Thursday, April 29, 2010

Paula's Surprise Meat Loaf with Mushroom Tomato Sauce

I have no difficulty figuring out why I never made this dish in my early years of traveling through this cookbook. It has a list of ingredients as long as your arm. Each step is not unduly complicated, (It's meat loaf for God's sake. How complicated could meat loaf be?) but it does take a lot of time. I made it for son and fiancee, who come to dinner every couple of weeks. He lives here, but if we want to see them together, we have to feed them. Actually, I'm sure she would come over without being fed, but I always think visiting without food is rather pointless. Also, when else would they come, since everyone works, and we don't have the type of schedule to have people drop by at 5 pm for a leisurely cup of tea.
As we sat down, my son inquired politely, "Is this meat loaf accepting of ketchup? "
"Sure," I said, "But it comes with its own tomato sauce." He seemed relieved.
The verdict was, "Make this again, please." which sparked a discussion about the time that he threw such a fit over a pasta salad I used to make for picnics that I took out a purple marker and wrote across the recipe in large, angry letters, "Don't make this. Thomas doesn't like it." He claimed it ruined all pasta salad for him for ten years. Humph.
Aside from the fact that this recipe contains tomatoes, which I am not supposed to eat because they cause inflamation (supposedly), and leaves the kitchen littered with dirty dishes, it's a good recipe. (The surprise is the filling.) If you are not going to eat at 10:00, you have to do all this stuff simultaneously.
Since mixing the meatloaf and making the filling takes time, you should let the sauce cook longer than the stated times. Otherwise the mushrooms aren't cooked, and neither are the onions.

Paula's Surprise Meat Loaf

First is the Mushroom Tomato Sauce.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 cups muschrooms, sliced
1 one pound,-twelve ounce can Italian plum tomatoes packed in puree
1 six ounce can tomato paste
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt or one bayleaf, if salt cannot be used
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon basil
1/4 cup to one third cup dry red wine

1. To prepare mushroom tomato sauce, heat the oil and butter in a heavy three quart to four quart sauce pan. Add the onion and garlic and saute until tender. Add the mushrooms and cook three minutes longer.
2. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, water, salt and pepper. Stir to mix and bring to a boil, stirring.
3. Simmer the sauce, partially covered with a lid, thirty to thirty five minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Stir in the basil and wine, and cook five minutes longer.
On to the meat loaf.

2 pounds ground lean beef chuck
2 eggs
1 small green pepper diced
1/3 cup chopped parsley
1 onion, finely chopped
3 slices stale bread, soaked in water and then excess moisture squeezed out.
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup Italian plum tomatoes

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Combine the meatloaf ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly with the hands. (Moosh and squoosh it. Chop up the tomatoes. Otherwise the mix will be rather dry.)

On to the filling,

3 hard cooked eggs, chopped

1/2 cup julienne strips Genoa salami

1/4 cup freshly grated Romano and or Parmesan cheese

1/3 cup julienne strips pinemto

1/2 cup finely chopped parsley

1/2 cup soft bread crumbs

1 tablespoon mayonnaise

1/2 teaspoon thyme

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

  1. Combine the filling ingredients in another bowl and mix well.
  2. On a double thickness of aluminum foil pat out the eat loaf mixture into a rectangle about 12 by nine inches. Place the filling in a long sausage shape atop meat about two inches from a long side.
  3. Gradually roll the meat loaf mixture around the filling like a jellyroll, using the foil s a guide to the rolling. Remove the foil and place the stuffed meat roll in a baking pan. Bake forty-five minutes or until done. Serve in slices with the sauce served separately.

Makes 8-10 servings. There wasn't any left.

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