Meatloaf, Girly Girl Style

Girly girl? What the heck does that mean? Before you get all upitty and PC on me I'll explain. Girly Girl is all the good things we like in meatloaf but with a softer side. No Y chromosomes floating around getting all angry. Subtle and nuanced is the name of the game here.

Those at the head of the class will remember my three pillars of strength for meatloaf from my Manly Man recipe. Ground beef, ground pork and bacon. With this recipe we start with ground beef and then I used homemade breakfast sausage for the pork. I like the rosemary, sage , nutmeg, clove combo in the seasoning. A good quality (McKenzies) store brand will work well. I used thin slices of prosciutto instead of bacon. Less fat, extra crispy and salty. Beef, pork and bacon just like the Manly Man version.

Let's plugthe cous cous in the photo. It's a pre-packaged product from Flavors from the Fields. These folks grow their own tomatoes, garlic and herbs for their organic grain mixes. Straight from Roxbury, VT and unabashed supporters of all things local and organic. The whole wheat organic label caught my eye but the tart dried tomatoes is the what brings me back.  Simple , flavorful and easy. Try it if you can find it.

crispy salty prosciutto

Let's see how this went down in the Aga Kitchen. It takes about 30 minutes to get it in the oven and another 30 to 40 minutes to roast. This makes enough for two loaves. Cook one, freeze one. Word of the day panade. We'll discuss after the recipe.

Meatloaf, Girly Girl Style

Gather up these tools and ingredients

  • A small roasting pan, sheet pan a large and small steel bowl.
  • 1/4 sliced prosciutto
  • 1 lb of bulk breakfast sausage.
  • 1 1/2 lb of quality ground beef, local is often better
  • 4 oz of bread crust removed, sourdough is my fav but use what's on hand
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • chopped parsley, to taste
  • 1/2 onion small dice
  • 1/2 carrot,small dice
  • 1/4 bulb of fennel small dice (optional)

Did you gather the things I asked or are you just going to get them when needed? Fair enough, let's start.

Pre heat your oven to...got you! We don't need to pre heat no stinkin' Aga.

In a small bowl add the bread, milk, ketchup, eggs and Worcestershire and mix. Congratulate yourself for making a panade.

Sweat the vegetables 

In a large bowl add the beef, sausage, cheese and parsley, season with salt and pepper

Use your hands or a food processor and break up your panade

Put the panade and the veggies with the meat and mix really well. You can use your hands or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment

Divide loaf in two and freeze half. Shape remainder into loaf and bake in Baking Oven. I put a 1/4 inch of water around the loaf

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes. It should feel firm to touch and juices run clear when you put on a plate to rest.

While loaf is cooking let's crisp the prosciutto

Take an Aga sheetpan with Bak-o-glide or non stick spray and layout the ham in a single layer. place on top rung of Simmer Oven

Set timer for twenty minutes. Beep  goes timer and it's done. Set aside for garnish

Pretty straight forward. as promised here is a little primer on panade.

Panade is a secondary binder in forcemeats, like meat loaf. It is a mixture of a starchy item and liquid with the consistency of soft dough. I used bread, no crust, for the starch and milk, eggs etc for the liquid. This creates a lighter meatloaf then the shortcut method of spinkling in bread crumbs and cracking an egg or two. Panade has many uses from quenelles to soup to fancy stuffings. It's worth learning more about.

Thanks for reading all the way to the bottom, G