it in the pan and bake, take a moment to put a small dollop on the griddle to cook it, then taste for seasoning.  It’s a step that is worth it, because too little or too much of anything can make a big difference in the outcome.

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Meatloaf needs a glaze, and our moms used ketchup.  I like to make my own – call it ketchup – using tomato paste (the other half can from that added to the meatloaf), honey and go ahead and add some hot sauce if you want to.

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Into the oven goes this beautiful, comforting, country pate of sorts.  A poor man’s pate?  I don’t think so, especially if you are using quality ingredients.  Just don’t tell your friends you are making your own ketchup. They may judge you. Let them judge you on this meatloaf.  Whether you place it on the table with a pureed butternut squash or mashed potatoes and a lovely sauteed kale or brussel sprouts, or, leftover fried meatloaf sandwich with some good coarse mustard and homemade pickles, you will win the ribbon every time.

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I chose the butternut squash and kale this time…

A note about butternut squash – the long neck shape produces more meat and a smaller seed cavity, as you can see.  The squash puree is combined with a small amount of whole milk and a pat of butter, a dash of freshly grated nutmeg, salt and white pepper.

My idea of the perfect comfort meal as we settle in to these shorter days that, hopefully, offer us time to enjoy the comforts of home.

 

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Maria’s Meatloaf
 
This meatloaf is a traditional recipe with the addition of milk to create a smooth and uniform texture.
Ingredients
  • 1 lb Grass Fed Ground Beef
  • 1 lb Ground Pork
  • 2 Eggs
  • ½ cup celery
  • ½ cup onion
  • ½ cup carrot
  • ½ cup bread crumbs
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • ½ can tomato paste
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon oregano flakes
  • ½ teaspoon thyme flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients for the meatloaf. Check a small bit on the skillet for seasonings and adjust if necessary. Form loaf in the meatloaf pan.
  2. Combine the ingredients for the glaze and spread or pipe onto the loaf.
  3. Place in a 350 oven for 50 minutes to cook.

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